'Dunrobin Castle'

'Dunrobin Castle'

Apologies for the poor photo, it's a little fuzzy.

There must be something in the air. I've just posted my first attempt at a building -in my case I've not done very well on the foliage. I actually think yours is very effective -what a wonderful Castle this is.

What on earth is wrong with it?? I think the light on the castle is exactly the light you get when a storm is brewing so you have captured that really well. I like the indistinctness of the castle and trees as well. I think you are being too hard on yourself - perhaps step away from the painting for a while and come back with new eyes and you will see that it works.

Do you think we may have started a trend Carol? Thank you for your comment, it is a lovely place and it stands just a short distance from the sea on the East coast of Scotland.

There are many ways to do buildings - very tight and detailed, and if you're going to that you need to devote a lot of time to it (or most of us do); or blocky and basic - which is often just as effective if not more so. I like the contrast here between the sunlit castle, and the foreboding sky. And it's not "awful": Thea's right; put it out of sight for a few days, then you'll be able to judge it more objectively. Oil can be just the medium for quite detailed work on buildings, but you do need to do it in stages: let it dry; build up the layers; it's not so very unlike actually putting a real building together... The colour's great - of course you could improve on it; you still can. But you're learning with oils, and a lot of us would have been very happy with this when we were beginning to tackle them. Foliage suits the painting - generally it is better not to use trees as a very obvious framing device, ie one on each side, but you've varied the size, which was important to do. I like it. If you want to really loosen up and relax, try painting one of the several candidates for the role of Castle Dracula - you can exaggerate and dramatize then to your heart's content, and would probably learn quite a lot from the process. And finally - yes, be your own sternest critic: but not your own worst enemy! I clicked on this thumb-nail before I'd registered your name on it, because I liked the look of it. Take heart, Fiona me duck .... you've done well!

Not awful at all Fiona. I think it's rather good and that's why I'm commenting! I like the light shining on the castle and always prefer this type of painting to the more detailed, accurate works. I agree with Robert about the positioning of the trees but the castle is good!

Thea, I've even tried looking at it from the next room.......and I must admit there is a slight improvement.Lol! I'm thankful that at least my idea of it being 'indistinct' has come over to the viewer. I wanted it to be a bit vague in detail and yes, a stormy sky but sunshine on the castle.

Really interesting painting Fiona and it's not awful. The palette is pleasing and I like the light/shade on the building. Maybe the castle a bit too much "in the centre", but I fiddle about with composition all the time, never get it right as I break all the rules and don't plan enough in advance. Actually, I prefer the painting of the castle rather than the trees. Paint it again, and you'll see a lovely painting.

When I saw the thumbnail of this, I thought it was by a different Fiona! i agree with the other comments - it's not awful at all! The castle stands out as it should and the lighting of it works well, take heart and try to thnk positive thoughts!

Thank you Robert for your imput, I hoped you might see it and offer me any advise/criticism. I quite like your idea of 'Castle Dracula', I'll have to have a look and see what I can find to base it on. Thanks again Robert, very much appreciated. PS. I've got another oil ready to be photographed, so don't go anywhere!Lol.

Thank you Louise, Pat, Stephen you've each made me aware of what might not be too bad about the painting. The one common point you have all made is the light, which is what I was trying to capture. Thanks again.

Lovely painting Fiona, love the palette colour

this is totally awesome! and reminds me of the chateau in Picardy) France used for the series 'Merlin' on BBC1 :-) this is really great Fiona :-) i think one of my favourites you have painted so far :-)

oh my goodness and it was in OIL :-o this is even more fabulous :-p

Thank you Petra; I used naples yellow, raw sienna and yellow ochre mixed with varying quantities of white for the castle.

Rebecca thank you, you are very kind and generous. I'm looking forward to the next series of 'Merlin' in the Autumn......are you? Did you read Roberts comments and his idea about doing something on the lines of 'Castle Dracula', we could really let our imagination run riot....fancy a go? You should have no problems with your wonderful imagination. If not 'Castle Dracula' how about a 'fairytale' castle, with banners and flags, like 'Camelot'.

:-) now this is a fabulous idea...........Dracula is a scarey guy, but i could have a go at castles, :-) i have tried in the past, but they came out unrealistic, not a patch on yours :-) i can't believe its oil paint! :-p this is food for thought :-) thank you, i think we could have fun with this :-)

Forgot to say, yes i love the Merlin series but its too late when it comes on for me in France it is an hour later and yes to all of you 9pm is maybe not late but i am totally exhausted by then due to painting all day :-p so i am asleep by then :-p i am sick to death of Strictly come dancing getting in the way too :-) if they got rid of it or swappoed it around it would be better :-) aparently now king uther is out, the programme is a bit off? i cant think so :-p

You are certainly braver than me to try buildings and a good result too. Well done.

It's most definitely not awful. You've caught the sunlight on the castle perfectly and made such a good job of those dreaded greens. The sun caught the castle amongst the trees and also lit up the golden fields in front of it one day when we were going from Brora to Golspie. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera to hand and it was too dangerous to stop quickly,so misssed the chance as the sun didn't seem to want to oblige us again:(

Thank you ladies, much appreciated.

I like it, Fiona, so I'm going to ignore your "no comment" request, as has everyone else, I see! It has an immediacy about it that's very appealing, and I rather like the cheerful ochre of the castle standing out against the foreboding background, it adds a lot of drama and tension to the painting.

Hang on Studio Wall

I know, it's awful isn't it!! This is an example of exactly why I DON'T do buildings.......please, no comments, I've posted for Robert to give me some tips. I like the greenery but that's all! Artisan oils on board.

About the Artist
Fiona Phipps

Galloway, Scotland.

View full profile
More by Fiona Phipps