From a watercolour, plein air, sketch to a studio painting in oil

Fjøløy Lighthouse Oil on canvas 60 x 40 cm

Last Friday, with what felt like most of south west Norway in quarantine, I drove with Tanzie and half my studio to Fjøløy. Tanzie was very excited and ran everywhere like a crazy thing however, I was battling the weather. although it was a beautiful, clear sunny day, the wind was wild. When I opened the back of my car the wind blew away all the loose stuff.

There was no way I’d get away with setting up the french easel (that’s the box on leg, normally an amazing little bit of kit) so I took lots of reference photos and sat with Tanzie on some rocks and made a cute little watercolour sketch on. It must have been harsh because the normally very hardy Tanzie was using me as a windbreak to shelter from.

When we arrived back in the studio later that day I fitted a beautiful, fine cotton, Bella Arti canvas measuring 60 x 40 to the easel and sketched out the painting composition using liquids and Molotow acrylic markers. I can’t recommend these things enough by the way.

The next day I felt really on top of my game and excited by the way the painting has started. I’m not priming my canvasses anymore, I have lost sight of why I ever needed to. I made the beginning a monotone study with darks, mid tones and highlights and added muted landscape colours. The sky was mostly lemon yellow mixed with Prussian blue and the sea was a variety of blues. I stopped myself overworking the rocks just in time and this allowed me to feel and enjoy the brushstrokes of the headland.

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