SUNLIT BIRCHES BY THE FOREST PATH 2 – PASTEL PAINTING

A few weeks ago I posted a version of this painting of Ainsdale Woods, near Southport, where I live and multiplemichael multiplemichael offered the criticism that it lacked a focus. I thought that I would repeat the painting and test this idea out. The only way I could introduce a focal point and maintain the spirit of the piece, as far as I could see, was to place two sunlit birches into the foreground to lead the eye into the scene and onto the spotlighted trees which was my initial impetus for the piece.

So here is my interpretation and I do think that the addition brings something extra to the image. Though, as is often the case when you repeat any painting, some of the subtleties of the first painting, which I liked, got lost. I may be able to regain these by further small adjustments.

A big issue I have had is getting a faithful reproduction of these images which, having a wide tonal range, can give some strange colour effects.

I have put a copy of the first version below for comparison. I certainly appreciate any critical comments, as it makes me aware of issues I may have overlooked. It can prove very useful and I value it higher than praise.

Just a pity the spineless troll doesnt possess the same skillset, then it might be worth reading its splenetic autorepeat-rants.

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

SUNLIT BIRCHES BY THE FOREST PATH – PASTEL PAINTING

I mentioned in my previous post about a cycleride in the afternoon sun, last Saturday. Here is another in the small series of paintings from that trip. This one’s a pastel. The low afternoon sun pierces through gaps in the forest, picking out skeletal birch trees, which hang there, like automatons on a ghost train ride, scaring no one.

A fellow blogger, N, from Ink,Yarn and Beer told me to look at the pastel work of Karen Margulis. In one utube video she used a wet brush to spread and mix the pastel across her support. When I’ve done this the paper cockles, making further work difficult. But recently I have been using gouache as a base for dark areas in my pastels and havent had any issues. So, for the forest background, I dragged down purples, siennas and browns with a wet brush to create a backdrop, using Karen’s approach. I also did it in the sky. With the amount of water kept to a minimum it seemed to work. When the sky and backforest was dry, I went in with the foreground trees, grasses and the leaf covered path.

It is a dark piece and I am a little undecided about it, particularly its commercial potential, but I’ll put it up and see how I feel about it in the coming days. I have another watercolour on the go from this trip and am thinking of making the previous painting of the birch copse with shadows, into a bigger acrylic piece.

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

AFTERNOON AMID THE BIRCHES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

We have been having some unseasonably warm weather of late and last Saturday the sun came out as well. I almost gathered the paints together to grasp the last opportunity, this year, to do some open air painting – almost ( I dont mind the cold – I just lack the temprement to wait for paint to dry) Besides, it was well into the afternoon, so, instead, I grabbed the camera and cycled off to the local woods at Ainsdale, which back onto the dunes and shoreline,

At this time of the year, with bright sunlight, the birches glow yellow and gold, almost like lightbulbs against the dark foliage of the firs behind. I then came across this copse of birches that pressed the footpath, before it opened out onto a clearing. The shadows cast by the trees, like fingers of darkness tugging at the remnants of the day.

I had to paint it and I thought I might try a small series of paintings from my ride that afternoon – so there may be more coming.

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

LOCAL VIEWS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

A few repeats here. Versions of these saplings in a sunny clearing in Ainsdale woods have been presented before. In this latest version I feel I have got the lightness of the birch leaves in the sun. I think the photograph flatters the painting, though it might look better in a mount.

This is of the grassy sand dunes close to the beach in the evening. This was a sketch, done on the back of a one of my many rejects. The glow works well, despite the yellow, and I used masking fluid to get the glistening tips of the foreground grass. I needn’t have bothered as I got far better results by scraping the damp paint with my scalpel. I’m not sure introducing the green in the foreground helps with the overall harmony. You may be seeing this one again.

And saving the worst to the last. I’ve presented this entrance to Ainsdale woods before . I thought that by introducing leafy branches across the path it might help to lift the image but these puny leaves look like an afterthought and trying to hint at forms in the dark areas remains elusive – oh well.

Other woodland and beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AUTUMN WALK – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Having travelled back from my Life Drawing class and needing to set up an exhibition this week, I have not had time to paint anything new. Then as I was browsing through images on my camera I spotted one I had done a couple of weeks ago and not posted. I recall at the time I wasn’t too taken by it, but after a couple of weeks my antipathy has softened, so here it is.

I also should post it as I have a rule to post everything I do, whether I like it or not, which I pretty much follow, another reason to inflict this on you.

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

DEEPER INTO THE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Following on with my woodland series and again featuring the golden birches amid the conifers. I dont think the yellows and oranges work too well against the dull greens so some of the punch is lost. Perhaps I should have reserved more white. Anyway, you can but try.

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