Last weekend saw me at a local steam rally in Sellindge, a nearby village. I fancied painting something just a little different than usual. I ventured to capture some of the majesty that these grand old machines still exuded as they trundled around the show ground. It was the 41st such rally and a while since I had visited it back in 2004.
These vehicles weigh many tons and were not the easiest subjects to render in a painting, especially as I was surrounded by many would be onlookers each eager to see what I was up to, and how each image was shaping up. I have to confess that I was quite a novelty as most fans of these engines record their images via a camera. Here was I slapping oil paint onto a board attached to my Half French Easel. The top image was my first ever attempt at a steam engine, I had chosen to do two, nothing like double jeopardy I suppose. Anyway it was an 8" x 12" panel and it took just a little under two hours, then my subjects were on the move which forced me to finish, like it or not.
The second painting again two hours in duration was some what smaller on a 6" x 8" panel at the close of the day. I made sure though that this time it was not going to suddenly move away. The owner assured me it was not and seemed delighted that I was painting his engine. In fact he made several visits to me during the painting session. He did look pleased with my efforts.
The angles were tricky I will admit, and I ended up a little too close to the left hand edge for my liking, but it is only a study for a studio image later on. It did mean that I could concentrate upon the colour and also with the drawing..
This was day one of two, as I elected to go back in the morning for a second go and paint again. I learned some valuable things from this exercise and details that will come in very handy when I get to painting the larger canvasses back in the studio.
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