Small outdoor landscapes on sale

outdoor painting-philippa Robert-whitewater bridge-2017

Small outdoor landscapes to love are in the spotlight for you until mid-July. They offer little patches of colour and light to make your space sparkle. Have you seen these glimpses of Adelaide and summer-time in England?

My home “curator” has hung a line of them on our salon-hung living room wall and they look really dense and lively with colour and contrasts.

Small outdoor landscapes-Outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-whitewater bridge-2017-framed

This one “Whitewater Hotel, Newby Bridge” is one of my favourites. The dark tones are in ultramarine and prussian blues which I still feel drawn to. I was inspired by the lovely contrast between the local whitewashed buildings and the greenery.

It is neat and petite, 12.5×17.5cm without the frame but really packs a punch. Full-priced at $150, Whitewater Hotel, Newby Bridge is on sale now for 10% off – just $135.

To paint this work I stood on a footpath near the bridge edged with the dry-stone wall. The road was quite busy at the time as people were off to work on this early summer morning. I met the breakfast chef as he arrived cheerfully for duty (on foot). After a couple of hours work I returned to our cottage for a breakfast cooked by Martin, our host and chef. What a nice start to the day before our cruise on Lake Windermere.

Have you visited the Lakes District?

Elements of Painting

landscapes-2016-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Pines and vines, McLaren Vale

Three elements of painting

These three landscapes seem to group together for a number of reasons. Together they show some of my favourite elements of painting.

Painting Elements: 1 Structure

Architecture can add structure to a painting, but not automatically. It needs to be integrated into the composition.  In this Walkerville landscape the white partitions of the building make a strong skeletal underlay for the foliage. If you look really closely that skeleton is loosely echoed in the stretch of fluorescent plastic “danger” fencing.

more landscapes-from Linear Park, Walkerville-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia
From Linear Park, Walkerville

Painting Elements: 2 Rhythm

more landscapes-outdoor painting-PhilippaRobert-Adelaide South Australia-Berry farm Piccadilly Valley
Berry farm, Piccadilly Valley

Piccadilly Valley is one of my favourite painting destinations at any time of year, but it has a special attraction in autumn. I guessed that this was a berry farm because of the different shades of colour on the vines or bushes. The rhythm of farmlands and market gardens are always interesting to me. Patterns appear and disappear and help define the landscape.

Painting Elements: 3 Simplicity

more landscapes-2016-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Pines and vines, McLaren Vale
Vines and Pines, MacLaren Vale

This painting is a simple one, and that is its strength.

In painting, simplicity can come about through choice of subject. Usually however it takes more than that. The essence of simplicity in painting is leaving things out so that the focus can be more easily perceived. So it is about omission, exclusion and ignoring what doesn’t help the composition. As a painter who can be distracted by all sorts of visual delights I have to work at this!

So, structure, simplicity and rhythm.

Structure is easily captured with a crisp architectural subject but is highlighted here by contrast with colour and softness in “From Linear Park, Walkerville.” The rhythms of the rows of vines down the hillside in “Berry farm, Piccadilly Valley” and the pines marching over the hill in “Vines and Pines” are pleasing to the eye.

Viewing a painting can be a bit intimidating. But when I find rhythms they offer a form of visual comfort somehow. Repetition and patterns also make pictures easier for me to enjoy. So perhaps it’s no wonder that I try to include them!

What do you think about rhythms and repetition in painting?


Travel Tips for outdoor painters – Part 2

travel tips-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-baking paper

In Part 2 of Travel Tips for outdoor painters, I will share a couple of ideas that apply at home as well as abroad.

travel tips-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-baking paper
Baking paper


Baking paper is sometimes called “parchment” in the UK. It is also available with a foil backing so it can be confusing unless you have a local guide. Home Brand parchment is very reasonably priced in the UK. This paper is as useful in the studio as it is in the kitchen! Its chief advantage for acrylics is that it can protect and separate surfaces without sticking or damage. The paint must be dry of course.

travel tips-outdoor painting-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-sealable pots
Sealable pots for medium

Sealable pots

To carry small amounts of your “favourite” colours or medium, try the plastic containers for salad dressing made by Decor. They have snap-on lids which seal well. It helps to use a little bit of blu-tack to settle the pot into place when it is open, as well as a dob to stick the lid nearby. The only catch is to remember to recap the pot before you fold up your kit!

More tips coming soon. You might be familiar with the ones I have given so far. If not, great! Otherwise I trust you will find a gem as the series goes on.



Moonlight Mystery – landscape feature


Moonlight Mystery

Moonlight Mystery-landscapes-outdoor painting-Adelaide South Australia-Philippa Robert
Moonlight Mystery; acrylic on canvas, 25x30cm, $AUD430

The featured landscape today is “Moonlight Mystery”. This is a painting with a history.

One sunny day on the other side of town (the leafy side) I was painting a very large pine tree and its shade pattern. It was an exercise in grass greens and shadowy blues. The work was developing as a fairly abstract piece with not much detail in the background.

I was on the outer edge of the park because I needed to leave early for a funeral service, so I chose this composition quickly.

Leaving early meant that the painting was about half-way along. I put it aside for a year or so and when it re-emerged, it was difficult to complete in the studio in its daylight format.

When it came back out into the light and onto the easel again, the shadows deepened and the light cooled. It had to be Moonlight!

“Moonlight Mystery” is acrylic on stretched canvas, framed in black wood. It is selling at $430, with a special offer for subscribers at $390. Subscribe below and buy now to make the discount yours!