Yesterday I did a watercolour demonstration on a canal scene for a painting group. I wanted to have a few canal scenes to take along to the demo and I painted this the other day to fill out the display. It’s a subject I’ve tackled before with the spring leaves just coming out on the trees in front of the old windmill in Parbold – it houses the gallery of a local artist, James Bartholomew, who’s won awards for seascapes, but now seems to do a lot of animals.

At the time I did a painting on the spot, but when I finished, I walked along the moored narrowboats and saw these guys in conversation on a boat further down the line. When I came to do a painting in the studio they got promoted to the front of the queue.

I’m still not sure about this, as the opening leaves against the dark background is difficult to get in watercolour, but I think I’ve progressed it from the last time I painted it.

Other canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com


    • Thanks Vic. There are plenty around here. I have my suspicions that many are used to house immigrants who work on the farms. These two guys weren’t British – and they didnt appear to be the boating kind.


  1. Nice view of the Canal, and people on the Boat, I really like how you captured the light on the trees! in Ontario, we have a couple major Canal Systems, The Rideau Canal which flows from Lake Ontario up to Ottawa, and the Trent Severn Waterway. They are very historical, we have more motor boats, and more modern looking cabin cruisers, but the canals themselves are very historical with man opperated locks, or at least they were man operated in my lifetime. The Rideau Canal waterway is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and the last 9km of it in downtown Ottawa is turned into the “Worlds Largest Skating Rink” every winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Shawn. Those emerging leaves were quite tricky in watercolour.
      I’ve see the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Just a few miles upstream of this picture there is a similar bank of locks that you see in Ottawa and they are all hand operated. In fact most of the locks around here are, as well as some swing bridges.


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