Well for us in northern climes the corner has been turned and summer is on its way, though, no doubt, a rocky (and icy) road lies ahead. So here is a painting of what we’re aiming for. I did this as a pastel a long while ago and wondered whether it would make a watercolour. I love the shadows of the marram grass, the distressed fence, and the way the beach disappears into a hazy blueness. It makes a hopeful change from my recent winter beach scenes.
This is a view of the River Alt as it drifts through the fields of the Lancashire plain. I love this idyllic view which I see as I cycle across the foot bridge over the river. Though directly behind me is a railway bridge and beyond, a newly constructed housing estate. In front, around the bend, the river enters an army camp where it is used in noisy military exercises. Later, it emerges on the other side of the camp and idly sidles into the mouth of the Mersey as the mighty river breaks into the Irish sea spitting out ferries, liners and cargo ships in front of ranks of wind turbines. Here though, in this spot, you forget your surroundings and there is a calm moment of what if and possibility.
Maybe the season of repeats. Here is another version of a painting I posted a few weeks ago. I decided the cliffs of sand dunes needed simplifying and enlarging and I removed clutter from the foreground. I also simplified the cloud formation and made them compliment the dunes better. Its a simple scene, but its about the openness of the beach which seems to roll on forever.
Merry Christmas – as its a nice day we are heading off for a walk along the beach on the Wirral. Hopefully there will be a few potential paintings waiting for me there.
You may have picked up a certain dissatisfaction with my previous post and I did manage to find the gesso – so here is another version. I wanted colour and it is needed on this, our shortest day. A blast of summer.
The flattening of the perspective gets the viewer closer to the action of the switchback road that can even make the sedate cyclist queasy. It also clears space for a rush of colour for the sheer sake of it. Even if it isnt the finished article, I am closing in.
Still playing around with the inks and washes. I am trying to get something to work up onto a canvas. So far I feel the simplicity of the pieces just fail to maintain interest on a bigger scale. I am applying the ink with a pipette but get much more interesting lines with my broken pipettes rather than the ones supplied with the acrylic inks. The one on the right, above, was done with my broken pipette as opposed to the one supplied with the ink on the left. Although I did like the effect of mixing the different coloured inks in the lines on the image on the left , the blue is certainly a less strident colour than the black..
The style and orientation of the lines also bring their own images, such as the grid giving an urban feel on the right above.
So with another difference in orientation of the lines, a more nautical feel emerges which is then reinforced with colour.
Here, above, I`ve tried to add further textures though I dont feel that it has moved the image on much and made it more messy. So I will keep on playing. Fortunately I have a lot of discarded paintings I can work on the back of.
There has been much uncertainty and quite a few false starts of late with my painting. I have been wanting to produce some stylised landscapes in acrylic alongside developing the ink and wash paintings I have shown recently. Not much progress has been made.
With the landscape, I couldnt settle on a subject. Then I recalled a wonderful morning I had spent on Cleives’ Hills this summer, with my watercolours, painting some cottages on the edge of the hill. I put the painting I did that day on the blog some time ago and I enclose it below.
I thought I might try this scene both in watercolour and acrylics. So here is the first one, in acrylics, with the cottages and the view of Liverpool in the morning haze in the distance. Fresh off the easel. There may be some more changes to be made, though I think I ‘ve got the punchiness I was after.
I did a version of this in an earlier post, but felt that it focussed on the figures rather than the sense of place. Hence the rework; taking on a lower angle and focussing on the sand and reflections and the openness of the space and pushing the figures and furniture back.
As you can see above I was able to put some paintings in my framer’s window this week ( apologies for the reflections in the glass). At least I have a small exhibition which can be viewed from the open air. I had hoped to be in another mixed exhibition in one of the town centre’s empty shops but the organiser decided to abandon it. I was looking forward to manning the gallery and doing some painting in the shop.
As soon as I got home from my framers I had an email from a guy who wanted to buy, off my website, one of the big paintings that is in the photo. For some reason my website didnt allow him to purchase them on line. The painting had been on the website for a couple of months, but he decided to purchase it after I had taken it along to my framers and set it up in the exhibition. I shouldnt moan. Anyway, as he’s local he said he will call into the shop and collect it – at least he gets a free frame which I dont supply on line.
So we’re off to a good start. I just have to find a replacement.
Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com. Hurry they are running out fast – or should that be seeping slowly…
With the lifting of the complete lockdown I went into Liverpool and got myself some acrylic inks this week. I am thinking of putting some of these line and wash style images onto canvas. Up until now I have been using standard inks for the line and watercolours to add washes and I feel I need acrylic inks to apply to canvas. This one above is done in acrylics on paper with acrylic ink, liquid acrylic and heavy body acrylic. I am happier keeping it simple than adding layers of complexity as I did in the one below.
In this one I used black and white inks to create the lines and I feel that has some mileage for developing.
I am still playing around with standard ink and watercolours as they are quick to do and here are a few more below.
The one above is a more complex version of the first painting and I dont think the complexity adds much value.
Putting ink onto a wet surface can give an overpowering effect especially with black ink, so it needs to be done sparingly. I did buy some red, yellow and blue inks and havent yet started using these. They look more potent than the liquid acrylics I use.
It started as a landscape. I was working out different ways to get texture for a beach scene. I normally work at an angle, occasionally vertically, but to increase granulation I had the paper flat and applied the paint unevenly with various warm and cool colours.
When I paint in life sessions I like to work on toned paper – often I prepare it myself. Now, looking at the paper when it had dried, I saw that it had areas of varying tone which could be orientated differently to capture the tonal contrasts of a figure.
I cut out and keep interesting images of figures and faces, with good tonal contrast, to sketch in my sketchbook. So, from the folder I put them in, I plucked out this contemplative soul. So here is an exploratory sketch, keeping the paper flat as I worked. Perhaps I am missing the life groups. I normally work in anything but watercolour at these sessions, but when and if they do restart here, I might prepare some watercolour paper to take along.