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  • Writer's picturePaul Taggart

June 2022 - Ghosts of Summer from Paul Taggart's studio

Warm Greetings from our home and studio to yours,

It is Summer here in the Northern Highlands of Scotland and visitors are journeying from around the world to enjoy the beauty of this area of the UK. We consider ourselves truly blessed to live and work here and not a day goes past that we don’t get to enjoy our surroundings in some way. On one of the days this past week for instance, Eileen and I stood and watched a handsome hare darting about the adjacent field, for a full twenty minutes - a rare sight for such a wary creature.

Some of the journeying visitors stick to tried and tested routes, whilst others will venture forth to explore the dramatic landscape and discover myriad wildlife. Although the advent of Covid over the past couple of years has temporarily interrupted our habit of venturing out to seek new subjects for paintings and tutorials, we have many items that bring memories flooding back; none more so than paintings.

This is the power of art, it stimulates our senses, not only visual, but also in terms of sounds and smells.


‘Ghosts of Summer’ is such a painting, one of my favourites, holding pride of place in our studio; for it reminds us of one of those magical moments in life, an unexpected discovery, one filled with multi-sensory memories of a late Summer/early Autumn, day. In this video reveal I take you on a tour of the painting, accompanied by a delightful traditional tune, arranged and played by Abhainn Tuath.

As soon as I saw this view, I knew I wanted to capture the otherwise unseen riverscape. Yet what a task, but such challenges are what draw me to complex subjects in which light is the primary force. This was going to take all of my knowledge of how light behaves and my method built on traditional painting techniques to capture.

We titled this painting ‘Ghosts of Summer’, for the subject is evocative of the elements on that day – dappling light through the leaves on the trees and vegetation, seeming to filter through the leaves themselves, turning them semi-transparent as their various green Summer colours slowly diminish in ghostly anticipation of their Autumnal change.

The ‘ghostly’ sound of rippling water and trickling falls as the river meanders down from its source in the Highland hills to the North Sea below; which we can still hear quite clearly as we look up from our work in the studio to where this painting sits on its display easel.

It brings to mind the first sounds that enticed us to explore further, to take a break from one of our rambles over a friend’s estate in the Northern Highlands of Scotland. We simply couldn’t resist following the tinkling and gushing sounds of water, having to crouch down on hands and knees to break through the dense foliage, as there was no easy route through to where we finally emerged. What a view, it took our breath away, as we emerged on the rocky foreshore of the river.

TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES, the CORNERSTONE of OUR ART TUTORIALS - as you will note in this reveal, the traditional techniques I employ in my oil paintings involve a succession of layers. There is absolutely no rushing this process, it requires meticulous attention and considerable patience; for the paint surface must be discovered and explored - it cannot be contrived.

With each layer the overall colour and balance across the entire painting is refined, in order that I can achieve the impression of space and light for which I am aiming. Layering is essential - it allows the initial build-up of texture through to the finer layers of glazes and tints. Not only this, it allows the gradual build-up of colours, from dark to light and the finishing touches of absolute highlights.

The method of layering enables the subject to develop gradually, whether working in oils, or indeed in any of the three other principal mediums of acrylics, watercolours and pastels.

Although the posters shown here feature different box-sets of our video tutorials, covering the four principal mediums; each step-by-step painting tutorial relies on the exploitation of the same principles and traditional techniques, tailored specifically to the properties of the medium and that of the subject matter. It does not mean however, that the process for every painting is identical – far from it, as every composition/subject is made up of a diverse range of elements, all of which are affected by ever-changing light conditions.

Find our extensive catalogue of

art tutorial video box-sets to:-


We do hope you enjoy watching our ‘Ghosts of Summer’ video reveal. For which Eileen and I would like to thank Abhainn Tuath who granted us permission to use the traditional Scottish tune ‘Drumbain’s Reel’, as arranged and played by Abhainn Tuath, on Electronic Uilleann Pipes, Electronic Flute, Octave Mandola (Octave Mandolin) Yamaha Keyboard Bass - sourced from Marshall Collection, William Marshall ed. (1748 - 1833) reprinted by Highland Music Trust 2008. More arrangements and tunes played by Abhainn Tuath, can be found on Facebook and on You Tube.

As ever, we thank you for reading and watching and send best wishes from Eileen and myself,

Paul and Eileen

Paul Taggart - Artist, Author, Presenter, Producer OFFICIAL PATREON TUTORIALS ACCOUNT OFFICIAL VIMEO ACCOUNT NOTE : This newsletter contains information pertaining to Paul W. Taggart and Eileen M. Tunnell and may contain copyrighted material. It should be read as privileged or confidential and protected by International Copyright law and DMCA.


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