"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson

"Sour Milk Gill" Oil Painting by James Swanson
"Sour Milk Gill" From the award winning painting series.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Pentlands

"The Pentlands"

By James Swanson / Traveler Dave H.
15"x 26" Oil on Linen

Out with the Old and in with the New. That's usually how most things work, but not in Edinburgh UK.

Edinburgh from Arthur's Seat
All photos by Traveler Dave H. all rights reserved

A place where history and the world of today walk side by side. And who would know Edinburgh better than our next Traveler Dave H.

Traveler Dave H ( self Portrait" Meshface")

Dave lives and works in Edinburgh, in fact Edinburgh is his work. Dave has photographed pretty much the whole city and countryside of Edinburgh for decades.

Waverley Bridge 12

Going through his web site is like taking a personal tour of the city. It's well organized and nicely photographed, but what would you expect from a professional photographer. I highly recommend taking a look at his fare city site.

Traveler Dave H Story: Climbing the Pentland Hills to the south of the city. They're less than 2000 feet high, but I know that would be impressive near Chicago! It' just a favorite place with good views.

Corstorphine Hill and Granton are visible in the distance, through the snow-clouds drifting by.

I Panned the camera slightly left to catch the pool of sunlight on Sighthill district.

This is the photo of Traveler Dave H that I chose to paint.

A telephoto shot from the same standpoint. The water is the Firth of Forth (Forth estuary) leading to the North Sea.

Traveler Painting "The Pentlands" I liked a lot of Dave's photos and knew many of them could be made into nice paintings. The one I chose to paint though wasn't even in the mix when I started researching Dave's photos. It was summer, 90 degrees outside and I didn't want to think about winter. Well, it fall now and winter is real close and I haven't painted snow for a wile now. So here we go.

The sketch. Dave has done a lot of the work for me. A good design, nice lighting and interesting color.

The sketch on canvas. Here I've decided to give myself some lea way with the painting. Instead of painting on a stretched canvas, I'm painting on canvas that is just tacked to a board, and I will size the painting later. Leaving me freedom to try and explode into the painting.

Laying in the darks first, I want these darks to shoe through from underneath. I also want some of the drips from the oil wash to show in the painting.

Here I'm laying out the city in the triangle of blue. I'm painting this painting fast as I would paint a plein air painting. Everything will be mostly indications of color and strokes.

Putting in the sky. I'm laying in a Turquoise type blue knowing most of it will be covered up by purple clouds.

Snow time. I can't paint any farther with out the highest key colors being put in. I was trying to paint the snow thickly with the brush, nut the linen I was painting on wouldn't grab the paint from the brush.

Painters Tip: Painting Darks and Lights - This is an old rule of thumb for painters. Paint your darks colors first and your lights last. You want to keep the light high key colors as clean as you can get them. They will dirty up if put in too soon.

Work the clouds in over the turquoise sky, and adding details to the foreground.

Finishing up with a little more sky coming through and cleaner snow. I ended up putting in the snow with my palette knife to get the paint thick enough to feel like snow.

Details from the painting

Done and Framed

"The Pentlands"
By James Swanson / Traveler Dave H.

15"x 26" Oil on Linen

That was a whole lot of fun. Painting just on canvas with no framed edges holding me in. The only problem I really had was how to crop the canvas, but the is pretty easy to look at in Photoshop.

I'd like to thank Dave H for being a Traveler here and showing me around Edinburgh through his web site. Dave put up with me changing my mind on what I wanted to paint very nicely and gave me some very unique views of his city. And I someone out there has some interesting views of their cities or countryside, give me a holler here or at www.TheArtistAndTheTraveler.org I 'd like to take a look.

Well that's about it, I'm off to our next location and to meet up with the next Traveler. Til Then Tally Ho!

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