Monday, 30 January 2012

Painting the 'Stone Fridge'

Over the last  month I have been working on a water colour painting of a building I came across on the Dunbar festive 10km run. The building is located at Hedderwick Hill farm stables near the John Muir Country Park.
On a cold day in early January, Harvey and I took a walk through the countryside with the purpose of taking some photos of the building. We came back with quite a collection from all angles around 'the fridge.' This is what it looks like.
There are a few things that attract me about this building. I like the fact that it is old and is made of red sandstone. I also like its very unusual shape and the fact that it has moss growing on the roof and creepers covering one side of it.
The other buildings around it and the woods across the track give it a truly rustic feel.

On the way back from my first trip, I stopped off  in a cafe and a fellow customer assured me it had been used for keeping horses to grind flour. My second visit to 'the fridge' with Harvey was also pretty cold, but on that occasion, I not only made a sketch of the building, but also knocked on the neighbouring cottage door. I was told that in the past the building was in used a fridge, at a time when the farm had cattle. The inside is lined with slates and keeps cool in the summer. This is the sketch.
Before I got started on the  painting, I did a small, quick painting to work out some of the challenges I would have on the larger painting.
So when I started I had a bit of material to work with as you can see above.
The painting is 19 x 15.5" or 48 x 39.5 cms.
The first task was to draw the outline on of 'the fridge' and surrounding buildings and countryside. At this point I painted in masking fluid onto the building stonework and chimney.
I painted in a graduated sky and then the roof of 'the fridge' and surrounding buildings. I used Paynes grey for the roof with some hooker green for the moss. The sky is cobalt blue and cadmium yellow.

I experimented with mixture of alizarin  crimson and cadmium orange for the red Dunbar stonework. The creepers were painted in a mixture of paynes grey and burnt umber. The windows were mostly in paynes grey with the left hand window also having some cercilean blue at the bottom.
 The far door has a bit of one of my favourite colours, yellow orchre.
Next I painted in the background trees, followed by the nearer trees on the right. I filled in the track and worked on the grass verges and the abundant drop of leaves. I considered putting in some people walking in the distance, but decided to leave them out.
The next stage is to make a mount and a frame for this painting. I may also get in printed.


  1. Hi,Ray,
    Your work gets brighter and more colourful. I like your colour use!!

  2. Thanks Sadami
    I took the colour from going out to look at the building. It is made of red sandstone which has a lovely colour and texture.

    Love Ray