I have to do a demonstration and workshop in September on floral watercolours so I thought I’d get my backside into gear and try out some possibilities. The hollyhocks is a version of the first flower painting I sold and as such is a solid standby. Foxgloves are flowers I find very fussy to paint and I was trying to get the impression of them here. I think I have overdone it again and need to get less specific, maybe I’ll have another go, but at least I have something to present.
When I was out painting the other day, as I put the bike back on the rack of the car, I looked over and noticed the trees in the field to my right. I’m not sure what I liked about it, the view behind into the far fields or the counter changes of light and shade, across the field. Anyway, here it is: an English meadow on a summer’s day.
I thought I had already posted a version of this before, but when I went through the filters on this blog it appears that this is the first time. I’ve actually painted this scene twice before and put at least one version on my website, but I wasn’t particularly pleased with the result and subsequently took it down. The other day I found one of these old versions and wondered if I could improve it by running paint about al la Nita Engle to get the smooth transitions I felt were needed and this is the result. I am certainly happier with it.
The view is of the forest of Bowland seen from the M6 as we were winging our way homeward. We had just crossed the Pennines and it was a squally day and suddenly the sun appeared from behind the clouds and a nearby hill, illuminating some fields below.
This is the same stream as my earlier post ‘A Cooler Place by the Stream’ but looking along it. Again I liked the reeds in the foreground and the light shining on the tree trunks. The almost total predominance of the blue/greens give it a calming effect.
Over the last few days we’ve had some good weather so I’ve been out on my bike. This first one is Formby Golf Club from the rough. I had gone out to do a woodland scene, but a dogwalker was nearby when I wanted to suss out the scene and she might have thought me predatory, so I went on and found this instead.
Another dog walker came by when I was doing this near Hesketh Bank and was concerned that I was doing a drainage course which is officially called the River Douglas and flows into the Ribble Estuary. He offered to pose for me, but it got withdrawn when I demanded he remove his clothes – perhaps another time.
This is from the old railway bridge of the dismantled Cheshire lines which is now a cyclepath between Southport and Maghull. I don’t think I got the mood of the evening. There were more variations in the greens and the low evening light gave some great tonal contrasts which have eluded me here. I was having to work quick as the light was going and I had quite a long ride to get home without any lights. I might have another go at this.
A view of the old Clieves’ Hills into the morning light.
We recently went on a walk along the Regent’s Canal in London, strolling in leafy peace from the west end into the east end whilst the city roared overhead and around. At Islington the canal disappeared into a tunnel and we braved the streets to find its resumption. I managed to get the family past the shops without too much money being lost.
This scene in the narrow lanes of Islington was predominantly black and white but I warmed it up on the sunlit pavement and with other splashes of colour and I loved the fellow sitting in part shade on the left.
A painting from a couple of sketches I did the other day when I was out on the bike. I was pleased with the texture of the wheat in the foreground. The background lacks the mystery of my previous Clieves’ Hills paintings, but I’ve tried to keep it together with a limited palette.
I’ve had this image for a number of years but was put off by the lack of subject and the complexity of reeds. It is of a small stream by the side of the Canal Du Midi, in the south of France. The light and shade at the time was superb and I sat and did a painting looking along the stream, but in hindsight this is a far better view and captures the moment better – the warm morning about to break into a blazing day.
Another canal scene and in a place I’ve painted before on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. The light coming in from over the fields and catching surfaces on the boats and vegetation caught my eye. To evoke the morning stillness I tried to reduce the range of colours, so that there was a calmness of hue.