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Charlie & Corrie cutting the turf

Final Stages

This stage in the execution of a painting, for me is the most satisfying.

A good deal of time is spent roaming back and forward over the scene, looking for areas that need more or less definition,or passages which will take the viewer's eye away from the main subject. It's benefical at this point to stand well back and view the painting from every angle, look at it in a mirror or turn it to the wall and leave it for a day or two. Anything that will let me see it with a fresh eye. This will often show up something that requires attention. Best of all, is when Irene my wife walks in, glances at the painting on the way past and tosses out an innocent criticism which I have to admit is right. But I usually wait untill she goes out again before I correct it. There comes a point when I have to decide that the painting is finished. All that remains now is to sign it and give the painting my personal reference number.

~Here is the finished framed painting.

painting beside chair for scale

painting on the hall wall

close view of framed turfcutters

personal records H S number

Turfcutter painting framed on easel

H Sloan holding framed painting

Time to Commit

In my last Blog ,I talked about the men cutting the turf and the initial layout of the painting. In the next 3 sessions seen below I hope to show the progression of each stage. At this point a nervous exhilaration suddenly arrives. This I try not to lose, which can sometimes happen if I get bogged-down in a particular area of the painting.

Firstly I painted the sky and the background mountain, followed by the middle distance hill on the left, using a combination of cobalt blue, light red, yellow ochre and Titanium white. Next I strengthened the tree line and brought up the temperature of the foreground area - which has the effect of pushing the mountains back in the painting.

In the second session, my focus switches to the two figures. I work on both figures at the same time until they are completed to my satisfaction before moving on.

In the third session, you will see that I have started to bring up the foreground and to add some detail such as the clumps of heather, slabs of turf, shadow areas and highlights in the grass.

The Buzz

I find it wonderful when I come across or find a subject, a view, or a pose that just seems to ring a bell and I think 'YES' ! I spent all afternoon with these two guys, who seemed as bemused by me as I was fascinated by them. It wasn't long before they forgot I was there and settled back into the steady rhythm of slice - slice- lift and throw. They could keep this up for about 20 or 30 minutes without stopping, then they would swop places. I'm glad they didn't ask me if I would like to try !

Back to the painting - having placed the basic shapes where I want them, I begin scrubbing in some turpsy washes of colour , to give more volume to the figures, establish where the light is coming from and to get the white of the canvas covered.

hamilton sloan puting on the first under painting

a closer view of the figures

view of the third stage of the turfcutters painting

Making a Start

I have chosen a 24"x 20" medium grain canvas for this painting.I have also selected

four photographs, each of which contain an element that I wish to use. So from a

combination of these, I can construct a painting to match the image I have in my mind.

The first step is to block in the main event, which is the two figures and the position of

Mt. Errigal - this is done using charcoal.

There was very little sun that day,but what sunlight there was came from the left.

photo of studio showing canvas subject matter brushes and banjo

photo of turfcutters subject matter plus mount errigal

photo of canvas with figures and errigal sketched in with charcoal

A Timely Reminder !

I said that I intended to get back to my painting,but during the course of siftingthrough my heaps of photographs and material relating to subject matter, it came to my notice that I haven't painted any turfcutters for quite a while. So that's where I think I'll start. I will also show some stages of the work as the painting progresses.

Tag knows the treats are kept on the third shelf, I think I'm supposed to get the message.

tag standing up on his hind legs looking for treats

Ha Lo and Tag pretending to be good

I have just spent the past few weeks working on this Blog.

It has been a very interesting experience looking through the old photographs, remembering some of the times past, and being quite amused by the changes to myself - ageing certainly alters the appearance somewhat!

I now intend to return to my painting, and I hope to up-date the Blog regularily.

Meanwhile - here is a photograph of my constant companions in the studio.

halo and tag together on my armchair

Ha Lo and Tag pretending to be good.