Thursday, 20 October 2011

Reflecting on Bygone Times, Year of Painting

Over on Painting Friends, its Year of Painting time again, so I thought I'd share the whole post with you, so that you can gain an insight into the workings behind this painting :)

Number Seven, Auto Reflections

Personal Goals for this Painting:

Firstly I set some goals for my thumbnail sketches.
These were :
  1. do a thumbnail showing the scene as is
  2. on the other thumbs, show different crops and ideas
  3. Choose which one of these thumbnails to paint.

Choosing (4) Rusty Wreck, the goals for the painting were: try to show a vehicle in a stage of decomposition and by doing so describe the impermanence of life and material objects.
To this aim, I also wanted to incorporate the acrylic technique of painting a ground onto watercolour paper. This means adding a tint of colour and texture before you start painting proper.

So, here's the painting: Reflecting on Bygone Times

What works and what could be improved.

I'm pleased with the overall feel of the painting. By the grasses I should have left more lights, as I did with the sky.

Challenges Faced

The challenge faced for me was incorporating tinting and texture onto the paper before I painted the car.

Share Personal Goals and whether you felt you Met Them

My goals were to make the four thumbs again, pick one to paint, namely Rusty. I wanted to use the acrylic ground technique to see what difference it would make to the overall feel.
Did I manage that? I think so, though I can see that completely tinting paper wouldn't have suited this subject, but it does tie car and shrubs in so they feel at home together. I don't think I should have extended it to where I painted the grasses. I think it dulls the grasses too much.

How I created the Painting.

I created the painting by painting the sky first. When dry, I scumbled a mix of burnt sienna, raw sienna and light red over the rest of the paper. Then I pressed cling film into that so that when dry there would be some texture. After that the shrubs were painted in a loose random style, made of shades of raw sienna, burnt sienna and cadmium yellow pale. The car was painted in cad red and cad yellow pale, with the rust and bullet holes being painted in various strengths of a shadow mix ( ultra and crimson) Grasses were painted in a loose style using a large flat brush, using the same colours as used throughout, with the addition of a making a green from ultra and cad yellow pale.

Size of Painting, Medium, Palette and Brushes.

The painting is on Arches 140 Rough and is 15” x 11”
The medium is pencil for the under drawing and watercolour for the painting.
W&N artists quality paint.
Palette colours used : Raw sienna, burnt sienna, Cad Red., Cad yellow pale, French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, light red.
Brushes: Flat 1”, round 12, rigger 2


  1. I like to read the explanation of the whole creative process of this painting! And the result is wonderful! You are also very creative with names!

  2. Love this one Pat. Although I'm not a driver or car-mad kind of person, I really adore old cars and this one's a gem. Did you use a reference photo or sketch? Thanks for sharing the process and your thoughts too :)

  3. Hmmmm ... seems to be the season of old vehicles. Good work, Pat!

  4. This is a great project to do, I like the way you set yourself some goals...and achieved them with a lovely painting.

  5. thanks, Judy .
    Glad you enjoyed the process and the painting! xx

  6. Thanks, Michael . I used the same reference photo we all did, but the truck was not rusty in any way. I made it so :)

    Not happy with the grasses, though. I think the tint below them dulls them too much. I may leave it be, or go back and lift some highlights out :)

  7. Kathryn, I was smiling away to myself when I saw you start yours. Because this was already in my head and in my thumbs. We get the photo of the next straight after we finish, but not allowed to post until the 20th!
    I still think your vignette is outstanding! xx

  8. Thanks Ann.
    the whole project is designed to help us learn and improve. If you read what I write - which I'm sure everyone has - you can see I'm still learning too!
    and very capable of making mistakes, as the grasses show!

  9. Very interesting to read about your process, I really like the way you've made all the colours tie together - I like it a lot !

  10. I love paintings with abandoned cars! Arianna

  11. I love the painting of the truck. It reminds me of one my Grandfather had when I was a child. Love learning how you drew it.

  12. it's always interesting reading the process from beginning to end and your thoughts on the work afterwards. It's also a wonderful painting

  13. Oh, that is so neat, Pat! I do love it very much!

  14. Oh, that is so neat, Pat! I do love it very much!

  15. Love the explanation of your getting there, and I love the final result!

  16. You have done such a great job of this painting Pat. And a fascinating insight into your workings too :0)

  17. Thanks Pat for sharing your process. I really appreciate your unselfish attitude on giving others painting tips and hints. I think in painting we should not stop learning, it is a continuous process.

  18. I love the way you painted the background and the car, Pat! You always achieve your goals, dont you?Congrats!xx

  19. I love the truck Pat! Especially the colors, it just says fall perfectly. :)

  20. A very nice painting Pat, and I enjoyed reading about the process.


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