Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Ian Walton I Colour In Your Life

Oil painting techniques and tutorial with Ian Walton I Colour In Your Life


Colour In Your Life is proudly sponsored by Hobbycraft stores across the UK. For more information go to Hobbycraft.co.uk G’day viewers, my name’s Graeme Stevenson and I’d like to invite you to come on a journey of creativity and learning and adventure through the series Colour In your life. There’s an artist in every family throughout the world. Lots of times there’s an artist deep down inside all of us as well. So grab your kids, your brothers, your sisters, your aunties, uncles, and mums and dads and come and see how some of the best artists do what they do. (Music Plays) (Graeme) Okay, folks, how are you? Well welcome to the mountains of Snowdonia, in Wales. Fantastic to be here. Colour In Your Life’s crossing the oceans and coming to the UK, with the help of some fantastic people over here. But I specifically do have to thank Hobbycraft, the organisation that basically has art and craft shops right across the United Kingdom. They have stepped up to the plate through Ian Walton, and Leon Bowen, and have put together a series of fantastic artists for us to come over and start the series in the United Kingdom. We really appreciate what they’ve done, and it’s enabled us to be able to start the series in the UK. And as you can see – some fantastic places. We’ll be visiting some amazing artists, and it’s because of this company that we’ve been able to do this. So, Hobbycraft, thank you – A1 – and we really, really appreciate it. I went into one of the stores of the eighty-nine stores that are located across the UK, and met up with the management of the Chester store. Hobbycraft have a huge variety of products, well over twenty-five thousand. And not only do they sell some of the best brands, they also conduct workshops and art competitions across all of their stores. The range of art supplies is extensive: from oils, to acrylics, watercolours, pencils, easels and a huge range of ready made canvas as well. Whether you are a novice or a professional artist Hobbycraft is there to advise and assist not just the individual artist, but art groups of all kinds right across the UK Their mission is to inspire and encourage the passion and pleasure that the creative mind can be. Drop in and say hi and catch up with the team at Hobbycraft.co.uk (Graeme) Well hi folks, welcome back to Colour In Your Life. Well, we are in the UK, on our UK tour which is fantastic. And I’m with a gentleman at the moment that really is very much responsible for getting us here, Ian Walton. Ian, (Ian) Graeme. (Graeme) thank you, pal. (Ian) Yeah. (Graeme) We’re going to spend the day with Ian. But Ian’s actually done all to work to put this together to get us over here, and actually worked with a company right across the UK called Hobbycraft, (Ian) Yeah. (Graeme) to get us here, which is just fantastic. And organise the artists literally organise just about everything to get us over here, which is quite amazing. But when we leave, Ian and his film gentleman, Leon Bowen, is going to take over the show for us, so we’re really excited about what you’re doing – it’s going to be fantastic. But Ian is also a brilliant, a brilliant seascape and landscape artist. And we’re going to spend the day with him actually putting one of your pieces together today, and then really talk about Ian’s motivation. He’s also a glider pilot, (Ian) Yep, yep. (Graeme) mountaineer, owns a climbing wall in this area, and where about I suppose would be twenty minutes south of Chester. (Ian) That’s right, yeah. (Graeme) That’s the best way to put it, yeah. But yeah, we’re going to continue that on. I’ll have a chat to Ian as we go along, he’s got some major people that own his work. He’s done some pretty incredible things in his life as well, I must say. But I’ll step out of camera, and then we’ll be able to see what Ian does and see how you create your masterpieces. But fabulous man, we’re very grateful that he’s come into our life, and we’re going to I think have a long and close relationship. (Ian) I hope so. Fantastic. It’s wonderful to have you here. (Graeme) Thank you, pal. I’ll step out of camera and we’ll go from there. Thanks guys. (Ian) The picture I’m going to do today is a seascape. It’s actually painted over, or rather it was photographed over on Anglesea, in North Wales. And the water was incredibly calm, it was really beautiful. I’ve prepared the ground – this is just three ml PDF. It’s