Outdoor Painting, Oil Sketches

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Ken Bushe  - New Website,  landscapepainting.gallery

I now have a brand new website - Please click to visit landscapepainting.gallery


I also have an Artist’s Blog with continual updates from the studio, outdoor working, painting methods and other related topics

Please feel free to visit the Blog and also to subscribe by e-mail if you wish. Just click the “Follow” button on the top left hand side of any page! !

Ken Bushe 2014

Loch Linnie-200x161-150x120

Exhibiting online in

The Saatchi Gallery/

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

LAI - Landscape Artists International

First Light on the Tay-750x428-150x85

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Visit the Dundee Art Society website -

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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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Contrails 2-200x147-150x110
Cloudscape image 2-750x491-150x98
Setting Sun-200x147-150x110

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.

Dawn 15th May

Dawn 15th May   8x10ins.   Oil on Canvas                                                           250

Sunrise 6th May

Sunrise 6th May  8x10ins.   Oil on Canvas                                                               250

Sunrise from Tayport 2

Sunrise from Tayport   10x12ins    Oil on Canvas                                                      250

Cloud Painting - Outdoor oil painting of sky

Cloud Painting   8x10ins.  Oil on Canvas                                                                    190

Cloud painting - begun outdoors and finished over several days in the studio.

More -

Sunburst.  Outdoor oil painting of sky and sun through clouds

Sunburst 8x10ins.   Oil on Canvas                                                                          190

Dawn Seascape 850x625

Dawn Seascape 5th March  30x40cms. (Appox. 12x`16ins.)   Oil on Canvas                  450

Oil study of the dawn rising through thin low cloud from Broughty Ferry Beach on a fine, still morning.

Click to enlarge

Late Evening, small oil painting, outdoor oil study

Late Evening 4    8x10ins   Oil on Canvas                                                                 Sold

Opaque oil colours over an initial underpainting roughed out with brushes on the spot...


Landscape painting - Landscape from Barry Hill

Landscape from Barry Hill  8x10ins.   Oil on Canvas                                                Sold

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                                                                 175

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

Click to enlarge

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

Click to enlarge

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.....”


Sky over the Tay-850x675

Sky over the Tay - 8x10ins.    Oil on Canvas                                                            175

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

Click images to enlarge

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

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.  

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.

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

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