I am an unabashed fan of the traditional English landscape painting and wanted to create one such as the centrepiece of my upcoming exhibition at Burton Agnes Hall where I am doing a stint as artist in residence from 11th - 20th April 2016. I had noticed this particular view of Bridlington Priory on my frequent trips down Woldgate and it fitted exactly what I wanted to try and create. I have used a lot of artistic licence with the composition to give it that traditional look and it took several sketches before I finally worked it out but once happy I was ready to transfer it to the paper and set to work.
This is the composition I finally settled on. I have made the road into a country track and turned it down towards the Priory rather than running parallel to it. I have removed the buildings but they are mostly modern anyway and did not fit my idea of what the early 18th century view might have been. A few sheep add to the pastoral effect so I am ready for the next stage.
I always paint the sky first. It is important as it sets the mood so I painted it loosely wet on wet leaving some unpainted paper for the whites of the clouds. This is a late afternoon sky in summer with the sun shining from the left of the composition.
The next stage was the background trees and the Priory itself. This took me the most time on the whole painting but this detail clearly establishes the direction of the light and starts to create space and depth as we move forward.
This first foreground wash emphasises the light but also starts to put the Priory into the context of the landscape. It will take several more layers of paint or glazes to build up the intensity of colour I have in my mind.
So after a couple more glazes I can start to add some detail. There's the trees to finish and the fence and sheep but definitely on the home straight.
So here is the finished painting. I have added more glazes to the trees to get them to this rich darkness of colour while retaining the light flowing through the two left hand trees for warmth in the midst of the dark shadows. It's a large painting and will be on display with me at Burton Agnes Hall from the 11th - 20th April from 11.00 am to 5.00 pm daily ..... it would be lovely to see you there too!
Professional artist now semi retired and enjoying being eccentric!