something you can cut to size, whatever size you want, even to the point where if you decide that you’ve actually got the composition wrong, you can cut the bit of that you don’t like. Which is not something you can do obviously with a canvas, so very, very handy. And primed with acrylic, nothing special, but I just mix up a blue paint and put it in a resealable pot, so it’ll stay wet and I can get a match. Anyway, onwards. I’ve already marked off the horizon, masking it off because I’m going to paint the sea. And so many people when they paint the sea, they might do a marvellous job but they actually get the horizon wonky. And I’m teaching on a regular basis, and so many times people come in with a lovely painting where the horizon isn’t straight. And I know the horizion moves an awful lot when you’re at sea, but generally speaking, if you’re looking from a good distance you’ll get a straight line. And I’ve broken the canvas down, or the panel down into thirds really. The enfaces is on the sky in this picture, as you may or may not have realised, I do like to paint skies. So in terms of marking it, I’m actually using a pastel pencil, a Derwent pastel pencil. And it’s white, and the reason I use that is because you can see the white against the panel, and if it gets picked up by the paint, it fits in perfectly. It doesn’t, it doesn’t discolour the paint. Often you’ll see people using graphite and the problem with that is of course, if you use a pencil, then that often muddies the paint so, there’s a lot of white in my pictures so it works. (Graeme) And being a mountaineer, I mean you really get out and get an opportunity to be out with some of the most glorious county. (Ian) Well, I’m very fortunate, Graeme. We live in a beautiful country here in Wales, and although it’s quite a small country, (Graeme) Yeah. (Ian) there’s an awful lot of it. I’m not trying to get an exact image of this cloud or cloudscape. So I’ll make marks and they’ll give me some references to where I’m going to put the paint. (Graeme) You’ve had a very illustrious career, I have to, I have to say straight up front. People like Sir Richard Branson and His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales. (Ian) Yeah. (Graeme) are clients of yours. And you actually met Richard, went over to his place, he picked out a picture and you went and delivered it to his place. Is that correct? (Ian) That’s right, yeah. It was a painting of the Transpacific Ballon. He and Per Lindstrand, had flown across the Pacific, crash landed in Alaska, if I remember rightly. It was a bit touch and go as to whether they were actually going to make it, but they did obviously. And there were no images of this ballon in flight, it’s quite staggering really. It was a huge ballon and the, if I remember rightly, it was high enough that you could have put the Statue of Liberty inside it, and that’s just staggering. You could also fit a jumbo jet in it. And the only thing that saw it was some people in a Jumbo, but they where so far away that they couldn’t get any pictures. So it was the only colour image of this ballon in flight. Well I’m ready to start putting paint on now. The paints that I’ve been using for some time now, for about say fourteen years are the Winsor and Newton Alkyd paint because it dries so quickly. The white that I use is a Titanium White. I’ll often use it with standard oils as well, and it dries the standard oils fast as well. By fast, I’m talking about over night. If you’re working outdoors it will dry even quicker. Colours is to say Titanium White over Alizarin Crimson. The other two colours, and I only really use three to four colours in a lot of the seascapes. This is Burnt Umber, again you could actually use a standard Burnt Umber, but I’ve got, I’ve got some of these Alkyd here. And then my chosen blue has been Prussian Blue for many, many years. It’s a very deep colour a very, very dark pigment, but it does make for a lovely sky blue mixed with the Titanium White. Lastly is a liquid and this is a drying agent, but it also helps the paint to flow. In terms of mixing I do use the brush if I need to mix a lot, I’ll often use a palette knife which I’ve got there. The Burnt Umber is added in small amounts to get this nice warm grey that you need for clouds a lot of the time. Okay, so I’ve started applying paint. What I usually do, is I’ll start at a edge of the picture, I’ll often come right to the very edge. A tip that I found from John Crump, one of the artists that Colour In Your Life has already featured, was the business of