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Cat. No. 1476 Spirit of Kilmore Quay, Ireland

Cat. No. 1476 Spirit of Kilmore Quay, Ireland - 25.5cm x 30.5cm - Oil on Linen - 2022
Cat. No. 1476 Spirit of Kilmore Quay, Ireland - 25.5cm x 30.5cm - Oil on Linen - 2022

I painted Spirit of Kilmore Quay, Ireland, during a recent Art in the Open event there. At first sight the actual scene was not very interesting. Read on to see how I transformed this somewhat dull scene, into a beautiful creative design.

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Photographic reference for the Spirit of Kilmore Quay painting

The actual scene above was very confusing. The buildings in the background had no clear shapes, and the foreground was a confusion of chairs, figures, tables and walls. There was no real clearly large shape in the design, rather there were just a lot of small disconnected shapes.

At the time at which the photograph was taken, there was not much in the way of color interest, apart from a few potted plants, and so there was not much in the way of color interest for the painting either.

However, if you look closely, you can see that the shape of the restaurant terrace is a potentially large shape in the composition, if you could remove some of the clutter.

Also, in the background, we have a very interestingly shaped silhouette in the church roof, plus a few other roofs, that echoed the angles of the church roof.

The overall scene was relatively blue gray with the sky, being cloudy and cool, the walls of the houses and terrace a cool white, as well as cool white furniture. As time progressed, when people wearing warm colored clothing moved into the scene, this provided an ideal opportunity to use that cool background as a contrast to a few warm color accents. Some potted flowers on the walls also provided a few extra color accents.

In the final painting, you can see how I took these elements and built them into a design.

So, by taking time to look carefully at the scene, and think about things like dominant shapes, contrast of temperature, interesting silhouhettes, we actually had all the elements of a successful design.

Techniques and principles used in the Spirit of Kilmore Quay painting

Cat. No. 1476 Spirit of Kilmore Quay, Ireland - 25.5cm x 30.5cm - Oil on Linen - 2022
Cat. No. 1476 Spirit of Kilmore Quay, Ireland – 25.5cm x 30.5cm – Oil on Linen – 2022

In terms of techniques, I focused on creating interesting brushwork, using a mix of thin wash-like passages, with calligraphic strokes superimposed, and large, bold, impasto strokes of paint to give a luscious quality to the paint surface. Variety of brushwork was the key to this painting.

Online painting classes

To learn more, here are the online painting classes in the Virtual Art Academy® Apprentice Program that teach the techniques I used in this painting:

  • B07 How To Make Grays
  • E03 Contour Notan
  • F05 Brushwork Variety
  • F06 Thick & Thin
  • G12 Description of Texture
  • H06 Contrast of Warm/Cool
  • H07 Contrast of Brushwork
  • L09 Hard & Soft Edges
  • M06 Brushwork Techniques
  • N07 Lost & Found Edges

Thank You

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you find it useful. If you would like to get free painting tips by email, please sign up for my free tips newsletter.

If you are interested in a structured approach for learning how to paint, take a look at my online painting classes.

Happy painting!

Barry John Raybould
Virtual Art Academy

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Cat. No. 1476 Spirit of Kilmore Quay, Ireland

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