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October 2020: Lockdown Zoom demo with Julie Dunster
Julie is a plein air artist who, these days, works in oils and likes to capture the atmosphere of the places she paints.
For our demo she chose an autumnal rural scene looking across towards a distant Cranbrook.
Using transparent red oxide she began by marking the main features of horizon and nearer trees, establishing a sun slanting in from the top right and adding a strong dark foreground.
Julie's plein air workshop photos can be seen HERE
The hedge was initially established using cadmium yellow and raw umber, 'knocked back' as necessary with a piece of cloth. (Painting is a series of adjustments.)
Julie likes to work with energy and recommends the immediacy of plein air for capturing this energy because of the need to work quickly to capture fleeting effects.
Using a compartively big brush in the early stages [she favours a Pro Arte bristle brush] she used ultramarine, permanent magenta, and white to establish the middle band of the composition. At first this was too purple but was knocked back with a little of the complementary yellow ochre.
Julie lightened up in layers working back towards the horizon, wanting to cover the whole board bwefore attending to details.
For the sky [equally becoming lighter moving down towards the horizon] she used a Jackson's Onyx brush and Cobalt Blue and white, warming the cloud a little at the top of the picture by adding a hint of cadmium red while creating a variety of hard and soft cloud edges.
If the oil paint is applied thinly at first, later strokes applied parallely can be added before the oil is dry underneath.
Becoming more detailed, Julie added dark loosely to the trees and added raw umber to the hedge for added depth. The gate was also added to draw the viewer's eye - and finishing stages saw the addition of a group of carefully modelled sheep to the gate's right and, further to the left, a single more detailed sheep.
The final picture
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