"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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Got Milk

"Sour Milk Gill"
By James Swanson / Traveler Ian
12" x 36" Oil on Canvas

No reason to cry over this spilled milk, it's sour.
Our next painting adventure takes place at Sour Milk Gill in the Lake District of the UK.

Watch how this milk was painted.

Sour Milk Gill, derives its curious name from its white, swirling waters, flowing out of the tarn and descends through a series of impressive waterfalls.

And this is where we meet up with our new Traveler Ian.

Ian is a special Traveler for this project. Because he's the first photographer who tracked down this artist to see about being part of this paint the world art concept.

Traveler Ian's Story: This walk was the start of a journey retracing the steps of Alfred Wainwright,

We are lucky in that we live about an hour drive from the South Lake District , my website shows walks completed to date based around the Wainwright Fells. We generally walk once per month (the last Saturday).

The beauty of the English Lake District is the variety of landscape and the fact you never see the same place in the same light despite visiting many times – you can see all seasons in one day on many occasions.

One of Ian's photos that I will be working with.

The Traveler Painting "Sour Milk Gill" When Ian contacted me about being apart of this project I was honored to take a look at his portfolio. Ian shoots a lot of beautiful scenes of the UK, but when I saw Sour Milk Gill as a name for one of his photos, that was it. I had to paint it. Besides being a great spot, with that name it would be extra fun to paint. What a great name, and here is how Sour Milk Gill was painted-

The Sketch, since Ian is a photographer I didn't feel right about painting from his photo exactly. I wanted to use the photo as inspiration and not a poster to paint from. So I decided to try and squeeze everything into a tight horizontal painting.

The Sketch on Canvas. I'm using a fairly smooth 12' x 36' canvas that I've had good luck with in the past. I've treated the canvas with a paint mixture of Venetian Red and Raw Umber. I rubbed it in enough to get rid of the stark white of the canvas and then drew in the sketch.

Here the palette of colors for this painting. I like to work out must of the colors before I paint so when I'm painting I'm painting and not mixing colors too much. Seeing all the colors together also helps with the color harmony of the piece.

How the painting was started. As in most of my paintings the dark colors are painted first. This gives me a good structure to work from, and creates depth by right away in the painting.

In this painting I was going for big depth, and to make that work I started painting my colors background to foreground. All the colors painted after this area would be tied to it.

Painting in the patchwork valley was next. This area of the painting I want to be a focal point. Which will be a little hard to do because of the farm structures that will be on the right side of the painting.

Now to start on the mountains. The mountains on the sides are going to funnel the viewer back to the focal point. They need to be painted in simply and cleanly.

Painting is total blocked-in. The canvas is covered in paint. Now it's time to start carving out and defining some places. The farm area needs some work and the left corner section is too much stuff for this painting.

It's getting there. The painting is starting to work now. Just a few pushes and pulls and it should be there. The farm spot is where I will pull back and the patchwork valley is where the pushing is needed.

Done. I was finally able to make the farm area work with the rest of the painting. It's a little hard not making human structures focal points in paintings. The viewers eye naturally goes there, so it took a little patients to get it right.

Details from the painting.

Done and Framed.

"Sour Milk Gill"
By James Swanson / Traveler Ian
12" x 36" Oil on Canvas

This painting turned out real well, I'm happy. I would have felt sad if I let Ian down after he offered up his work. A big thanks and congrats goes out to Ian and his new son Oliver. It was a lot of fun painting this one and I hope it shows.

The Artist and the Traveler is always looking for folks to join in. Just go to www.theartistandthetraveler.org and let me know you want in.

Until next time Arrivederci! I'm off to Italy to meet up with another Traveler.

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Have a good travel story and some fun and interesting pictures and we can get started on a painting journey.E mail me here with
name, place, and a few pics of the spot,and I'll get back to you.