Outdoor Painting, Sketching in Oil.

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Setting Sun-200x147-150x110
Loch Linnie-200x161-150x120

Exhibiting online in

The Saatchi Gallery/

Your Gallery - The London Contemporary Art Gallery’s online presence

LAI - Landscape Artists International

Cloud Study 7-750x599-150x119
First Light on the Tay-750x428-150x85

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After the Greatest Clouds

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Sunrise Through Mist 3-200x147-150x110

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Eastern Sky-750x604-150x120

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One Crimson Night-750x595-150x119


Dawn Study 6-750x552-150x110

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Cloudscape image 2-750x491-150x98

Oil Sketches, Oil studies, Outdoor Oil Painting, Plein Air, Colour Studies.

In common with a growing number of contemporary artists, observation, sketching and painting directly from nature is fundamental to my work.
Landscape painting - Landscape from Barry Hill

Landscape from Barry Hill  8x10ins.   Oil on Canvas                                                190

Painted from the prehistoric fort on Barry Hill as the sun set and then later worked on freely.


Outdoor landscape painting Dawn Study 7

Dawn Study 7   8x10ins.  Oil on Canvas                                                                 190

Oil Study of Birch Tree. Outdoor oil painting of tree

Oil Study of Birch Tree   Oil on Canvas   8x10ins.                                                        190

This tree was so old it took some time before I realised it was actually a silver birch.


The Touch  Oil painting on Canvas of Sky and clouds

The Touch   6x8ins.  Oil painting on Canvas                                                             90

Dawn Study 6-750x552

Dawn Study 6    6x8ins. Oil painting on Canvas                                                       Sold

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Landscape painting is a big subject. You could paint a small vase of flowers, or paint a corner of a small room, but there is no such thing as a small landscape. Those clouds in the foreground might be 5 miles away, on a clear night your main subject may be a comet. Even a small tree is a truly enormous plant....

Au Palette on Grass-750x563
Ken Bushe - Painting at Kingsbarns

If a landscape painting is to evoke some of the  real experience then it cannot be made up or adequately recalled from memory. This is why sketches, studies and outdoor paintings are essential to modern landscape art.

Click for outdoor oil painting techniques page.

From Dron Hill-750x597

From Dron Hill   8x10ins    Oil painting on Canvas                                                       Sold

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Light moving on the Hill-750x592

Light moving on the Hill  8x10ins. Oil on canvas                                                         175

What I need are colours and angels


Oil painting of Twilight - dedicated to Oscar Wilde

Twilight   8x10ins.  Oil on Canvas                                                                             Sold

“...but, especially when trying to paint the quieter skies, there are also subliminal colours which suggest themselves as ...being of help.....”



Sunburst 8x10ins.   Oil on Canvas                                                                          

Cloud Study in September   6x8ins  Oil on panel                                                         90

Oil painting of single cloud
Oil study of cloud - outdoor sketch

Click to Small Works - Mostly outdoor oil sketches currently available under 100 GBP

The Thought Cloud

On the spot oil painting of cliffs - Arbroath

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Outddor oil sketch of sky over Tayport, Fife

A lot of information can be crammed into a small space with oil paint. This painting measured 6x7 inches overall.

Detail (below) from the oil sketch above

Detail of open air sketch Tayport
Plein Air painting of trees and stream
Rainbow - outdoor oil sketch

As with most of my work, this is a combination of outdoor and studio work. The initial image was composed and painted outdoors and then developed over a period of time. This two pronged approach gave me the chance to be more selective than I could have been if I’d tried to finish it on the spot. I was able to take a thin glaze of raw sienna over the surface of the sketch when it was dry to warm up the colour in places and highlight the brushwork.

Photographs, pencil sketches and scribbled notes can all be invaluable aids to establishing an outdoor painting especially one of an evolving, mercurial image like fast moving clouds or dawn and sunset, or a rainbow.  

Outdoor Painting - Dawn Sky

Painting outdoors on smaller canvases is quicker and makes it easier to capture specific moments in time.

More on outdoor oil painting methods, tips for the unwary etc. click on- 


Outdoor Oil  Painting Techniques

Outdoor  oil sketch - twilight landscape Oil Sketch winter study - Earthhouse Ardestie
Outdoors sketch of colour and light
Water and light painting - River Tay
Red Dawn - plein air painting
Study of bright sunset
Outdoor painting - The Millpond - Oil on Gesso
Oil sketch open air - Sketch for Rough Sea-
Sunset over sea - oil on canvas
Laird's Loch