With more than a passing glance towards the Impressionists and their bold use of shape and colour, April Sky was a long time in the planning.
Often with a sketchbook and pastels and often with my iPad; whiling away the hours looking for shapes and textures to help translate rain clouds and storm surges and all the colours that go with them.
Where the ideas where born
I’d been installing an original painting one day for a client who lived in London. As we stood out on his terrace and looked out over the Thames we were greeted with an almighty rain storm.
Thunderous black clouds rolled up from the east and covered the skies with a dense, dark blanket of foreboding. Down came the rain with all it’s tumultuous power and rage; thunder bellowed from an angry sky as nature put on a show I will never forget.
And in a brief five minutes it was all over. The skies cleared, the heaviness lifted and the world could breathe again. Capturing this drama has been my intent ever since that day.
The green areas hold a particular interest as they were created using a new mixed-media technique I have mastered. This involves a ‘pre-skinning’ of the paint on a PTFE surface to allow it to semi-cure before it goes onto the canvas.
At the perfect point I scoop it up and lay it on the canvas to begin working it into the mountains and valleys you can see in the close ups shots. This is done with tweezers – carefully moving the thin slivers of semi-cured paints into new and exciting textures.
Light and dark
It is perhaps, though, the contrast between light and dark that gives this classically composed painting a contemporary twist.
Building pastel shades, delicate tones and strong base colours into something that is either light or dark can be extremely difficult. Avoiding a grey sludge is never easy. However, after a lot of preparation I feel I got April Sky absolutely right.
A perfect mix between stormy dark rain clouds and a clearing blue sky. For me this is what this painting is all about; however, you could something altogether different. Gotta love that with this kind of art.
- Canvas: Belgian medium weave; 375 gsm
- Primer: Three coats prior to painting
- Paints: My own formula enamel paints (16 colours)
- Frame: 44mm Museum graded European softwood with ultra-low moisture content
- Hand-stretched and stapled on the reverse