Angus Grant Art

Paddling, Painting, Printing

Everything that goes into an Angus Grant painting


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What’s in a painting?

I’m painting towards a new exhibition in the summer (more about that exciting news soon!) and I’ve been thinking about all the different elements that contribute to each piece.

It’s always nice to start new work and as a bit of a distraction, I thought it would be interesting to show you some of the things that I use when I’m working. It was fun to have a go at a flatlay – playing Tetris was not a waste of time!

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1 Canvas – This is stretched linen, a bit fancier than canvas. Not out of the shiny plastic wrap yet.

2 Shirt sleeve – This is my painting shirt and I always clean my brushes on my left arm. It used to be my outdoor shirt but they all turn into painting shirts eventually.

3 Sketchbook – essential for my ideas and notes. This one is about fishing but I’ve got a few on the go, and loads of filled ones in a box under the bed.

4 Pastels – These are great for underpainting and sketching. I usually sketch out the painting first with pastel and use white paint to fix the colours.

5 Pencils – for sketching in my sketchbook. Don’t use them so much on the canvas.

6 Airbrush and acrylic ink and Indian ink – I use the airbrush for lots of different things, including fluffy clouds and applying thin transparent “glazes”. It is really useful for layering colour.

7 Whizzer – for mixing up the acrylic ink to make it smooth enough to use in the airbrush.

8 Brushes – you need a varied range for the different tasks in landscape painting. The wide ones, like the Skyflow brush, are brilliant for blending big blue skies. The fan brush is great for painting grass and trees. And the thin one are vital for all the wee details.

9 Acrylic paints – these are lovely acrylics by Vallejo. I like them because they are highly pigmented. And they smell good enough to eat!

10 Plate – I use this for mixing my paint. This one is well-used.

11 Sponge – for stippling and applying texture to trees and shrubs. I also use old brushes for this.

12 Toothbrush – useful for flicking paint to create flowers, water spray and bubbles.

13 Palette knife – for flicking bigger dollops of paint.

14 Masking tape – always useful when you need a crisp straight line.

15 Water pot – for cleaning the brushes.

16 Frame – the final piece of the jigsaw. I often make the frames before I think I’ve finished. Sometimes you can’t tell if it’s done until it’s framed.

17 Varnish – this is good quality artists’ UV varnish to keep the painting safe.

18 Headphones – I like to listen to audiobooks when I paint. It’s nice to have something to occupy my ears while I work. My Audible account is full of stories and will testify to how much painting I have done!

19 Coffee mug – an Angus Grant Art one of course! And it’s always many more than one mug of coffee per painting.

Pretty sure I’ve forgotten something…

 

 

Airbrushing workshop. Photo by James Gordon


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A weekend of landscape painting

I had a busy but super fun weekend in Tomatin and Boat of Garten teaching some lovely people how to paint misty landscapes.

Luckily the weather was bright enough for a spot of outdoor painting too.

We used acrylics to build up the different layers of the scene – from sky to mountain to trees to loch – then picked up the airbrush to create clouds and mist and add to a sense of depth, or atmospheric perspective, if you want the arty word.

Everyone did really well. It was great to see people having fun while learning a new technique. I loved seeing the results. All the finished paintings looked brilliant.

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Many thanks to Art in Strathdearn and the 1896 Gallery in Boat of Garten for asking me along. And best of luck to the latter, which is now open again and looking great after a wee refurbishment. And finally thanks to James Gordon at the 1896 Gallery for taking photos on Sunday.

Metallic Morlich painting by Angus Grant, Loch Morlich painting


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Landscapes are a skoosh

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to paint a landscape, now is your chance.

As part of the grand re-opening of the 1896 Gallery in Boat of Garten. I’ll be teaching a wee workshop there at the end of March.

‘Landscapes are a skoosh’ will cover basic acrylic techniques to build up the layers of a scene in order to create a beautiful painting. I’ll also show you how to use an airbrush and get you spraying paint on the canvas in no time.