putting shadows in first which I found was an epiphany. Absolutely fantastic point, and I’ve used it since and it’s really payed off. So if you’re working outside putting those shadows in first, once you’ve got your initial drawing done is a fantastic tip – absolutely wonderful. I need to work relatively quickly with this paint because it does dry. You can actually feel it dragging on the brush. So it’s no were near as quick to dry as say acrylics or watercolour, but is does actually dry. (Graeme) And also, you’re in a number of very prestigious galleries. You’re in the National Gallery of Wales, the Tate Modern in London, Tate Liverpool, Lead City Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Scotland, up in Edinburgh. But part and parcel of getting into these galleries was a protest series that you did called Litter Art. We’re just going to screen up a picture now which is called Formby Beach with Burger Boxes. And you’ve got this beautiful scene of this long beach, and the beautiful sky that’s got litter all over the place. (Ian) Yeah. (Graeme) So what was the, what was the motivation behind the protest and the movement that you created? (Ian) I was quite concerned about the fact that so many people seem to think it’s fine to leave to leave all their rubbish behind, and you know, I think a lot of people have got a problem with that. So I thought if I painted a series of pictures with you know, beautiful scenes and include the litter. So they were donated to those galleries, and we hope that obviously people we look at those and see, you know, a picture of Formby Beach with burger boxes. You know this is the way that people seem to see the British landscape. You know, why would you do that? (Graeme) You’ve done some sculptors as well. I’d like to bring this up because they really are part and parcel of paying a tribute to miners as a emblematic position as far as paying homage to those people. (Ian) Yeah, yeah. I just felt that you’ve got thousands and thousands of people that worked at holes in the ground in this country, and for that matter all over the world – (Graeme) Yeah. (Ian) including Australia. The reality is that you know, they very rarely remembered. We remember our war heroes and so on, but you know, without these people, without the the individuals who literally toiled on the ground and in quarries and so on. We would never had an industrial revolution, we wouldn’t be where we are now. And I just felt that there was a need for some kind of memorial celebration, call it whatever you like of these people. So putting some lights in now as well, and whilst this is, whilst this is wet I can work wet into wet. And I’m using quite a large brush to do this and I want to cover as much of the canvas as I can. And I’m using white and I’m knocking the white back, I don’t know if you can see that. Knocking the white back with the umber just to, just to kill it a little bit, and you can brighten that as you go. And I’m conscious obviously of the lightest areas of the picture, so we’ve got light coming out from underneath these fabulous clouds. (Graeme) Well there’s another thing you and I have both got in common as well and thats – we’re both pilots. (Ian) Yes. (Graeme) So when I found out that you’re a glider pilot I thought, wow. And you basically got your licence when you were sixteen. (Ian) Yep, yeah, (Graeme) That’s fantastic. (Ian) The air cadets scheme which I think you’ve got in Australia (Graeme) Yeah, we do, yeah, yep. (Ian) And my father was in the air cadets before he joined the air force in the fifties, (Graeme) Yeah. (Ian) and I joined the cadets when I was thirteen years and nine months. I don’t know why you had to be thirteen years and nine months, and not fourteen, but there we are. And I couldn’t wait to fly, and my first opportunity was absolutely fantastic. I went gliding in nineteen seventy-seven, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I absolutely love it. (Graeme) Yeah, I bet. But I think gliding over the mountains around here as well, would be very inspirational for you. (Ian) It is. It’s absolutely wonderful. I fly from the long wind in Shopshire, which is a very old club. The club was established in the nineteen thirties, so it’s one of the oldest gliding clubs in the world, and it’s a club where we still use bungees. And we do actually still catapult gliders off the hillside using manpower, which is quite amazing. And we get pilots coming from all over the world. We’ve had pilots from Australia, New Zealand, the States and so on, just to experience bungee