FEED ME! – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

… Memories of my daughter, in her high chair, awaiting the next spoonful.

We get a number of blackbirds nesting close to the house. This year they nested in a rosebush by the front window. They were shielded, from movement in the house, by a curtain . Pulling the curtain back you were then very close to the nest and we could monitor progress.

The adult birds always approached the nest warily and there must have been a call from them, as suddenly, the chicks` heads would shoot up and beaks would open. Then, the adult would appear by the nest and worms and insects were thrust down open throats.

This pair had two broods: as soon as the first two chicks had flown, the female was back on the nest and we went through the same thing again.

I may have spooked them a few times as I poked a camera past the curtain, but not enough to prevent them having two families. Now we have blackbirds fighting over the garden and no doubt there`ll be a few corpses in the flower beds this winter as the weaker ones succumb.

Other animal and bird paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

WHICH WAY DID YOU SAY? – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I thought I’d have a bit of fun painting a gaggle of geese I saw the other week. They all appeared to be heading in different directions – though if trouble did get too close there was no argument and they were off back into the water – together.

Other animal paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

EYEING UP THE BIRDS – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

A quick birthday card for a relative who owns these male cats. We were up visiting her last week and I did a few sketches thinking it might make a birthday card she’d appreciate. The black one is 19 years old.

Other animal paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SWANS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

I have a couple of demonstrations to do next week and I like to have a practice to ensure I can do them in under the two hour time slot that they tend to give you, as when I do them originally I never watch the clock.

For the first one I was asked to do this family of swans that I saw when I was out painting along the canal bank one morning. The lady who engaged me had seen the first painting in an exhibition and like the way I had done the water. I posted the first painting on this blog a while back.

On this one the background ripples seemed a bit bent and the swans had an improbably large family so I had another try.

On this one I think I got the ripples right but I did like the tone of the near water on the first one and now the cygnets are barely discernable. Anyway, now I can see the problems and can draw out something that might work on the day and I now know I can complete in under the two hours. So on to the second demo…

Other animal paintings are available for sale on my blog: grahammcquadefineart.com

WATER’S EDGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This painting recalls summer days when I saw these horses beside the canal. I like drawing and painting horses, just for their shapes – rather like boats and the challenge they give when they are at different angles or huddled together.

I gathered up the images I had of the day and arranged the horses to get a selection of orientations and hopefully provide a pleasing arrangement.

Its good to get back painting with the first one of the year, though I am still moving materials back to the studio and at the same time doing a bit of sorting out and culling as I go – it all takes time.

Well, on with the next one.

Other animal paintings are available on my website which is currently being upgraded: grahammcquadefineart.com

AWAITING SOME ATTENTION – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I saw this dog by the roadside whilst walking in the Yorkshire Dales this summer. Normally I would tackle such a subject in pastel but what made me paint it was the notion of exploring what kind of textures I could get with watercolour. So it was more of an exercise in techniques than anything else.

Other animal paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

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SLEEPING DOGS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I’m not sure why I did this one. I came across the image from my trip to Thailand. And then I’m also not sure why I chose watercolour when pastel might have been better. I then sketched them out and I had them arranged like opposing apostrophes on a line. That left a lot of space at the top.

By arranging them on the diagonal I could make the dogs bigger and fill the space – more dog less mud. I also put some grass in at the top for visual relief.

Another challenge was the dappled shade on which I may have failed. Something to ponder during the long nights of winter.

Other animal paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

DINING OUT – PASTEL PAINTING

My last post was a pastel and after I completed it I started developing an abstract with them as I find pastel quick to get ideas down with. The abstract wasnt going too well, so I so, with the pastels, I started to play around with a study of some horses I saw on a walk in the Cotswolds we had last week. I liked the way they stood back to back allowing views from two different angles. The richness of the pastel really brought out the lustre of their coats.

Other animal paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BREAKING OUT – PASTEL PAINTING

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I have been having more than the normal problems with painting recently particularly where I start a painting and abandon it or complete another version and come out with two paintings I am dissatisfied with. This one is a case in point. I had some images of a pack of Patagonian ponies squeezing through rocks and vegetation. I was taken by the forms of the horses as they tussled to progress  and I started a pastel painting of it. To make some narrative of the image I obtained  some pictures of  horses in motion. However the group of equine forms soon transformed into a brown indulgent mass  and  I abandoned the enterprise. However the  extra horses I had found had movement and strength about them and I decided to focus on these and here is the result. I still have a few reservations, but I do like the flow of the forms.

Other animal paintings for sale are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE ESCAPE COMMITTEE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

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When out walking the other week I saw this sheep with her lambs waiting for us to pass before they made a bolt for the field in front of them . I arranged them into an overlapping group to accentuate the anticipation and tried to keep the colour range tight. I painted it in a single sitting as it seemed to come together fairly easily and am pretty pleased with the outcome.

Other animal paintings can be found  for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com