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  • Writer's pictureNick Pike

Summer en plein air landscape painting in Painswick with a Van Gogh style..

It's been quite a while since I'd painted en plein air. For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to do so on the hottest day of the year.. I prepared perhaps a bit too well, with a brand new art bag full to the brim with everything I'd need. It was so heavy I forgot to pout for the mirror selfie 😉

When choosing somewhere to paint, I find it's best to already have a place in mind. I walked to an idyllic setting I'd earmarked last year in Holcombe, Painswick, to set up my easel. I used a precut mount to focus on the part of landscape I found most interesting.

I always use a static palette board and don't hold it in my hand like your typical artist. Not really having anywhere to affix one, I decided to squeeze the tubes of paint directly onto the canvas board. The whole process was quite messy but by using palette knives, the clean-up after was much easier, also allowing for some great textures to form.

After a while I began to wonder how I felt the painting was going, then I took the 'Van Gogh test'.. Generally if it occurs to me that a painting starts to resemble the work of this great painter, it's always a good thing!

All that was left to do was to pack up everything, walk back home uphill, collapse on the sofa, wait until the the painting had dried somewhat and proceed to remove the dozen tiny flies that had flown onto the picture, with a pair of tweezers. You don't read about this less inspiring but necessary process in Vincent's letters to Theo...

'Painswick En Plein Air', oil on canvas board (42 x 34cm) is now framed and available to purchase from my studio or online at


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