launch. So that really is an amazing thing to do. (Graeme) Okay, you’re were pointing out before Ian, that going back way, way, way long ago that you use your finger a lot with the Alkyd’s. (Ian) Yeah, yeah it’s very useful for blending the paint. If you actually try and smudge a line, and this is an example here. This paint’s wet, so if I smudge that in that’ll soften that edge beautifully. And as the light’s coming through a cloud, which obviously it will do because they are just water vapour at the end of the day. And you can soften it beautifully and it’s something you can’t really do with a brush. The thing about this particular picture is that it has got a central focal point, and it’s the areas where the sun is coming through the sky, through clouds. And it’s creating what I believe are called crepuscular rays. I’m not sure whether I’m pronouncing that correctly or not? But it’s those, the hand of God moment as I call it. The fingers of light that come through big clouds which is absolutely fantastic: I love it. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of painting skies – they are so different. (Graeme) So some of the paintings you’ve painted with the big skies, and I know you enjoy skies. One piece called Old Cottage near Bull Bay. It looks like it might have been done in Cornwall that one? (Ian) It’s not actually, it’s Anglesey. (Graeme) Okay. (Ian) Yeah, it’s a beautiful spot in Anglesey. (Graeme) And another piece, Cadair Idris, as well. (Ian) Ah, that’s Cadair Idris: its a mountain down in mid Wales. It’s not far from the coast actually. That was a fantastic winters day; it was a climbing day. It was just the two of us and we got some fantastic photographs as well. (Graeme) Yeah, some great, great pieces I mean, Loch Shiel, in Scotland, is a beautiful piece as well. (Ian) Yeah, that’s very close to the Bonnie Princes monument in seventeen forty-five. Okay, so I’m at the stage were I’m going to put some dark areas into the picture now. On the right hand side there’s a bit of a headland, on the left hand side there’s some islands. And these will help to draw to actually really draw the whole thing compositionally. And I’m mixing the Burnt Umber and the Prussian Blue in quite large amounts actually, so these will be really quite dark. You can lighten this up, but at this stage we just need to get some paint on. So I keep the brush strokes reasonably random until I get to the edges. I’m quite happy to actually push this paint into the wet paint. You’ve had heard the term wet into wet. What it does is it picks up some of that other colour. I don’t want to be actually coming back to this later to try and put clouds in behind it because you always make a mess. So this is the idea of working from the distance into the foreground, and it’s something I’ve always been taught and I always teach. You create the ground in the furthest and then work forwards. (Graeme) Well apart from this being your studio Ian, it’s also a gallery. You basically got together with the artists that you know in the area and (Ian) That’s right, Graeme. (Graeme) and open up your own. (Ian) Yeah, yeah. (Graeme) So if people want to catch up with you and see the work, and even the work of a lot of these other people that you stock as well, what’s your website details mate? (Ian) Well it’s very simple, it’s Ian dash Walton dot com. So I love this bit. Take the tape off. Bingo. So I’m still using the original colours. What I’ll do is just increase the amount of blue and the amount of brown or umber rather, to give you that almost a green, believe it or not. People seem to think that I do actually use green but I don’t. I’m going to start probably about here, and this would take quite a steady hand. (Graeme) I’m just going to mention some other pieces that you’ve done obviously relating to the surf. There’s another one called Church Bay Surf. It looks like you’ve used plenty of white in that. You’ve really chunked that one up; its pretty impasto all the way through. (Ian) Yeah. I do like to put a lot of paint on. At times, the amount of white that I go through is quite a bit. I like to paint the sea when it’s a bit on the rough side. (Graeme) Yeah, there’s another one you’ve got called Porth Diana. (Ian) Porth Diana, yeah, yeah. (Graeme) Porth Diana, which is a beautiful surf scene as well. (Ian) It’s very close to this area in actual fact, it’s literally just around the other side of the headland. Was out on quite a wild day. (Graeme) One of the things about your work as well, is that your use of clouds as the light