This image of Roundstone bog inspired the painting above. It’s unremarkable as a photograph but I love the contrast in it, between the darkness of the boggy landscape and the gem like blues of the mountains and paleness of the sky.
This is how the painting started below.
I started at the top of the page and kept the colours clean when working on the sky and mountain shapes. Then I outlined the line of the land in a dark ink and I dragged some of the colour down using a brush to make a yellowish wash. This is the how the painting developed below.
I worked quickly using a combination of acrylic paint and ink together and brushes of different sizes. I like the way the paint settles when I work quickly like this, some effects are accidental but I have an idea about the overall feeling I want the piece to have. The middle and foreground dominates in this one because the marks are broad and gestural and this contrasts with the relatively careful way the sky and mountains have been painted. The richness of the colours that I have used in the landscape also make it stand out – browns, reds, golds, yellows and some dark blues. I like the way a large brush stroke gives the impression of strata, like layers of matter so the effect is being allowed to see under the earth as well as across it, to see the layers of material that have built up under ground over time.
I’ve decided to call this one finished as I’m happy with the results as they are. I’ll varnish it once the paint has dried and this will give it a protective coating as well as making the colours appear richer, as they were when they were just made and a bit like the way the colour of a beach pebble looks deeper when it is wet.