It’s been nostalgic working on a few painting commissions which I want to share in more detail here. A view from my childhood, we visited our friends cottage almost every summer at Lorimer Lake, Ontario. My mum would grab an inner tube, and swim across to the little island and back, while we kids would push each other off the dock and into the water.
Before I share more about the work… I’ve have shifted my social media habits and am sharing my work and process on a more regular basis via Instagram. So if you would like to see artwork in its raw state, time-lapse reels of paintings in progress, and have first access to my available collections of paintings, follow me on Instagram : @heather_castles_illustration
morning on lorimer lake
I painted this rustic study while travelling on a canvas primed with extra cast off paint from previous projects, which adds a wonderful textured feel to it. Using a makeshift cardboard box easel at the end of the kitchen counter, this one is a nice example of making the most of my limited surroundings and materials… as en plein air as you can get painting in someone else’s kitchen! You can watch the reel on Instagram here.
PETITE Winter on lorimer lake
Changing seasons, I had a special request for a winter painting of the same view. Having only visited in the summer, and with no photo reference, it was a challenge to capture what it could look like! This is where my illustration skills came in handy… I used summer photographs to establish the landscape and structure of the trees, and then studied photographs I took up North in winter to learn how the snow and ice would sit on trees, rocks, and the broken edge of the ice on water. This little study was my rough copy, in preparation for the larger piece.
Winter on lorimer lake
The finished piece was much larger, so I had a lot of room to put in the detail I wanted into the ice and snow. I imagined how the fallen snow would rest on the branches, keeping in mind that the highest trees would be more windblown and have less snow. Considering the ice and where the black water runs freely, and how to handle the bits of snow and ice in that bit between the frozen lake and running water. Noticing how the frost turns blades of grass white. Winter is such a beautiful season! (The full length video of it coming together is now up on my channel on Youtube.)
Have you ever looked at a lake and wondered why the bottom six feet of trees look a darker and in shadow because the branches are gone? It’s because in the dead of winter, when the ice is frozen and food is scarce, deer stand on the ice and eat the branches as far up as they can reach. Sometimes in winter, animals cross the lake to the islands, and then get stuck there if the ice thaws before they return to mainland!
watch the time-lapse on youtube
reclaimed wood frame
If you hadn’t noticed before, scroll up and check out the custom made floating frame for the finished painting. Made from reclaimed Ontario barn boards, I just love how the old nails and weathered texture of the wood complement the painting.