p10203771I wanted a break from the landscapes I am painting for an upcoming exhibition and had some images of when I went back to my home town of Hastings a couple of weeks ago. We stopped off in the old-town and had some lunch at a small café and there was this couple seated across the café, next to the window, which I thought might make a good subject.

Other acrylic paintings of café scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



Happy New Year Everyone!

This is another in my café/France series I started a few months back. I put some of those paintings in a small exhibition at a local Bistro, though nothing sold. They were in the blocked style I have been experimenting in which may not be to everyone’s or anyone’s taste, but undeterred I thought I’d do another one.

This was at a café in the south of France where we were eating and three musicians came by and started to play. Within seconds a couple jumped up and started to jive. It brightened up a dull day.

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



I published the first version of this on 29th June and although I was happy with the style I felt I had included too many extraneous bits in the image. I wanted to concentrate on the three people enjoying their drinks in the sunshine  and some other figures to provide the context. I also wanted to cut down some of the foliage, if you can excuse the pun, as well. Really, in the end it was just about making the central figures larger and focussing on what really matters.

Other paintings are on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



About a year ago, on August 20th 2014, I did a version of this image in watercolour. I thought I’d give it a go with the style of acrylics  have been playing with. I did the original watercolour in portrait format, but decided on a landscape format for this one. In hindsight the portrait format could allow more focus on the  point of action. I also wonder whether I am getting too dark in the shadow areas. I think I need some darks but I think I am going too uniformly dark. I will try a more varied approach on my next painting. Well it keeps you busy and off the streets.

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



I did this on white paper and so dont have patches of undercolour showing through. The guy in yellow with his hand behind his head, half in and out of shadow, attracted me at first, but as a worked, his dining companion, the lady with the sunglasses, took over as the focal point.

I am not sure whether a unifying undercolour might help here. It seemed to make it more laborious covering all the surface with paint rather than being able to leave slivers of another colour. I also had concerns over the large areas of shadow and the rather crudely painted roadway, but I will give it some space and look at it again later. With acrylics reworking areas are very straightforward.

Other acrylic paintings are on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com



This was from some photos I took in Calvi, Corsica. I have posted a set of café scenes last year on this blog but a number of them were disappointingly flat. I recently saw an article in the UK magazine Artists and Illustrators by Hashim Akib. I liked the vibrancy in his paintings – I presume it is a him- using chiselled brushstrokes and juxtaposing tones and hues.

So I thought I’d have a go with this street scene in Calvi. I was pleased with the result. I can feel the heat amid the slabs of colour and it has forced me to be less descriptive. I am pleased enough to try again and do a version of the boules players I did a few weeks back in situ, whilst on holiday. I’ll post that when I’m done.

Other paintings are on my website grahammcquadefineart.com.



This is the tenth and last in my café series. The myriad of passages in Venice have many small shops and cafes and this was one in a dingy and worn walkway that ran between the canals. On the outside the buildings look almost derelict, but inside they are immaculate – or at least the ones I went into. The numbering of the houses is also very strange. Numbering is not just for a passage, but for the whole district, so the numbers go down one side, come back up the other side and then continue into the next passage and the next one until you come to the perimeter of the district. It certainly confused me at first.

I will be putting this and the other paintings in my café series on my website:  grahammcquadefineart.com shortly