Paintings of Doolin

Living between Lisdoonvarna and Doolin and on the edge of the Burren I have an amazing amount of inspiration for making paintings on my doorstep, or you might say in my back garden, and my front garden for that matter as I can see the Cliffs of Moher from there.

Paintings of Doolin.

I have made numerous paintings of Doolin, I have no idea how many but each time I visit, and that is almost every day, I see new light or a new angle on a well known scene which I just have to paint again.
When I am making a painting of Doolin I am always looking to create that special energy which emerges from the Atlantic ocean and connects to the rugged landscape. The sea spray that hits the rock face with thunderous power is often what I am hoping to portray in a painting of Doolin.
There are special areas in Doolin where this can be studied, and transferred onto canvas.

How I work.

I love to paint en plein air when I am making a painting of Doolin. Nothing compares to being on site when painting and getting up close and personal to the subject.
If the weather is good I pack the car with my gear { there is always a smell of oil paint in my car!!] and head off. Usually I have a good look around at the light and the sea and find the most interesting scene for the day. There is so much to choose from here as we have the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran islands on the horizon, as well as the edge of the Burren. So decisions have to be made as to what to include and what to leave out.
I set up the easel canvas and paints and start to work. Usually I use a fairly thick consistency paint when I am painting outdoors and big brushes.
There is fun here lathering on the paint without much detail , I’m just getting the shapes at this stage and try to cover the canvas quickly.
I’m usually governed by the light outdoors as it changes so quickly, especially if I am making a painting of Doolin , or indeed any where along the West coast of Ireland.
That much done I stand back and study progress. It is important to stand back every so often and take stock as the work can be seen more clearly from a few feet back. This lends it itself to the odd bar of chocolate !!

Next stages of paintings of Doolin.

I usually start adding detail now, this can be done with smaller brushes and a palette knife. I’m usually working on lighter colour layers now.The light in the sky can be accentuated against the dark , the line of the horizon can be profiled, the middle distance can be worked up and then the most challenging area is the foreground. When making a painting of Doolin the foreground gets a lot of attention to detail, but I still try to keep the painting loose especially when I am painting outdoors.

Wave detail of painting of Doolin

Finishing paintings of Doolin.

This process usually takes a couple of hours and that is usually enough time
spent painting outdoors in the West of Ireland, unless the weather is very calm and mild.
I head back to the studio then and the painting is usually finished after a couple of days, there is a layer of highlighting to be done and touching up here and there. I like to let a painting settle for a couple of days as sometimes a painting can look quite different in the studio to what it did outdoors.

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