Painting Demonstration - Staithes, North Yorkshire

"Before the Trip" Staithes, North Yorkshire.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2007.

Stage One:
This is a relatively simple oil painting done in two stages. The top picture shows the completed first stage and is concerned mainly in establishing the basic colours, the position of the elements, even though a basic drawing using thinned (with Turps) oil paint was underneath, done as quickly possible but with accuracy. Getting this part right makes the following stage, or stages (if required) much easier. For this painting the paint was applied almost neat out of the tubes, i.e. very little medium was added to thin the paint and the board had three coats of white Gesso primer with texture paste added to the second coating.

Stage Two:
Having done most of the hard work, the second stage (bottom picture) is mainly going over the whole painting adjusting colours, sharpening or softening edges, defining detail etc. The under painting done in stage one really helps as at times only minor, if at all, adjustments are required. For this painting the whole background of reflections on the water was darken as this would help punch the boat and figure forward.

The figure (top half) was painted next so that the relationship between the background and foreground could be established. This was followed by the internal elements of the boat, leaving gaps for things like the ropes so they could be painted later but without painting over wet paint. The figure was then completed, followed by the rudder and the area around the waterline.

Next came the outside of the hull and this was started by painting the white areas. There were some nice shadows on these which help define the shape of both them and the hull. Following the painting of the blue areas, the sections catching the sunlight which were darkened as the hull curved away from the light, followed by the areas in shadow. The last part of the boat to be painted was the yellow strip. Final details were then added e.g. ropes, holes in hull etc.

Looe, Cornwall - Children fishing for crabs on the quayside.

"Enjoying the Summer Holidays" Looe, Cornwall.
© Alistair Butt 2007.

The towns of East and West Looe in Cornwall are divided by the river with connections by the bridge, seen in the distance and when the tide allows, a small ferry that crosses the river.

The objective was to capture a number of facets that make up Looe, while it's a thriving tourist town, with a wide variety of shops selling local produce e.g. Cornish Pasties, Cornish Ice Cream, plus amusements, fishing trips etc, it is also has a growing fishing industry (the line of fishing boats alongside the fish market), the river (with a variety of craft) plus the bridge that connects the two different sides to Looe. The children fishing for crabs were an added bonus and add the human side but also tell a store hence the title "Enjoying the Summer Holidays"