Camp 1…Wye River, Great Ocean Road

We spent two days at a lovely campsite on the Wye River.

A beautiful coastal spot on the great Ocean Road.

We needed a couple of days to get used to living in the yellow bus! There were a few “tweeks” needed but generally we were rather impressed with how well it was all working. (In a future post, I must show you my cushion covers with the bright yellow dots to match the bus!) I have some decorations for the side of the bus as well, but Alan is somewhat reluctant to allow me to use them as yet. 😎 ( time will tell! )

I won’t be publishing to the blog every day as we will be on the move, but will put up the interesting bits and the teaching material that might be of interest as the occasions arise. Please feel free to comment and ask questions as we go. I’ll try to answer them if possible.

home sweet home!

It was great to have a quiet day, so I took the opportunity to find a spot near our camp, set up my oil sketch box and do some painting.

Beside a creek, I chose a view of some lovely reflections in the water.
  • set up quickly and choose a subject. You can’t paint everything so you have to choose. (Sorry about that , but them’s the facts!!)
  • The medium I chose was oil on oil paper, and I began with a simple wash drawing using only Burnt umber and Ultramarine Blue. These pigments are both transparent and create a beautiful black when mixed together and can be diluted with some solvent to create a warmer or cooler colour and darker or lighter according to the amount of paper showing through the thin paint. This is using oil paint like watercolour. I really love this effect and often regret adding the opaque colours.
Reflections, trees and an overcast day which has the advantage of a fairly constant light.
  • You can see the nice sketchy quality of the transaparent paint below
I really love this sketchy transparent look. One day I’ll leave it alone!
  • I then began to put in simplified areas of what I would call tonal /colour summaries. It’s important to make the initial areas simply flat value shapes trying to group all the detail and information into generalised areas. Squint, give each area a colour name and a tonal value, keeping the decisions based on using only value 4 dark, value 2 light and value 3 midtones. This is hard to do, but so important to maintain. The biggest danger is getting to the detail too soon. By setting up your basic 3 tonal values you are setting up for the detail which will come on top of these initial decisions.
simple value 4 darks, value 2 lights and value 3 halftones.
I felt that my painting was better at this stage and I lost the plot a bit as I took it further.
This is good practice for next time.
  • The final stage of the painting shows some further development… using value 5 and value 1 to add contrasts, details and edges.
  • It was getting pretty cold and my fingers were beginning to seize up. When the rain really started bucketing down, I made a dash for the campsite and called it “Quits”
it’s ok when the sun shines….
the finished sketch…because the rain started really pouring down!
  • So…
  • Keep it simple and stick to the 5 value plan.
  • Stop before you add too much information.
  • Do lots of thinking and learning from the experience.
  • NB. I really like working on an overcast day because the light is so constant and the colours are wonderfully high in chroma!
snuggle down to sleep in our “Yellow Art Bus” ready to head out on our adventure again tomorrow.