EARLY START – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I’m busy preparing workshops and planning demos as well as reworking a couple of acrylics so here is another blast from the past, circa 2010. I never sold this and dont know where it is now, though I was pleased with it at the time.

It is a view of a small natural harbour at Rotheneuf, just north of St Malo in Brittany, France. I used to go down there and do some painting in the morning, whilst on holiday. It was a glorious little place. After my painting session I would go to the boulangerie, get a couple of bagettes and return for breakfast – yep, life in the fast lane.

The sailors used to come down to the harbour and prepare their boats in readiness for the incoming tide and when their boat was afloat off they went. I did sell one painting of the harbour where the yachts were bobbing on a fuller tide, but there is a pathos to this one, augmented by the muted colours. I recall it being one of my large watercolours. It might be worth redoing as a smaller, quarter imperial version.

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

LOW LIGHT ON A YOUNG RIVER 2 – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I was trawling through my images as I prepared an update to my website when I discovered this small watercolour I completed a couple of weeks ago. It was an imaginary scene based on recollections from my travels. I have painted a similar subject before using the same title. At the time it was just a bit of playing around, looking at textures and techniques – painting with no pressure. I hope you enjoy it.

Other landscapes are avilable for purchase on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE CANAL AT LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A long-sold painting from 2006, of the Leeds to Liverpool canal in the north of Liverpool at Lydiate. Due to painting birthday cards and a visit by my daughter, my normal output has been curtailed of late.

Also, there is a bit of apathy after being told, on Saturday, that one of my exhibitions has been called off as the owners want the facility for other purposes. It came out of the blue, as we had been discussing the exhibition since July and only last week, I submitted a press release with images to them and also signed and returned their agreement document.

I have expressed my disdain and pointed out, that based on our agreement, I had ordered 5 new frames and turned down an offer of participating in another exhibition. I still have two more exhibitions from November until January, but it is extremely annoying.

Still, on the upside, the painting I presented on my previous blog – which was painted specifically for the cancelled exhibition – was spotted by someone who lives close to the scene depicted and frequently runs along the canal path you see in it. He has said he will come around tomorrow to buy it, So I had best get on and frame it.

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

MORNING AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Regular readers will probably know I have been banging on about revisiting old paintings in preparation for upcoming workshops and demos I have been asked to do. Trial runs leave you with a painting that you can exhibit, which is a great side product and one I am certainly in need of. This is because I have overcommitted to two solo exhibitions and a group show from November onwards, which at times are running concurrently. I need frames and more paintings. The frames have been ordered and I am making some late additions to the paintings.

Here is one. I’ve posted a version before, but this time I did it in a long format – mainly because I have a few spare long format frames and not much to put in them. It is of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at a small town called Burscough – north of Liverpool.

It was a lovely morning, well worth getting up at 5am for and I remember doing a couple of paintings in the warm sun before being regaled by a musician who complained for a good half hour, as I worked, about payments for gigs – or the lack of payment, as I recall. I told him to take up painting: then he would really have something to complain about.

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

WORKSHOP WATERCOLOUR

I was asked by a painting club in Formby to run a paint-along workshop in watercolour texture next month. The problem for me is that it is to take place over one afternoon. So time is of the essence, as the format is: I will do a bit and the attendees will then have a go, before I move on to the next step etc etc.

I selected this old favourite of mine as the subject.

So over the last few days I have been working out how to do this. I will focus on the road surface and puddles. Initially, though, we will quickly wash in the sky and fields to provide context and then set about painting the roadway. How long this will take is anyone’s guess – but the aim is to complete the road. If time is left over at the end, we will try and complete the painting, which is pretty simple.

To check how this approach will work out, I set about doing another painting. I didnt do the original in this order. The result is above and seems ok. It gave me timings and areas where I could speed things up.

I decided to complete the painting – the one you see above, and it may prove useful for an exhibition I am planning in November.

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BLUE CALM – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Four colours were used on this imagined scene. A hot and cool red and a hot and cool blue. I could have got away with dropping the cool red, but I did need both of the blues to emphasise the recession. I liked the way a yellow seems to emerge between the second and third hills (from the left) .

It has a Lake District feel, but it is all pretty much made up. I wanted a calming and simple image and hopefully I got one.

Other landscapes, some of the Lake District, are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

SUMMER’S END – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

I’ve missed some good opportunities to get out painting recently. A few times the forecast didnt look promising but the next morning you are presented with a glorious day. Too late to assemble everything and select a location, leaving me to rue the missed opportunity.

Last week the opposite was true – good forecast, but I awoke to a hazy morning. As I was up and prepared, I decided to make the most of it.

At my selected location they were harvesting and the bales added interest to a fairly plain subject.

Then, I walked up and sat down on a few you see on the right and painted this view of the church and vicarage.

Perhaps a few wonky sheep, but by then the sun had broken the haze and I was in better spirits.

I could be criticised by my reluctance to seize any opportunity. But last minute opportunism can carry penalties. Last Wednesday evening I went to a life session. Setting out my equipment in the studio, I opened my glasses case to find it empty. Life is hard enough, but as the light faded it became almost impossible. On this occasion I’d prepared everything before departing, yet still forgot this vital accessory. Grabbing all my kit at the last moment only opens me up to many more omissions.

Still, hopefully, there may be one or two opportunities to paint outside left this year – I just need to be ready.

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

SPRING SOARS AND THE IRISES ZING – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I painted a version of this many years ago and was very pleased with the outcome. So, it appears, was someone else, who bought it. The original version played on the lightness of the scene and I wondered whether a more punchy painting was to be had by extending the darks and focussing in on one plant. So here it is, a trifle late as, around here, summer slips to autumn.

Though, hopefully, it zings for you too. My original which I posted in 2015 is below.

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

ST STEPHEN’S GREEN, DUBLIN – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Readers of my ramblings may remember I was in Dublin last weekend. The weather was glorious. We walked around the city to visit many of the sights. In St Stephen’s Green we strolled down the tree cooled avenues of the park. In the shade, I was struck by the brightness I could see in the distance, in the open spaces all around.

I’m thinking of doing another version of this but in a more abstract form, exploring the starker contrasts of light and shade that seemed to engulf me at the time – but then again it might have just been the Guinness.

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

DAWN EDGES OVER CLIEVES’ HILLS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I’ve done versions of this before, but not being satisfied with the results I decided to try again. This was stimulated by another dawn scene I’m going to work on and will hopefully put out on my next blog. As I was planning my dawn scene I recalled this early morning view of the newly mown fields at the base of the rise we have the temerity to call a hill in these parts.

I have been wondering whether to introduce a murder of crows, which I have seen at other times, gathering to snaffle the dropped grains in newly mown fields, but have been held back by the thought that they might upset the harmony. The question is whether this harmony lulls the viewer into drowsiness or is there enough going on to maintain the interest?

I shall ponder on this and fight off any drowsiness as I do.

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