Ian Har­g­reaves

Dorset, UK, For­est Glow, oil, 80 x 122 cm (31 x 48")

International Artist - - Art Challenge -

Third Prize is a one-page ed­i­to­rial fea­ture in Amer­i­can Art Col­lec­tor mag­a­zine

My In­spi­ra­tion

De­picted in this paint­ing is a stream that flows through the fa­mous “New For­est” in Hamp­shire, south­ern Eng­land. It is only a short drive from where I live. I have painted this scene of­ten at var­i­ous times of day and in dif­fer­ent sea­sons. The colours can change greatly depend­ing on where the sun is. The wa­ter is very shal­low here, so the “riverbed” shines through, es­pe­cially when the sun is high in the sky.

My De­sign Strat­egy

My strat­egy was to zoom in on the main sub­ject, namely the reflections. To the left and right of this scene are mainly views look­ing out over ad­ja­cent fields, so ob­vi­ously these were of no in­ter­est to me. It is the reflections that bring this paint­ing alive and give it a semi­ab­stract feel. The hori­zon is set very high, which gives prece­dence to the wa­ter, which was my main in­spi­ra­tion.

My Work­ing Process

My process was to make ini­tial sketches on the spot, to­gether with ref­er­ence photos. With this in­for­ma­tion I start and fin­ish the paint­ing in the stu­dio. This is my method of work­ing be it a scene like this, or a view of Venice or Is­tan­bul, or wher­ever. Hav­ing cov­ered the “glar­ingly white” can­vas with a neu­tral colour, I then draw with the brush. I block in the main ar­eas, not­ing light and shade. This is a mono­chrome un­der­paint­ing us­ing burnt um­ber. For more pro­nounced ar­eas of light, I just wipe off colour with a tur­pen­tine soaked rag. From here I build up colour with a large brush and palette knife. This keeps it loose, and the palette knife adds tex­ture if and when needed. Lastly, with the brush, I flick a few high­lights over cer­tain ar­eas to make it sparkle. A method also used by John Con­sta­ble.

Con­tact De­tails

» Email: artist@ian­har­g­reaves.net » Web­site: www.ian­har­g­reaves.net

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