just breaks through (Ian) Yeah. (Graeme) into those mountains, and the light reflecting off the hillside. It’s wonderful. (Ian) Light and shade is what it’s all about. It’s something that always, always attracted me. Perfect sky blue days are pretty boring to be perfectly honest. I’d much sooner have a day where we’re going to get a bit of drama in the sky. Using the ipad which I do quite a lot – I’d be lost without it now, I can get quite a bit of fantastic reference material. Okay, so I’ve blocked in the darkest area of the sea in the distance, and we’ve got the reflected light, or the reflected cloud rather here. So I’m going to use a little bit of artistic license. I’ll put some lighter area in here now, and very much darker in the foreground. If you put a lot of darkness in the immediate foreground of the picture, then you add depth to the whole thing. Okay, so we’ve blocked in most of the water now, so what I want to do now is start putting the reflections of this headland in, so we’ve gone darker again with the umber and the Prussian. And to the point where will almost disappear. It will be difficult to tell what is the actual rock and what is the reflection. I’m not too concerned at this stage that it’s absolutely spot on, because obviously you’ve got some moving water at the shoreline. So because I’m working wet into wet and we’ve got dark colour going on top of dark colour. There’s some discolouration and you would potentially have to go over this again, because of the fact that I’m using these Alkyd paints. I could go over this possibly later on today and get that darker again. (Graeme) Well you’re making some fantastic progress there bud, but what we might do is let you work for a while, and we’ll come back when you’ve done some more. (Ian) Okay, yeah, fabulous. (Graeme) Great. (Ian) The actual photograph, one of the reasons I took the picture was the, I think I’m getting this right – crepuscular rays – which is the saying that I think I might of mentioned earlier; it’s about the fingers of God. The rays of light that comes down through these clouds. And they really did make the picture. Whilst the picture is drying nicely I can use masking tape, and I’ve just torn off a little piece here. And I’m not going to take it right down into the water. In fact slightly, slightly more of an angle looking at the reference picture about there. And then the second piece, I do appreciate that the ray is likely to be wider the closer it gets to the sea. You do have to be very, very careful with the amount of paint you put on here. So I tend to go with a relatively dry brush with just a little bit of white and umber on this, and I tend to do it very, very gently to start with. And sometimes just lift the tape off carefully and see if it’s working. And I can see that is working. It’s not going to be very strong to start with, it’s when you get down into the darker areas, that obviously that’s going to show up. And so I just be conscious that you don’t want that on there too long because it will start to peel the paint off. People say to me all the time, how did you possibly manage to get that so straight. Sometimes they do look too straight, and I’ll often soften the edge with the oldest painting tool in the business, and just knock that back a little bit. So I’m going to do a few of those and that will seal the whole thing. Pretty much finished I think. (Graeme) Well, fantastic bud. Thank you very much. (Ian) Thank you so much, Graeme. (Graeme) That was wonderful. As I said, Ian’s going to be taking over the show for us in the UK, and traveling around meeting some very, very talented people. It’s going to be very exciting and obviously we expand as well. But if people want to get in touch with you – now you also do workshops here in the studio too don’t you? (Ian) We do yeah, yeah. (Graeme) Yeah, I mean great fun. You literally have to have a look at this place – there’s just so much going on. It’s incredible. But once again, if they need to get in touch with you about the workshops, they can go to? (Ian) Ian dash Walton dot com. (Graeme) Nice and easy, guys. If you want to do the workshops come and see Ian in there. Also come into colour in your life dot com dot au to see us, and our Facebook page, and come in and subscribe on our YouTube as well. And remember we are putting together Colour In Your Life UK. So until we see you guys again – remember: make sure you put some colour in your life, and to put some colour in your life UK in there as well. See you guys. Bye now. (Ian) Bye. (Graeme) See you.

