David Bellamy – Injecting a sense of atmosphere into your paintings

If you really want to give your landscape paintings a boost one of the most effective methods is to inject a strong dose of atmosphere into the scene. Unfortunately most of the time when you sketch or photograph a subject there may not be much by way of atmosphere, so in many cases you need to inject it into quite an ordinary scene. With time and experience this becomes easier.
 In this view of the Teign estuary in Devon you can barely see the distant Dartmoor ridges, and even then they become lost in the atmosphere at the extremities. To achieve this sense of mood and distance I have used the same wash for the ridges as I have for the lower sky area. Keeping most of the edges softened also helps create mood, as does a very limited palette. There is hardly any detail in any of the background trees and promontory, and even the centre of interest – the cottage with its attendant trees has little extra colour.

This painting is part of my forthcoming exhibition Shorelines and Summits at Lincoln Joyce Fine Art, 40 Church Road, Great Bookham Surrey, KT23 3PW – telephone 01372 458481  Their website is www.artgalleries.uk.com  The exhibition runs from 28th October to 7th November. Both the coastal and mountain scenes include strong atmospheric effects in most cases.

There are still places available at my seminar which takes place from 10 am to 3 pm on 28th October in the Old Barn Hall opposite the gallery, so you can also view the exhibition. Tickets are available from the gallery or Clockwork Penguin or telephone 01982 560237 The seminar comprises a watercolour landscape demonstration and an illustrated talk, both covering how to include animals and wildlife in your paintings – and, of course, lots of atmosphere, and you will have the opportunity of asking questions. I hope to see you there.

6 thoughts on “David Bellamy – Injecting a sense of atmosphere into your paintings

  1. I love your atmosphere and Hope I can learn more about it, I live in Aussie and have one of your books I will have to have a longer look. And wish you all luck in your exhibition.

    • Atmosphere is important, even in hot countries like Australia, so persevere with it. I shall dig out some examples on atmosphere in sunny places for the blog, as this might well be interesting for people. Enjoy your painting, Shirley

  2. Love your paintings, posts, and teachings! I am more or less a beginner but handicaps but working at striving to become better. It is artists like you who inspire me! Love to read about your work!

  3. Have just been to your seminar about including animals in your paintings. It was incredibly interesting, and I shall encourage the little group of friends who paint, and play with paint, in my conservative each week to have a go.
    Something you just mentioned was using mixed media. Have you done any clips demonstrating any of this?
    You said that you had used tissue paper in one of your ‘ice’ paintings. Where do you get it from, and how do you use it?
    We love playing with new things!
    Thankyou for all your inspiration.

    • Catherine, I’m glad you enjoyed the seminar. The audience response was marvellous. I’m afraid I haven’t done any clips on mixed media as yet, but I will see if I can find time sometime in the near future. The Oriental papers are available from Shepherds at 30 Gillingham Street, London, SW1V 1HU. I have a forthcoming article on the subject which will be appearing soon in Leisure Painter magazine and this covers the procedure in great detail. Enjoy your painting!

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