I use Michael Harding Oil paint because of the vibrant colour range. The quality of the ground pigments and the right amount of oil means I do not have to add any other medium to the paint to get the buttery consistency I enjoy working with.There are no driers in the paints which is fine as I prefer to add my own although I tend not to add too much as this can lead to problems with drying times when using other mediums such as Linseed Oil, Poppy Oil, Impasto gels, and glazes. I find the whites take the longest to dry especially Titanium White 2 so I very sparingly add 1 part paint to 8 part liquin gel or a quick-drying Michael Harding medium. For mixing with other colours I use Zinc White which dries over two to three days. This drying time is far quicker than other whites in the range which have Linseed Oil in them which slows drying time.
When I am painting a winter landscape my favourite colour is Warm White which I use as an alternative to Lead White. It is a rich warm white with excellent lightfastness which goes in harmony with the other warm colours in my winter palette such as deep purple/dioxazine and transparent yellow oxide it has a low oil content and dries quickly.
As the colour range is so varied I do not have to often mix different colours on the palette. I can squeeze the paint directly from the tube on to the canvas and get to work. This is especially useful when I paint outdoors using large brushes as I can work quickly then add small finishing touches to the painting in the studio.
I used to carry a huge array of equipment when working outdoors but now I have it down to a fine art. I carry an old battered suitcase filled with Michael Harding 40ml & 60ml tubes which are the perfect size for carrying. I now prefer to only use the larger 225ml tubes in the studio.
The finished paintings below are examples of colour palettes that I use when painting the different seasons of the year. I have listed the main colours that were used in each painting.
Spring Colours – The palette I have used for Spring Colour in the Glen
Bright yellow lake, Aureolin, Indian Yellow, Italian Brown, Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow, Raw Umber, Kings Blue Light.
Summer Colours – The Palette I have used for Boatbuilders Croft, Scarista, Harris
Cerulean Blue, Kings Blue Light, Kings Blue Deep, Ultramarine, Phthalocyanine Blue Lake, Brilliant Pink, Emerald Green, Terre Verte, Cobalt Turquoise, Cadmium Red Deep, Rose Madder, Viridian.
Autumn Colours – The palette I have used for Marvig Lewis
French Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow, Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Naples Yellow, Cadmium Red Light, Indian Yellow, Alizarin Crimson, Red Umber, Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber, Italian Green Umber, Unbleached Titanium Oxide, Warm White
Winter colours – The palette I have used for Woodcutters Shed and Pines, Winter, Cairngorm
Warm White, Zinc White, Titanium White 2, Naples Yellow, Raw Umber, Italian Green Umber, Unbleached Titanium Oxide, Yellow Lake, Indian Yellow, Naples Yellow, Rose Madder, Cadmium Red Deep, Emerald Green, Transparent Oxide Yellow, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Deep Purple/Dioxazine, Ultramarine Blue, Brilliant Pink.
About the artist
“David Smith is a Scottish contemporary artist whose work is steeped in the plein air tradition. His distinctive landscapes of the western seaboard and Highlands and Islands of Scotland are widely collected in the UK and abroad. As an outdoorsman, his work reflects his other passions for hillwalking, mountaineering and sailing.”
Born in 1957, David Smith is a Scottish contemporary landscape artist. The palette and inspiration for his work is taken from the seaboard and landscape of Scotland. Although predominantly a self-taught artist, he has studied at various colleges including the Glasgow Print Studio, Glasgow College of Building and Printing, Glasgow School of Art and Latrobe University, Melbourne, Australia.
A past member and President of The Glasgow Group of Artists, he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 2011. He was elected member of RSW council in 2013. Smith has shown at The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (RGI), The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW), The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) and The Paisley Art Institute (PAI) annual exhibitions and has won various prestigious awards. In 2016 he became an Elected Member of the Council for the Scottish Artist’s Benevolent Association.
His work is found in private, corporate and public collections throughout the UK and abroad.