22 Comments

  • timluns says:

    great video fantastic tips thank you

  • Nyana Chase says:

    Thank you! Beautiful art! Thank you for sharing your tips! Looking forward to seeing more UK artists! Keep living the dream!

  • Karen Burns says:

    Lovely, but quality of video was a bit blurry.

  • Raymond Ore Fine Art says:

    Very impressive sky

  • lynne rattray says:

    Love seeing the UK opening :-))

  • Diane Howe Art says:

    Another great episode and I loved the tips for the rays of light. Great bike Graeme, Triumphs have been my fave since I was 19 😉

  • Lance Huntsman says:

    Another great video Graeme. I think it is absolutely fantastic that the show will be spreading to other Countries! Congratulations on what you have started and where it is going.

    Will the new show in the UK also be uploaded to YouTube?

  • Mairead Harkin says:

    Graeme and Ian thank you, that was a great start to your U K trip, Ian is a lovely artist,

  • R. Taylor says:

    Does Ian have a YouTube channel?

  • ian Walton says:

    Hi folks thank you for all the wonderful comments. I'm currently climbing in The Dolomites and will get back to you all asap

  • Diane LoDico says:

    Oh my goodness! Mr. Walton, I am over the moon looking at your skies—no pun intended. Your method of painting the shadows first never occurred to me before. I am going to try that and hopefully I can finally paint clouds that I am pleased with in my own work. Beautiful work, just gorgeous. Thank you so much!

  • Kevin Queen says:

    I worked so hard to get Atelier paints carried in the US and now I want to try these Alkyd paints LOL. Hey will you do a show on just paints, maybe as a bonus episode!! I would love that. I don't know if anyone else would? Thanks for all you do!

  • Kevin Queen says:

    Hugh Greer is one of my major influences I'll have to check this guy out, he's very similar!!

  • organicpaul says:

    Great video looking forward to seeing more of Ian in CIYL.

  • ian Walton says:

    Ladies and gentlemen a number of folks have asked me about instructional DVD's . I'm looking in to this . If however you live in the UK and would like to attend a workshop at my studio gallery in Cheshire please dont hesitate to get in touch .I only take a few students at any time so that I can give as much guidance as possible . Book early!
    Follow me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/The-Ian-Walton-Gallery-1020217224772077/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and check my website https://www.ian-walton.com/

  • ian Walton says:

    Hey folks thank you for all your compliments. Please check out my classes and original work for sale here in my gallery in Cheshire .

    https://www.ian-walton.com

    If you're traveling there is some fantastic local accommodation

  • Caroline Ullrich says:

    Absolutely great idea to include litter in your paintings. People will look at these gorgeous paintings of gorgeous landscape then to be saddened by the litter. That really hit me. recently moved to Monterey CA. I always walk the beach path and down on the sand by the water. You see families with young children- only to look around them and see all the litter that they are not bagging up. when ever I walk to the water I always bring a bag with me and try to pick up as much garbage as I can. The adults are setting an extreamly poor example for their children. they have these pristine areas that they come and visit (because they are clean and gorgeous) only to leave behind trash that others will end up cleaning. Also it's extreamly destructive to all the wildlife that will come into contact with it. PLEASE SET A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR YOUR CHILDREN. SO THEIR CHILDREN HAVE THIS PLACE TO COME TO, AND GENERATIONS TO COME!!!!! PICK UP AFTER YOUR SELVES!!!!

  • Sean T Wright says:

    Cool! Great idea! I've been watching Graeme since his inception. Keep up the superb work Ian, Leon, Graeme and the team!

  • Lori Kendrick says:

    So inspirational! Thank you for this lesson.

  • Debra Moss says:

    Loved this, know all the places well, so good to see a 'local lad' on here! Wonderful art, really captures the spirit of the places. Good to see our miners honoured, many of my family men worked down the pits and my Great-Grandfather was fatally injured going back to rescue his men after a pit-fall, he was 27, can't imagine. Love the environmental passion, too! Great inspiration, thank you.

  • Nkosikhona Mnamatha says:

    Hello color in your life .please draw FFFC .great watching ctv capetown tv show and we have fund for fitness calendar as cipc registered business. Intercom www.soundcloud.com/benu_pbr my music but we a gym business which loves projectors and wall paintings for creative use in ideas

  • R R says:

    Wonderful! Chatty gentleman as he works with great tips. Thanks Ian!

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