Mornington Art Show Exhibition – Painting of Portsea (Part 1)

Mornington Art Show Exhibition – Painting of Portsea (Part 1)

So I have decided to enter the Mornington Art Show which is happening from 18th January to 27th January.

The first big question then is what on earth will I enter for the show?

Always a challenge for the artist … picking the perfect subject to enter into an art show. There is no real right or wrong approach … however one thing I have noted from previous shows is that larger paintings tend to stand out from the rest (as long as they are done well). So I have decided to paint 3 or 4 larger paintings, for me anyway, and then pick the best two to enter into the show.

I am often asked by people how I approach a painting so I decided to create a series of blog posts documenting the painting process as I paint possible entries for the Mornington Art Show.

The first thing I did was go back through my old photos … I have over the last couple of years collected more than 5,000 photos so I have lots of reference material.

Here is one of the pics I chose to paint … it is a view of one of the little harbours near Portsea. I like this image because of the framing of the trees and the strong foreground darks they offer.

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One of the key things for me is keeping a limited palette so I will be using just a handfull of colours for this painting:

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The colours on my palette are Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and Titanium White. And as you can see … I use just a few brushes … one for initial wash.

I start off by using washes to establish the darkest darks. Its an approach I learnt from watching a few Allan Fizzell DVD’s. Allan is a great landscape painter in NSW and after watching his DVD’s twenty or thirty times I changed my basic approach to painting. Cheers Allan!

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You can see in the above photo that I have mixed up a dark wash (very runny) and placed in the darks. I had previously done a pencil sketch using the photo. I love the dark wash approach as I started out as a watercolour artist and always loved the washes 🙂

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Once the washes start to dry off a bit I start to work on the sky leaving room for the clouds. I could have just as easily started with the water mass. Its best to leave the initial wash to completely dry so you can then work around the darks in the sky easily.

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A little more work on the clouds and then I have started to block in the water, the rocky ledge in the water and the sandy part of the water. One of the things I love about painting these Portsea / Sorrento bayside scenes is the variety of tones in the water from dark blues, to dark greens and through to the light greens. People who are familiar with the area will know what I mean by this.

At this point I have pretty much completed the block in … I played around with the clouds a little more however I decided to stop at this point for a day or two and let it dry off a little. When I come back to it I will work on the distant water and headlands and strengthen the colours in the sky.

Please check back in a few days for the next update.

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