Welcome to our studio in the Highlands of Scotland, from where we bring you this FREE-TO-VIEW+SHARE Bonus Feature reveal of my Masterworks oil painting ‘Light Cast’, in which I capture a scene on the acclaimed fishing river Findhorn; one of the paintings in my dedicated series celebrating the glorious fishing locations around the Highlands of Scotland.
SUBJECT - the fisherman was making his way downstream as I came down through the heather to the water’s edge. Despite the fact there was this wonderful bank of heather behind him, glowing beautifully in the Highland light, the view was not tremendously inspiring. I began to wonder if there was a painting in this at all. In those particular circumstances the thing I turn to straight away, are thumbnails, which are a way of thinking through the composition. So I perched myself in the middle of the river and got on with those.
What I wanted was the moment the rod bends and the line floats, taking up the slack, just before the line is cast. As the fisherman moved towards me I also took a whole series of photographs, to catch the moment, which isn’t easy, as it is only there for a fraction of a second.
I hadn’t yet got the backdrop to the figure and so I moved slowly upstream, to the point at which the river curves, at which point the whole scene changed. Here, the left bank becomes a warm area of pebbles; the right bank, breaks up, forming an area of small pools, with many different qualities to the water. I had my foreground, with the lichen-covered rocks and the moss growing in between. Behind that, the hills were becoming more distinctive, definitely unique to this part of the valley; they had to be dominant. I was aware of the massive slopes all round, which had to be conveyed in the painting and so their shapes were developed gradually until that balance was achieved.
Below them the idiosyncratic chair/bucket lift, there to take fishermen from one side of the river to the other; a marvellous element to string right across the painting, to create a dynamic, yet very fine detail, placed against a very dark area of trees and foliage to bring out the glimmer of the supporting wires. Below that the meandering river, catching the light of the sky and reflecting the surrounding trees, foliage and rocks.
I could have bathed this whole composition in sunlight, but what I wanted to show was the way the Highland light is beautiful, even on a grey, overcast day.
Would you like to know more about this Original Painting and Limited Edition Print? This link will take you to the Galleries page on our official website - artworkshopwithpaul.com/galleryintro.php
Want to learn how to paint using traditional techniques? Check out the trailer for this Masterclass [Series 3] in which you can watch-along as I work on the fisherman in this Masterworks – vimeo.com/ondemand/masterclass3/285563414
METHOD - these Masterworks oil paintings are created using my unique method, a method based on traditional techniques, which are progressively worked through in layers from dark-to-light; a process that cannot be hurried, nor short-cuts taken. First, the underlying thinned colours of the underpainting, next the impasto stage,wWith glazes and tints used extensively to enrich and subtly enliven the oil painting – it is through these techniques where the ‘art’ of oil painting comes into its own.
In ‘Light Cast #River Findhorn’ the twin arts of glazes and tints were required to successfully capture the many depths in this view. Although extensively used throughout to sculpt and mould those tree-clad hills that recede into the far distance; the method of applying the myriad tints is such that you would be hard-pressed to see them, which is the purpose of these techniques, for they should become one with the composition. Glazes were used to add richness and depth to areas such as the pools and the underlying colour of the water, over which brush-strokes of pure white were employed to render that sparkling surface; not to mention those underlying dense colours of foliage and trees, grassy banks and scattered rocks. As for the figure - that was ‘pushed’ into the composition and ‘pulled’ from the background - again, with many glazes and tints, so that, although detailed in close-up, it appears silhouetted against the flowing river.
We thank you for reading and watching and send you best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
Artist : Author : Presenter : Producer
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More MASTERCLASS BOX-SETS with Paul Taggart
‘[Series 2] Masterclass with Paul Taggart’ - vimeo.com/ondemand/paultaggartmasterclasss2/169462040
‘[Series 1] Masterclass with Paul Taggart’ - vimeo.com/ondemand/artworkshopwithpaulmaste/106973907