During 2014 I did a lot of paintings around Oita castle. I should add that there is no actual castle remaining. There is though a moat and some beautiful castle walls. There is also a garden within the castle grounds. And these are all in good condition.
The painting above shows one of my favorite views around the castle. It is a busy street next to the castle wall. In this painting you can’t see the road on the left because of the bushes and trees. On the right is a concrete and steel fence. On the other side of this fence, but you can’t see in this painting, is the moat.
And next to the moat is the castle wall. You can see the guard tower on the corner of the castle wall.
I have to confess that at first I didn’t like the concrete and steel fence. It is a big and blocky structure and I thought it extremely ugly.
However, I noticed that by viewing it from a sharp angle it creates a beautiful pattern that leads the eye of the viewer into the painting. They have since removed this fence and put up a very thin metal one.
I should also add that the people at city hall decided to put up a 2d image of the main castle building with scaffolding and lights. They probably wish to reconstruct the main castle building but don’t have the finances so this is their alternative solution. I don’t think anybody is very impressed. But it is interesting to look at when it is illuminated at night. It makes you laugh. So maybe it’s not so bad.
The painting above is my favorite one from this viewpoint. I love the contrast of orange and green in the top left hand corner of this painting and how I got them so close together. I also like the long dramatic evening shadows.
Here are some more paintings from this viewpoint. They are very dramatic and moody evening scenes and I am delighted with them. In these paintings I chose a portrait format. This long vertical format emphasizes the strong verticals in the image such as the tall buildings and the long evening shadows as well as the near vertical lines of the moat wall and the greenery next to the road.
I particularly like the extremely long shadows of the figures in these paintings.
The following paintings are of the same viewpoint but with a landscape format. They are a little tamer, perhaps normal would be a better word, than the previous paintings. However, I still think they are quite nice paintings.
I like the foliage in this painting and the warm, relaxing mood.
In this painting, the big and blocky fence makes an interesting pattern. It also helps to give a wonderful contrast of light against the dark castle wall.
This painting captures something of the beautiful blue sky day when you just really want to get outside and walk. I love how well I have painted the trees in this painting, they seem to have an energy to them.
I’m not sure if this painting is so good. I think I might paint this one again in the future as I think the composition is good but other parts of the painting need improving.
And here is the new viewpoint if you turn and look in the opposite direction. You can see the Cherry blossom trees in the distance. That is around the area which I call the picnic area.
Quiet side street by the castle
This is another street by the castle. The atmosphere here is much more peaceful. And there is a line of beautiful fir trees down the middle of the road. On blue sky summer days, these fir trees cast large shadows across the street. In this painting I wanted to emphasize the beautiful green glow of these trees and the cool purple shadows they cast.
This is the same street but from the opposite side of the road. Although this painting is a little rough I think it has energy. I really like the brilliance of the light in this one. And I think the trees are well done.
Castle moat scenes
I tried to paint a picture that showed mostly the moat. To be honest, the moat didn’t look so beautiful in normal lighting conditions. So I tried to turn this scene into a semi-abstract work with very dramatic evening light. I wanted to imbue the image with a feeling of beauty and mystery.
It was quite a challenge and when I originally painted this picture I thought it was a failure. But now I think this painting is very good.
This second painting is the original painting but cropped into a horizontal format. Sometimes I find it very interesting and fun to crop a picture.
And here is one more painting from this viewpoint.
Viewpoint inside the castle grounds
This is one of my favorite viewpoints from within the castle grounds. I just love the arrangement of shapes here. And luckily this painting turned out particularly well.
And here is another painting from the same viewpoint but this time with a slightly darker and moodier atmosphere. I also like this one.
And here is a more expansive view of the moat.
I perhaps went a little too moody with this one. And, to be honest, I was hesitant about adding this painting because I’m not sure it is completely successful. However, another part of me thinks there is something very special about this painting. I definitely was experimenting when I did this one. I wanted to create a moodier and more abstract image. I did this by having intense light that destroys the clear forms of individual objects. Instead, the individual objects merge together. At least to a certain extent. But I don’t want to go too abstract. I think the final result is quite beautiful and has a feeling of mellow mysteriousness.
I’m also very happy with the rough sparkle effect across the surface of the moat.
Here is another painting from the same viewpoint. Here the light is less intense. And also, this one is cooler. I was also hesitant about adding this one. I eventually decided to add it though because it is interesting. Also, I thought it was a good idea to add it as an interesting comparison with the previous painting. Whether it is a successful painting though, I’m not sure. Perhaps it is a brave step towards a successful painting.
Picnic area by the castle
And this is another one of my favorite viewpoints within the castle grounds.
One of the main reasons I like this area is because there is a bench and so I can sit and paint in relative comfort.
It’s also a place with a good view of people walking past. People are a very fun subject to paint. And I’ve done a lot of paintings from this viewpoint of figures strolling past.
I have to confess though it’s not the most exciting viewpoint. And there is the danger with this scene that the horizontal line of trees acts as a barrier which stops the eye from going further into the painting.
All those trees by the way are Cherry trees. And I have done many paintings in Spring of the Cherry blossom from this viewpoint.
I am very happy with this painting. I like my attempt to capture the appearance of the Cherry blossom at late evening time with the sun being low in the sky and with the Cherry blossom trees casting long shadows across this wide area.
I also like that this painting tells a story. Here we have a father who is meeting his wife and son by the Cherry blossom trees after a busy day’s work.
Japanese people are crazy about the Cherry blossoms. And during this season many people come to this area to have picnics and barbecues whilst looking at the Cherry blossoms.
I like the light and delicacy of this particular painting.
From this viewpoint you can see the castle guard tower on the corner but behind it you can see the surrounding modern buildings. I like to paint this contrast between the old and the new.
Here is another painting from the same viewpoint but in this one the buildings are much more clearly defined. I love the textures in this painting.
And here is one more painting from the same viewpoint.
In this picnic area there is also a statue. I like this statue a lot and on one occasion did this painting of it. When I painted this picture I was standing right next to the bus stop and sometimes people would stop and give me a compliment.
You can read about my experiences painting these Cherry blossom scenes here.
That’s all for now
That’s all the paintings I’ve done so far. Most of these paintings were done in 2014. I did a lot of paintings around the castle around that time.
Some of these paintings are for sale at my gallery shop which you can see by clicking here.