WALK BY THE CANAL – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A slight change of subject now I am back home. An image from my recent visit to the canal: a dog walker taking an early morning stroll. This is on the Leeds to Liverpool canal near the small community of Burscough.

After the almost relaxing holiday I’ve just had ( ’til I tried filling in the documentation, a traumatic experience for a sensitive soul like myself, to get home, which took the best part of a morning that should have been spent poolside with a cold beer) I’m now entering a busy period with two commissions, two exhibitions and a demonstration coming up this month. This will be the first watercolour demonstration I have done since January 2020, after which our first shutdown started. Then I will be preparing for Christmas – how fast time flies. It seems such a short time since my last Christmas exhibition which, admittedly, lasted from November until March, due to the Covid lockdowns.

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

MORNING AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last week I was out, early morning, by the canal painting. As I was scouring the canal footpath, looking for suitable subjects, I saw the scene above. Without room to sit, I took some photos and painted this when I got home.

The sketches I did manage didnt have the same impact and I rather regretted not making myself a nuisance by sitting painting on the path.

With this view, above, I think I liked the light on the big tree as much as anything else.

Here, you can see the morning has got into its stride. The white of the boat immediately caught my attention and in the background the hawthorn berries gave some welcome complementary to the greens.

Whilst I sat and painted, a guy came to talk to me. He was a musician and certainly got my sympathy regarding the problems he had with the effects of both covid and music streaming on opportunities and income. Trouble was he spent twenty five minutes on this subject – so it slowed me down somewhat.

When I was putting together this article I thought it might reawaken the Troll who whose cowardly sneering peaks at the sight of canal art and who has been silent of late.

Wrong again. OCD Troll raged similarly against my last post – a seaside scene. So much so. that they sent two mouth frothing messages yesterday :

This is in no way ART!!….it is pure s***e!

And then twenty minutes later:

Pure crap.

Well the art was sold, Troll – yes art ( Troll’s ignorant of art history – what chance have I got?) to an artist, actually.

Other art is available for sale – even to Trolls – on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com – that’s right, Troll, FINE ART. And I’ll be putting it out for a good while longer.

MOORINGS AT CRABTREE LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another view of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal near Burscough in Lancashire. It’s a place that I’ve painted before but here I dwelt on the cluster of shapes created by the narrowboats and houses and in doing so made it a portrait format. This format also allowed the full reflections of trees and posts. The bankside vegetation also added interesting detail.

At this point on the canal is a narrow swing bridge – partially visible on the left which allows traffic to cross the canal.

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

PILLING LANE BRIDGE, LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Looking through an old sketchbook I saw a version of this done on a sunny morning a few years ago and thought it might be worth working up. I tried to repeat it as directly as I could without the overpainting and overworking I did originally as you can see in the sketch I posted in May of 2018.

Other canal scenes are available for sale at very reasonable prices on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE MOORINGS AT PARBOLD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I decided to work up one of the plein air sketches I recently showed on the blog. I had a tussle with the spring leaves on the trees against the dark buildings. I initially splattered masking fluid in the area and then proceeded to paint mixes of burnt sienna, um blue, alizarin and a few others into the area to imitate buildings and dark background foliage. When I rubbed off the masking fluid and applied foliage colours it looked laboured, despite softening edges. So off it all came and I repeated the dark building colours, but then added white gouache mixed with lemon yellow and some blues. I was pleased with the soft effects it gave. I am reluctant to use gouache as I consider it a bit of a cheat, but I dont think I could have got these glinting leaves better any other way.

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

CANAL COTTAGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

On my last post I showed two sketches I did on a morning painting trip near Burscough in Lancashire. Here is a scene I saw on the way between those sketches. The old cottage and canal boats caught in the sunshine, contrasting with the shade of the bank I was cycling on. This was the reason why I didnt paint it at the time – being in the shade, the paint would have taken an eternity to dry and I would probably be still painting it.

Presently I am debating whether to go in darker with the overhanging leaves on the near bank: I was taken by the gloominess and darkness of the bank compared to the brightness on the other side. Perhaps a metaphor for life – though it looks like the cottage needs a lot of work doing to it and I’d much rather be out painting.

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

MORNING SHADOWS – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

May has been uncharacteristically cold around here – not the kind of weather to dry your watercolours in when painting outside. Being of an impatient nature, waiting for paint to dry is just too hard for me. But yesterday the weather changed, with southern winds and bright sunshine. I got up shortly after 5am and headed towards the canal. OK, this first one isnt of the canal, but the canal was close by. The silhouetted shapes caught my eye and I thought that it would be a good one to start with.

Later I did settle down by the canal at a place called Parbold and painted the canal boats moored by the village.

It was great to get out in the morning. Hopefully there will be a few more mornings to come. Apart from these sketches I also took some photos so I have plenty of material for further paintings.

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

ON THE LEEDS TO LIVERPOOL CANAL- WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

With a new laptop and other issues there isnt much new painting to show you so I am reverting to two old watercolours of the canal sold a long while ago and which have never been put on this blog. The first is a canal mooring in Burscough in Lancashire, close to a long defunct mill which I think they are now converting into flats.

This second is of another favourite haunt of mine at Haskayne, further along the same canal, which is always enchanting on a cloudless summer morning, as this was. Just around the corner there is a lovely canal-side pub, which we used to paint at when I was a member of a local painting group.

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

SLOW GLIDE INTO A SUMMER’S DAY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another canal painting. I liked the dark form of the narrowboat melding into the bridge in shadow. There was also a lot of foliage and I tried applying paint to sprayed water to get lost and found edges. It took a few goes to build up the volume. Because of all the green I introduced some warms to break the monotony, though not too much as the subdued colour range pulls out the central figure and hopefully focusses the eye on the detail.

Just another day on the canal.

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

A PLEASANT PLACE TO PAUSE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Having recently sold a couple of canal scenes I thought that I would paint a view of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Parbold. Another reason was to rattle the Troll’s cage – it gets agitated when it sees a canal – though never reading its rants, it might have changed for all I know or care.

I liked the boat tucked into the sunny mooring though I changed it to a narrowboat and the figures I borrowed from another photo. I saw some guys in a narrowboat when I was painting along the canal in the summer. They didnt look your usual barge folk. When I packed up to leave I walked past them and heard them speak in a foreign language. Later, it occurred to me that perhaps they were using narrowboats to house foreign workers – or perhaps illegal immigrants, who knows. There are quite a few craft well past their prime moored along the canal so that might be an easy way to raise some income. Though once you`ve handed the keys over your asset might disappear off into the sunset, never to be seen again.

Other canal scenes are available on my website for sale. Hurry, they are going fast. Check out grahammcquadefineart.com