Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Cardinal on the old fence.

"Cardinal on the old fence" by Hilary J. England
Oil on canvas, 8" x 11"
My obsession with cardinals continues today.  I painted this and it was raining, but what drama is there in painting a cardinal in the rain?  Snow is much more suiting, so I improvised.  That's what's wonderful about painting--you make your own decisions, and you create whatever strikes your fancy. I'm not a firm believer in always painting what you see.  There is no fun in that at all.

So, again, I was working with a limited palette here of Van Dyke brown, Cad red deep, Ultramarine, Indian yellow, Titanium white, and Burnt Umber.  I was able to catch this pretty quickly, and substitute the driving rain (and change it to snow) and the washy white background that was melting fast, and make it into a snow scene.  The bird was very cooperative.  He basically just sat there, by himself, looking pretty satisfied.  Well, I guess he had eaten a lot of seeds and was content.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Cardinals in the snow

"Cardinals in the snow" by Hilary J. England
oil on canvas, 8" x 11"

I have been very busy as usual, but not too busy to stop and enjoy the falling snow and the visitors that appeared at the bird feeder right after: a group of social Cardinals.  They were so sweet, and seemed to be having a brunch or some sort of little get-together after the snow ended.

It isn't always easy to set up and capture a scene quickly, but you do get used to it after years of practice.  I have a very basic pochade box, and I paint very quickly, utilizing a limited palette many times.  This time was one of those times.  I used only Van Dyke brown, Ultramarine, Cad Red deep, Indian Yellow, and Titanium white.  This allows for a rapid study without too many color choices that can become troublesome if you are trying to do a basic study.

I love cardinals--they are one of my favorite native birds, as the are both stout and elegant, and of course, their color.  This was a very enjoyable painting for me, and I don't mind painting in the cold.  As long as you take certain steps and precautions, painting outdoors in winter is not a miserable experience.  Always make sure your head and feet are warm and dry, you keep your medium covered so it doesn't gum up, and work rapidly if it's really cold (your paint can actually get inconsistent and "gloppy").  Other than that, enjoy!. I always do.  Be sure to bring a thermos of hot tea, coffee, or whatever you like that's hot.  It helps both for your body and your soul <3


Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Fourth of July

"Fourth of July" by Hilary J. England
oil on canvas, 24" x 36" x 2"

I finished this larger studio painting the other day, but the weather was sloppy, and it prohibited me from photoing outdoors, which I prefer, so I had to try to make do with an indoor photo session.  My verdict: Not so much, haha.

Anyway, I really enjoyed doing this painting, both from studies, and par Coeur, because it put me into the mindset of warmer days as the snow was falling.  I, of course, had to go out and paint in that snow, but I'll post that painting tomorrow.  One painting at a time!!! Let me not run away with myself.

Here's to dreaming of warmer days and summer evenings~

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