painting on chorleywood common with bonzo

Painting on Chorleywood common with Bonzo

Painting on Chorleywood common with Bonzo

I aim to paint outdoors as often as possible and I am lucky to live within walking distance of Chorleywood common. At last, we had a sunny day that wasn’t too windy to set up an easel ! After reaching the far corner area of the common, known as top common ponds, the first job was to find a shady spot to install Bonzo, our Springer Spaniel. This was going to be an experiment to see how long he was going to put up with being tethered to a ground-spike for a couple of hours. I’m sure he would prefer that to being left at home.

painting on chorleywood common with bonzo

‘Bonzo’ and my set-up at top common ponds, Chorleywood common.

I’ve painted from this spot several times before. It’s one of the largest ponds on the common, so there’s more chance of getting some interesting reflections to play with. Also, the sun sets in the general direction that I’m looking in the photo. I can count on nice ‘contra-jour’ lighting on those trees in the middle distance.

The initial block-in

painting on chorleywood common with bonzo

Getting started…

I am working on a canvas panel previously stained with raw umber. I quickly scrub-in the darks and lights, with the umber acting as the mid-tone. The idea was to set the light direction early on, putting the highlight ‘hot spots’ in place. I don’t want to chase them around as the sun moves across the scene.

painting on chorleywood common with bonzo

Work in progress…

Tidying up the painting

After an hour and a half the light direction had already changed quite a lot. I spent the rest of my time there concentrating on what I already had, resisting the temptation to change things to suit the new light direction. Here’s the final painting which I will now mull over and decide if I want to use any, or all of it, as reference for a larger painting.

painting on chorleywood common with bonzo

‘Top common ponds, August 2017’ oil on canvas panel, 12 x 9 ins

By the way, Bonzo was as good as gold, so he will be going out painting with me more often…

I talk a little more about painting outdoors in another post Plein air painting and drawing.

There are more examples of my painting on Chorleywood common in the Marks and Pixels Paintings gallery.