ROUND AND ABOUT HALONG BAY, VIETNAM – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We flew into Hanoi and almost as soon as we arrived we were whisked off to Halong Bay. It was impressive, but very similar to Krabi in Thailand with less sunshine and even more tourists – this was industrial tourism.

I had wanted to get the limestone stacks in a sunset or sunrise. Unfortunately I was swimming at sunset and the sunrise was a cloudy affair. Still I did get some good photos.

As for Hanoi. We were only there for a matter of hours, staying near the old quarter. It was pandemonium. I would have loved to see more – but perhaps my health wouldn’t have taken it. We had to get the night train out and head south to Hue.

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

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ROUND AND ABOUT VANG VIENG, LAOS – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We left the enchanting town of Luang Prabang on the banks of the Mekong and travelled into the hills on some very dodgy roads to Vang Vieng on the Nam Song River which looks quote impressive with boats going to and fro along it. Then you see people wading across it , sometimes barely knee deep. The town looks down at heel compared to Luang Probang, but I managed to hire a bike and explored the surrounding countryside. This is the dry season and those who cant afford irrigation pumps leave the paddy fields for pasture for their cows. The fields have raised sheltered decks dotted about.

This small roadside farm could have been anywhere in the world, except that the fencing was made of bamboo. I was cycling back to Vang Vieng and had an hour to spare so why not paint it. I like the almost meditative aspect of sitting down painting, pausing a while, and studying the view in front of me. Even if you come out with nothing the time spent in contemplation is worth it.

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

FLOATING DOWN THE MEKONG TO LUANG PRABANG – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

The second day of navigating the upper reaches of the Mekong. I did these first two in the misty morning.

The afternoon sketches were much brighter when I looked at them – It seemed I was affected by the intense light.

We arrived at Luang Prabang which was once the capital of Laos. Today it is a laid back town on the confluence of two rivers mixing eastern and French styles. A welcome break after some of the frenetic cities we have visited.

Other landscape paintings are available for sale on my website: http://grahammcquadefineart.com

FLOATING DOWN THE MEKONG – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Well it’s hardly floating, more flying down the fast flowing river powered by a large motor. The captain sits at the front kept company by the cook, as you can see in the first sketch.

As the scenery changed and passed out of sight so fast I decided to do small thumbnails.

However, being on the boat for six hours with nothing else to do allowed me to practise my watercolour, whilst the rest of my fellow travellers caught up with their sleep. There were some great views particularly in the later afternoon sunshine.

Other watercolours are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MORE PICTURES OF KRABI, THAILAND – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

One of the limestone stacks just off the beach at Krabi, Thailand. This was painted from a beach in a national park where some of the rules on the sign as you entered were: no food and dont feed the monkeys. How could you feed the monkeys if you weren’t allowed food?

When we got to the beach there were some exclusive hotels – but you couldnt get anything to eat as they firmly said Guests Only. So I just sat on the beach and contemplated the view. It was pretty good and there there was even a long tailed boat in view.

On another day we went on an island hopping boat trip to some exclusive beaches – though they weren’t that exclusive as everyone else was doing the same. So we had small pockets of sand overrun with tourists like us, wondering why they had come. Outside our hotel there was a vast sandy beach with hardly anyone on at all – oh well… .

The second sketch was done whilst we jostled for space on Paradise island, named possibly as it was one of the few islands with a toilet.

Other landscapes and seascapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE BOATS OF KRABI, THAILAND – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Arrived in Krabi, Thailand after long sleepless flights. The main features here are the towering limestone cliffs and crags and the long tailed boats. The boats ferry you from place to place dousing you in plenty of sea water in the process – but who cares – it aint snowing.

The light was changing fast when I sketched these boats by the riverside and by the time I came to finish they had lovely effects illuminating their sides. I may do this again as a more studied painting – especially as they started to load-up one of the boats with provisions.

More landscapes and seascapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

EARLY MORNING AT FORMBY GOLF CLUB 2 – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Getting ready to go on holiday, I got an email from someone wanting a painting of a local golf course for a present. Unfortunately I had sold it some time ago, but suggested I could do another version. The client seemed to be happy with the result above.

And the pressure continued as I also agreed to change my small exhibition at the framers. It’s only a few paintings but you need to reframe and sort out labels etc. The photo I took is marred by reflections, unfortunately.

When I get back from holiday I have quite a big exhibition at the back end of March so I was putting paintings in what frames I had left, though I will need the frames from this exhibition and some that I have ordered to put on the exhibition – 30 paintings in all. With all the running around at least I am fairly well sorted and have sold a couple of paintings this year to boot – so we are off to a reasonable start. Now Thailand beckons – hopefully I will be able to paint a few pictures to put on the blog.

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