Garden Painting in oils

Melanie Cambridge

When Melanie gives painting demonstrations, she usually works from sketches she has made. This time she brought a number of photographs to show that even uninspiring photos can be used to good effect. The audience was given a choice and selected an allotment theme. The photographs used are shown below.

Melanie took the gardener from one photo and the shed from another as the basis of a composiiton, which she sketched in using charcoal on a primed board with a pale green wash already applied.


Background darks blocked in first

Distant hills and sky added, followed by a shed and water butt

The figure was added, wearing a red jacket to add interest to the focal point of the picture.

As it was near Halloween, some large pumpkins were added to give a seasonal touch, as well as some cabbages..

The bean poles next to the shed were added as was the earth and path.

More vegetables were added, the beans developed, and the pumpkins given form.

Melanie wearing her smock of many colours.

The finished demonstration mounted in a frame.

By painting the focal point of the picture i.e. the gardener in more detail than the loosely painted surroundings, the eye is automatically drawn towards the focus.