It’s a one day session on March 31 – that’s all the time you’ll need. The workshop costs £75 and includes materials, a light lunch and refreshments. But spaces are limited, so booking is essential. Contact info@1896gallery.com to reserve your space.

Loch an Eilein by Angus Grant


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Three commissions

I’ve been taking a break from painting over Christmas but wanted to share my most recent commissions with you.

First up is this colourful picture of Grantown East, the new visitor centre created in a dilapidated railway station on the outskirts of the town. After years of hard graft to get the place up and running, Karen Blessington and Dave Garman wanted a view of the finished site.

Grantown East by Angus Grant

If you’ve visited, you’ll know how beautiful it is. The railway carriages house a restaurant selling excellent pizza, while the old station has been lovingly refurbished to become a shop and visitor centre. It was great to be able to show the place in its new glory.

My second commission was also railway-related: a view from Lagyie on the A95 whisky road, looking towards the Strathspey Railway and beyond to the Cairngorms.

Lagyie by Angus Grant

It’s a really stunning view and I enjoyed painting the steam engine and its carriages.

Finally, I was asked to paint Loch an Eilein for a present.

Loch an Eilein by Angus Grant

I haven’t done this scene for a while so it was good to return to it: it’s such a popular and beautiful place. I’m delighted with how it turned out, particularly the castle.

Happy New Year when it comes and here’s to lots of new painting challenges in 2019!

Landscape painting upside down, Angus Grant


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Painting upside down

I’m still working away on my fishy pictures. Now that I’ve laid down the main colours, I’m starting on the details – the trees, mountains, water, rocks and fish (of course). This is the hard work of the painting and I’ll take my time to get it just right.

…Which leads me to a wee tip to help you. If after a while you decide to repaint the sky, turn your canvas upside down to prevent pesky blue drips ruining the lower part of your work.

As you can see in the picture below, I repainted the sky on this view of Loch Morlich after I painted in lots of detail in the foreground. Skies are easy to redo (more on those another time) but imagine how annoying it would be to see my lovely mountains and salmon ruined.

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Avielochan by Angus Grant Art, Cairngorms National Park


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Colourful Cairngorms 

Newly added to my online shop – paintings from the series inspired by vintage railway posters. Now it’s easy to have a look at the work and buy online (with free shipping!).

Working on getting other galleries sorted, including some fishy pictures.

Veil of Water by Angus Grant


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A wee preview

With a packed summer of exhibitions and craft fairs about to start, I’ve been busy preparing my work. Painting, framing, printing mugs and packaging up greetings cards, along with lots of other little tasks that come along with these events.

Got some new paintings framed for the various shows I’m involved in (See Exhibitions page and Events and Workshops page for more details of where I’ll be). A couple of classic fish portraits and a favourite view of Loch Morlich, looking up to the Cairngorms.

There’s a few more in the pipeline, which I’ll try and share when they’re done!

 

Avielochan by Angus Grant Art, Cairngorms National Park


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New paintings: Loch Vaa and Avielochan

Here’s a couple of new colourful pictures I’ve just completed. One’s a different view of Avielochan and the other is Loch Vaa, where I’ve spent many a day trying to catch trout in past years.

They’re both now on sale at High St Merchants in Grantown.

There are also some new pine prints on the way. Will let you know when they arrive.

Otherwise, I’m working away on new pictures just now – new simple landscapes and fishy portraits. Will post some pictures when they’re done.

 

 

Loch Alvie by Angus Grant


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Keep it simple, Strathspey

Finally finished these pictures. I’m beginning to feel more comfortable working in this new style and managing to resist the voice in my head calling “ADD MORE STUFF”!


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Glenmore’s gem

The Green Loch, just a short walk up the road from the outdoor centre, up towards Ryvoan Bothy. The water’s crystal clear but has a wee green tinge, whatever the weather. A magical place, Sparky loves swimming in it.

The Green Loch, Angus Grant Art

The Green Loch, Glenmore