The making of Fjøløy Lighthouse on a Bright Clear Day

Fjøløy Lighthouse on a Bright Clear Day, Oil on linen 80 x 100cm

Many times I’ve visited this beautiful coastal peninsula in the coast of southwest Norway. Often I sketch and paint and have so far made watercolours, linoprint and oil paintings of this magical and very cherished place.

I recently completed a smaller oil painting of the region on a 60 x 40 surface and needed to explore the lighthouse and building more so got to work on my design. It was important to get an idea of the sea below and the small islands of rocks out to sea a little. I wanted to convey the beauty of the light we often get here in Norway and he sense of space as the eye travels out to sea and into the sky.

There are many layers to this painting and the composition needed similar values in colour hue to give it depth and reduce any potential for this painting to feel flat. Flat, this washes give way to thicker textured layers resulting in an impasto texture in several small areas on the sumptuous linen surface.

The blues in the sea and sky are varied from ultramarine, kings blue, cobalt and Prussian, there are hints of Naples yellow and Naples yellow red in the sky, dashes of turquoise on the horizon and building shadows. A beautiful colour, caput mortuum and a tough of cadmium red gives the rich maroon colour on the lighthouse roof and the railings which lead the visitor and the viewer up to the lighthouse platform itself.

Titanium white with zinc white and a little Naples yellow give the bright glare of the sun on the buildings and is thickly applied on the right hand side wall. The foreground rocks and grassy areas are deliberately lower in detail to encourage the eye to travel up the canvas to the lighthouse and then out to sea towards the horizon and tranquility of the sky on this beautiful sunny day.

Find this piece in The Sale Room.

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