Lake District Sunset Painting by Heidi Piercy

Lake District Sunset Painting

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I have spent many happy times in the Lake District and I painted this to remind me of this beautiful part of the world. I decided to paint the picturesque view looking out across Lake Windermere, towards Langdale. Not only do I think this view is simply stunning, but I also went to university just up the road from here at St. Martin’s College in Ambleside, so this place means a lot to me. I have a feeling of contented calm every time I sit and look out over this lake and I hope I have captured a little bit of this in my painting.

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I used acrylic paints to do the majority of this picture and a tiny bit of gouache to do some of the last little highlights in the sky so I could get some of the brighter yellows that I needed. Before doing this painting, I don’t think I had ever really painted with acrylics, and was definitely much more comfortable with gouache, but when I tried to paint onto this canvas in gouache it just didn’t stick to it and dripped off. That’s why I had to try acrylics, as they are a lot more permanent and hard wearing. This was a pretty steep learning curve for me and I know I still paint with a very similar style than I used to (just a bit quicker), but I nearly always use acrylic for bigger paintings now and I love them.

This picture was actually the first large canvas I’d ever painted. I used to get so bogged down with doing the fine details in a piece of artwork, so it was quite therapeutic to allow myself to relax and slosh the paint on a bit more freely. With such a big canvas (120cm x 40cm) I actually used a brush designed for wall painting to do the wash for the sky and the water. They were much bigger than my other art brushes and specifically designed to hold a lot of paint. Does anyone else do this?! I’m sure there are lots of other bigger artists brushes that would be just as good, but we had just finished painting one of the rooms in our house so I just used what I had available at the time.

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