Saturday, 18 February 2012

Loosely Painted Landscape

Decided to paint today. Started late – only a couple of hours of daylight left – so thought I would just get on with it. In fact something told me that today was going to be a different sort of painting day. So I got the easel out, some paints and brushes, then filled some jars with water.

Square canvas. As for subject: I hadn’t really thought about it. I have a selection of photos and sketches of landscapes which I take regularly when out walking or cycling – mostly fields, low hills and riverside scenes in late winter. In the end I just picked one of them at random and worked straight from it.

To start with I drew a few loose lines across the canvas in charcoal to mark out rough boundaries, but could already notice myself thinking too much about it. So instead I forgot about colours, composition, the ‘correct’ brush to use or any sort of pre-arranged ‘design’ and just grabbed whatever tube of paint seemed nearest – which happened to be Hookers Green. No thought to careful quantities, I just mixed the paints, and then whatever looked like an interesting colour on the palette would end up on the canvas.

It’s good to paint like this for a change: good not to worry about results. In the end I actually quite like the result…but the main object of today was just to paint freely and loosely. It probably helped that the light was running out – no time to think. And choosing colours randomly instead of planning them brought out a few interesting results, especially when I didn’t always clean the brushes properly between application, letting the old colour bleed into the new.

Here’s a list of what I used:

Titanium White, Hookers Green, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine, Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre, Lemon Yellow and Raw Umber.


  1. Great result from something that was so spontaneous. Love the images.

    1. Thanks Jo! You've got me thinking. And I realise now that 'spontaneous' was the word I was looking for! The tricky part is trying to find a balance between being in control (or having a plan) and being spontaneous I suppose...

  2. Jude Thanks for sharing with us your work.
    I too would love to paint so freely,
    emptying the mind of many schemes caged,
    but I never do it...

    Your work is very, very good

    Sorry for my bad english...

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! "Emptying the mind of many schemes caged" sounds like very good English to me!