daily painting titled Clouds over the Rhône Valley

Clouds over the Rhône Valley

22cm x 14cm (8½"x5½"), oil on board Painting status: SOLD
Daily painting for Tuesday 28 April, 2009
Posted in Landscape paintings


Great work. I was wondering what your process is for painting these plein air paintings and what size brushes do you use. I have trouble painting this small maybe because I'm using short handle brushes? Do you have any demos or step by step photos?
Dry dashes of colour. Pulsating matters. Phaneritic, grainy. Likenesses of swaying shapes, trees and clouds. Brightly spatterings of the slender trunks. Silence; A gentle wind, a wind of freedom... A quiet day. So restful, so verdant... Fleeting moment of... happiness.
Alain, just what do you mean by "phaneritic"? It's a new word for me, always A LA RECHERCHE of new words. Grainy? You've sent me to my Littres, my Larousses (classiques and otherwise),my Websters, my Harraps,etc. My latest Larousse Compact sent me to "spermatophyte," speaking of plants that...well, you know. The antonym, in one of my sources is "cryptogames," plants whose reproductive organs are hidden, such as mushrooms, ferns, moss, etc. What intrigues me is how you, Julian, achieved the "thorny" texture, even on the road, and the clouds? Or is my computer and are my eyes deceiving me? Did you roll a tiny roller over the entire painting after finishing it? A mysterious and very ahem...fecund painting. Spring IS here!
Would it be in bad taste to say "spring has spermed"?
Jol My words come from a dictionary named www.wordreference.com. Best regards Alain
Julian, the granular surface of your painting reminds me of Chardin's singular technique. Great!
Hi Lawrence, I used a board with a toned mid ground, and both large hog filberts and a small round (synthetic) sable. I layed in thinly all the shadows and the fore and mid ground (greens) then worked on the distant hills and sky to get the light right, then blocked in the blue and worked roughly on the clouds, and then basically back over everything adjusting tone and adding detail and highlights. No films I'm afraid - Matisse was filmed painting and when he saw the film he was horrified as he had always imagined he worked smoothly and decisively and the film showed the opposite - I know how he felt!
Alain/Joyce, the texture is the result of using a Sennelier gessoed panel that I bought in Paris from their lovely shop on Quai Voltaire, it has a slightly stippled surface, which gives the resulting phaneritic quality, especially on the edge of the brushstrokes.
Thanks, Alain and Julian.I learn something new every day! Best wishes, jol
Julian, how very interesting that you painted the landscape from near to far. As a self-taught watercolorist, I tend to paint from far to near. I need to try that! A lovely painting...the essence of early summer.
I learn something too.
Thank you Julian, for your explication. Fascinating for me.
Thank you, Julian. I love to hear about your method- we all would be flies on the wall in your studio...Alain is right- such a happy painting.It sings.
Well Rita, I put in the rough shapes and dark areas first but the light is set by that meeting of land and sky so that is the first detailed work I do.