In the studio – 14 DEC 18

I finally rearranged my studio to make better use of the limited space! Definitely had a moment of panic when moving the new easel in, when I realised it was a good few inches bigger than the doorway, but some quick mathematical thinking saw the crisis averted.   I’ve moved my desk so that I can have reference images up on my Mac, and the whole room has a much better feel about it. 

I’m making a frame to hang all of my oil paint tubes up on the wall – this’ll save the need to rummage around in boxes of unorganized paints. Plus, it’ll also be nice to have them out on display. The outer frame is made of pine, and hangs over one of the cupboard doors. I’m 3D printing some paint tube holders, which I’ll screw onto the underside of each cross-piece. When it’s done I should have enough space to hang 50+ paint tubes. 

I cracked open the oil paints this afternoon for the first time in too long. Tackling my big work in progress was first on the agenda. Something had been bugging me about the background and I wasn’t sure that I was entirely comfortable with the direction of the piece. Originally, I had wanted to create the vibe of a more local landscape but I’d for some reason ended up settling on a much more arctic scene. So today, I painted over it. 

I’m going to turn it into more of a salt lake landscape – bright blue sky and dead trees receding into the background. I’ve never painted a blue sky before, so consulted the internet as to what colours are suitable. In the end, I settled on 3 blues – French Ultramarine, Manganese and Phthalo, plus white and cadmium orange. 

The ultramarine has a deeper, warmer tone. I used this (mixed with copious amounts of zinc white) up top, and blended it down into manganese and then phthalo towards the horizon. Nearest the horizon I mixed a speck of cadmium orange into the blue to create a nice neutral. 

I’m pretty happy with the coverage of this first layer but I might do some more glazing once this dries, to cover up the under-painting. I’ll probably attempt adding in some clouds before I move into working on the foreground trees and water.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the decision to change things up today and I’m feeling keen to get stuck into things again tonight and over the weekend.