It’s not often I have a landscape to work on that doesn’t have a focal animal or person in it so it was a lovely commission to get in my book. Ireland is known for it’s beautiful scenery and I’ve yet to visit a country that wows me more than the coastline all the way around our beautiful island.

This piece is set in Greencastle, Co Donegal. You can see Shrove lighthouse there in the little bay. The couple who the painting is for have special connections to this place and it was even where they got engaged. I hope this piece will be a lasting memory of that time and the many happy times they have experienced there.

This week we are also travelling South from Germany down to Spain. We have taken as direct a route as possible through France. A long Spring and Summer in the North means we are craving some sunshine, although as I write this it’s our first evening back in Spain and it’s bucketing out of the heavens!

Hope you enjoy my progress on this and a little of our journey through France on our way to Spain.

The finished piece 22” x 16” soft pastel on velour.

In my first bit of progress you can see the photo reference I’m working from. I tend to paint a lot of sunsets and dramatic skies, but sometimes Ireland doesn’t need all that to look pretty. A grey sky can really make those Irish greens sing out!

Working from the background to the foreground as always, there isn’t really a lot of detail in that distant land, just some loose marks to suggest life over there.

I start to work my way around the bay. Everything is very fiddly but I want each little house to look accurate. It will be typical of Ireland that if I put a hedge in the wrong place, someone who knows someone who lives there will notice!
So I methodically neaten each little house with tiny shards of pastel and a little pastel pencil to suggest windows etc.

This past week my Brocci has been a little under the weather. We visited a French vet who said she had a bacterial infection common for this time of year. So while she was unable to go for long rambles, I happily painted the week away while she slept beside me.

I did manage a couple of excursions to explore our surrounding area. This is the pretty French town of Lunas. It’s a climb for the motorhome to get up here but well worth it!

The free stopover in the town is in a superb location right next to a fresh river flowing down through the mountains. During the heat this day we were glad to have a dip in the river to cool off!

A few more pictures from the town itself. Beautifully quaint and quiet, just how I like my towns!

This Mary must have one of the prettiest views I’ve seen!  She is quite impressive herself standing tall on the cliff above the town.

A random outside piano…I would have had a tinkle but couldn’t figure out how to get to it.

Back to work on my scene, and it’s bliss being surrounded by so much beauty, both real and on my easel!

Gradually I work forward in the composition layering up those pieces of land.

My studio assistant had turned a corner by this stage. Feeling much better but still happy to chill out with me while I work. Here you can see a little of my studio set up at the back of the motorhome. This table moves and swivels and although the area is compact, it’s perfect for even slightly larger work like this.

Finally reaching the foreground grass and those sheep. When I posted up some progress of this earlier in the week, someone actually commented that they knew the owner of these sheep…it’s definitely a small world in Ireland!

There is only so much detail I can add on this scale. The marks are loose but when you view from a distance the colours and forms give the impression of the light hitting their shaggy coats.

Almost there now! Just a lot of texture to add to the grassy area and that’s me!

Here are a couple of little close ups showing some of the details. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching this piece progress and a little of our travels too. I’ll leave you with a picture of a raggedy Brocci feeling all better and having a good roll about outside!For more info on commissioning me please visit my pricing page at http://www.emmacolbertart.com/art-portraits-pricing/
or drop me a line at info@emmacolbertart.com.