My failed attempt at a painting in the style of Gary Long.


Next I tried my own painting hoping some of the colour harmonies and paint handling I had previously  emulated had stuck. I tend to enjoy pushing large globs of paint around any way so that wasn’t a problem. The beautiful sumptuous harmonising singing colour that Long achieves time and again was sadly amiss n my own attempt. 😦

Even though I put a lot of thought it to getting the colours right I managed to get it so wrong. Here is how I looked into colour combinations used by Gary Long and tried to identify some pleasing ones from the reference photo I wanted to use. This photo is one from hundreds I took on a lovely walking holiday round the West Cornish coastal path I went on last year. I have enough reference material in this each that if I used nothing but these pics for reference the rest of my life I would not run out of different images!

colour-relationshipsSadly once I started on the painting I ignored this research and thought I could instinctively get the colours to work.


Under drawing. So far so good..


Under painting – All ready not working..

One thing I like here is the dark purple works well for the shadow side of the cliffs. I think maybe it’s the green that troughs it off balance? The green and the orange don’t seem to get on and it looks dreary against the purple. I used the orange as an under tone for the fore ground as it is supposed to complement the turquoise.  They actually seem to compete. Long often uses a tiny splash of red-orange which makes a statement against the turquoise’s / green-blues. Maybe this orange is too orange not red enough. May be there is to much of it. I did interned to paint over most of it with another hue.


This is as far as I got with it. Somehow the sky seems to bright and altogether I don’t think it works. In the end I added a load of cool lilac to the hills as it was even more clashing with predominately yellow green head land. This seemed to work a bit. I may return to it and finish off the for ground adding the flowers and sorting out the orange green section fore ground left. I don;t think this one will ever be a triumph so maybe I won’t waist time finishing it. Just chalk it up to experience and a lessons in how not to approach a painting. Next painting I Think I will mix the paints and make a colour study or two to see what works and what does not.

Also although I lie the composition as a photograph as a painting I find it quite dull and lacking. I think I should have made the sky moodier ala Long. It’s a bit chocolate box like. The turquoise is to bright a sickly. Maybe because there is so much of it?

Oh well back to the drawing for now..


About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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