Another woodland painting and another repeat – I have put versions of this on the blog before. Certainly a little tighter than the previous blog of the woodland scene with no splattering; using brushes only, but I am pleased with the luminosity resulting. This is down to the layering of washes.
If I remember on my previous attempts I tried a loose approach which lost the constant tonal changes throughout the piece and resulted in taking out and scratching back. Slowly building up those changes this time seems to have paid off without it becoming overly fussy.
I must admit that I was inspired by the texture I got on my previous painting that I put out on my last post and so I decided to try and apply the splattering techniques to a scene I had done before in the hope that I would get a less staid outcome.
Well there is a lot of splatter on this but the outcome was less than I had hoped for. Perhaps I could have put the tree trunks and branches in whilst the paper was wet. I also did the splatter in two sections, one for the canopy leaves and one for the undergrowth. I also lost the translucency and the light coming through which I had in the earlier watercolour. So back to the drawing board – sorry about the pun.
Yes, you’ve seen it before but not quite like this. Someone wanted to buy the original, but then wanted it bigger and whilst I was at it could I put their parents in – along with the dog. So anything to oblige… I also took the opportunity to work out how to do it as a demo as a local group want a landscape demo in watercolour, so all in all, hopefully it was time well spent.
Some time ago I reported, after painting the plein air Downholland Farm I posted, that I had left my portable palette behind. When I came back to search for it I came in my car and had to park on some waste land and the easiest way was to cut through this small copse. I loved the evening light coming in through the trees and the branches and trunks cutting across the scene making an almost stained glass effect. When I came out of hospital last week I thought that I could do this in pastel and sat down and cracked on and produced this pastel below:
I thought that the pastel would allow me to get the criss-crossing branches easier and also allow me to work up the foliage catching the light in the shadows. I was unhappy with the results and decided to have another go in watercolour. I tried a splattering approach with the foliage on the watercolour and got some wonderful textures, but had to go over a lot of it in order to get the tonal contrast I was after. In the end the result was better but still it lacked the impact that I was after.
Just playing around with hard and soft edges. I cobbled together this painting from three photographs I took in Richmond Park some time ago. I tried to keep the painting loose and also vary wet washes with dry brush work and scratching back.
Being a sort of obsessive I do paintings over and over again. This is the latest version of this path which connects the north end of Formby with the sea via the pinewoods and skirting one of the many golf courses here. I am beginning to feel a bit satisfied with the outcome. I initially went in with warm red, blue and yellow and mixed the colours all over the paper, spraying and mixing the quite strong colours. Then, when dry I rewet some of the paper with spray and mixed in the foliage, extending the trunks at the same time. I am pleased with the effect of the light even though I have painted over the whole paper. On a previous edition I deliberately left the area of the sun white, yet it doesn’t have the same impact of lightness – see below.
Also the trees on the right now have more vitality and their warmness complements the colder colours on the left. I feel there is a greater sense of mystery in the new painting.
I was watching TV and there was an artist Norman Ackroyd painting some watercolours of woods in winter. I loved the greyness of these images along with the bare trees and after the programme I made up an image, just using washes of greys blues and purples just to see where it went.
Norman Ackroyd is a printer and I think he coordinated this year’s Royal Academy summer show. Some time ago there was an infrequent series on the tele called “What do Artists do all Day” – a title which amused me. He was featured in it and it showed him working on an etching of seabirds encircling a far flung Scottish Island. Needless to say some of his day was spent in a hostelry whilst he was waiting for things to develop. It’s a hard life, but someone has to do it.