About My Process

When I began painting in 2011, I would go to the art shop in Farnham, and buy every tube of paint that caught my eye. I bought an A4 pad of oil paper, and a large assortment of brushes. There were so many shapes and sizes to choose from, that I thought I would experiment with the lot. 


Now, at this stage in my career, I only use 8 core colours, and paint on 24 x 30 inch professional quality linen canvasses. I very rarely need to use more than 3 flat brushes to complete a landscape. 


The paints I use are:
Cobalt Blue, French Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Permanent Green, Permanent Rose, Bright Red, Quinacrodone Magenta and Titanium White.  I am able to achieve a vast range of colours from that relatively small selection.  


Before applying any paint to the canvas, I will first map out the scene in my sketch pad at the location. Then add abbreviated codes of the colours on top. Later when I have returned to the studio, I will make a record of them and include ‘thumb nail’ swatches in my ‘little black reference book’. 


Below is an example of a combination of colours that I use quite frequently, especially if the composition is of an autumnal scene:


CY+BR=VO (vibrant orange) +TW=T (tangerine) 


Who said art isn’t a science?


I will also decide on how much paint to use by indicating a number of percentages. This is how I can decide the atmospheric conditions of the piece. If I am carrying a camera phone I will take a quick snap as well. 


Using a large flat brush, I begin the painting by applying a thin coat of Titanium White, and French Ultramarine. I will always concentrate on the darkest areas first, followed by the lightest. I use a quick drying thinner at this time. 


In the middle stages of construction, using a medium flat brush, I simply pick up the paint and overlay and merge it into each other. I never mix paint on the palette. I will use a finger, a cloth or a clean brush to achieve the desired results. 
At the latter stages, I use a small flat brush and apply the paint more thickly. I blend the lighter areas with the darker areas. I always make sure there are no hard edges. I often stand well back to make sure everything is in the right place. It is still possible to make changes.


The final touches are only applied to the lightest areas of the painting. Then after a minimum of 4-6 months drying time, I apply a single coat of gloss varnish.


I always paint between the hours of 8am and 3pm. I never paint in the evening, or by the aid of an electric light. 

© 2020 Nicholas Walsh

Website by Otters Pool Studio

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