David Bellamy – Changing the mood in a landscape painting

I missed doing an intended blog last week as I had three short videos to produce in connection with the forthcoming Patchings Virtual Art Festival next week. It starts on July 9th which was the intended date for the original festival, and you can find information on www.patchingsartcentre.co.uk Of the other two videos I made, one was for Painters Online at  www.painters-online.co.uk  run by Leisure Painter and The Artist magazines, and this shows ten tips I’ve put together for landscapists, while the third one was for Search Press which you can find on  www.searchpress.com  and this features a number of my crazy anecdotes on sketching expeditions. All three videos are quite different and I hope you enjoy them.

 You’ve had to wait a little longer than intended for my version of Llyn Mymbyr, so here is my effort together with the two photographs shown in the earlier blog:

This is the original scene that shows afternoon light catching the Plas y Brenin Mountain Centre buildings on the far side of the lake. As some interesting crags dropped into the water to the right of this composition I wanted to include them in the painting and illustrate how I go about bringing two visual sources of reference together for one painting.

This is the shot of the crags to the right of the above view, though it’s in shadow, a common problem when we are working outdoors, but it’s easy enough to bring two prints together and even better when you have a sketch as well. Getting these to fuse together on a laptop for the purpose of showing you, however, is not so easy for a non-tech neanderthal……..

In my version I have reduced the buildings so that interest is focused on the craggy peak, Clogwyn Mawr, which I’ve featured in strong evening light, while bringing in some mist behind the line of trees. I often change the atmosphere of a scene completely, and that really is my main lesson here: you don’t need to paint the scene as you see it, but as you would like to see it. Try small versions as studio sketches before you make a start on the painting. There are so many different ways of tackling a scene with a variety of moods and seasonal changes. Enjoy your painting! 

3 thoughts on “David Bellamy – Changing the mood in a landscape painting

  1. Thanks for sharing this cracking painting David, and sharing the photos you referred to alongside your sketches, as reference material. You’ve got great vision which always creates an enchanting surprise rendition of a scene, livening the Snowdonia landscape. It’s inspiring!

    Is the peak to the left in the distance Crimpiau, I wonder? I ask as I climbed Crimpiau as my first climb post transplant. I’d failed at Moel Siabod and we went up Crimpiau in quite high winds and driving rain and sleet, but on a good day, I can imagine the views now, if this IS Crimpiau off to the left in the distance. It would be great if you ran a trip to Snowdonia. Best wishes to you both.

  2. Hi Dom, Lovely to hear from you. I’m sorry to be so slow in replying but I’ve been exceptionally busy, plus lots of enquiries about various things. I have to go up on the moors to think sometimes and if the weather is bad I have a few favourite cracks in the rocks where I can sit and contemplate like some deranged hermit. You are spot on about Crimpiau – it is just to the left of Clogwyn Mawr in the painting, but not clearly visible as it is in the distant murk and not one of the outstanding bumps. Enjoy your painting and keep safe.
    Best wishes,

    • Hi David. I’m pleased to hear you’ve been busy (as long as it’s comfortably busy).
      I look forward to your book coming out I think this year. It’s a great painting you’ve done of the view across Llynnau Mymbyr – quite different to the iconic view in the opposite direction and nice because of its originality – I enjoyed it David.
      Look after yourselves, you and Jenny. Hopefully we’ll meet again in 2021 and thank you for clarifying re: Crimpiau. I also climbed Cefn y Capel which might be just out of the scene you painted. Not a huge mountain, more a hill, but slippery on an autumn afternoon after rain.


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