I decided to work up a couple of paintings I did as plein air sketches and posted a few weeks ago. I was a bit disappointed with the results and am trying to work out why I feel this way. I think this one could have been done with more textured foreground and less of the ploughed field although I do have a problem with the large amounts of green that that might produce.
This second one might do with increasing the contrasts but again I am concerned with masses of green. I will leave both in the studio and mull over them whilst I get on with something new.
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Well, the sun continues to shine, so I’ve been out on my bike again. This is an old track I used to ride down a lot on my way to and from work. I loved the variation of the trees and the line of reeds. After painting this I went back to where I painted Down Holland Farm (earlier post) and found my metal pallet in amongst the stinging nettles.
This one is an old cobbled canal bridge, looking into the sun. I had to stand in the middle of it to paint in order to see the buildings and light on the hedgerow. It is a bridge from an old farm track over the canal to nowhere (I cant understand why it was built) yet as I worked 3 dogwalkers came past, then a pony and trap and finally to people riding horses. Each time I had to move my gear to let them past. It’s tough out on the road, or bridge in this case. Though I might develop this further as I liked the scene and I haven’t done justice to the main tree.
Out in the early morning: this was a bit of a problem, as although the sun was shining, the air temperature was around 2oC. So the washes didn’t try very fast so I did a lot of pacing around whilst the painting sat drying on the grass in the sun. Still it’s great to get out and as I returned home I saw a couple of sites well worth painting on another visit. Always good having somewhere to go rather than wasting time looking around for a subject.
I don’t know what fascinates me about these cottages, just off the road at the foot of Clieve’s Hills as you approach Ormskirk having travelled across the moss, inland from Southport. I did them as a watercolour (shown on this blog on September 24th) and have previously painted them plein air by the roadside, although the best view point is in the middle of the road, which isn’t much good.
Perhaps the middle bale needs a bit of tidying up as I look at is as I write.
This is another from one of my early morning cycle rides. It is a scene which I have painted in situ before, but to get this angle, with the fence posts, you need to be sat in the road, so a photo was the safer option.
I was attracted to the pattern of light and shadows. It was just a shame there wasn’t a bit of light on the cottages – maybe I should have painted some.
As my with my previous painting, this was painted in three colours, ultra marine blue, cadmium yellow and winsor red.
Over the last few days we’ve had some good weather so I’ve been out on my bike. This first one is Formby Golf Club from the rough. I had gone out to do a woodland scene, but a dogwalker was nearby when I wanted to suss out the scene and she might have thought me predatory, so I went on and found this instead.
Another dog walker came by when I was doing this near Hesketh Bank and was concerned that I was doing a drainage course which is officially called the River Douglas and flows into the Ribble Estuary. He offered to pose for me, but it got withdrawn when I demanded he remove his clothes – perhaps another time.
This is from the old railway bridge of the dismantled Cheshire lines which is now a cyclepath between Southport and Maghull. I don’t think I got the mood of the evening. There were more variations in the greens and the low evening light gave some great tonal contrasts which have eluded me here. I was having to work quick as the light was going and I had quite a long ride to get home without any lights. I might have another go at this.
A view of the old Clieves’ Hills into the morning light.
A painting from a couple of sketches I did the other day when I was out on the bike. I was pleased with the texture of the wheat in the foreground. The background lacks the mystery of my previous Clieves’ Hills paintings, but I’ve tried to keep it together with a limited palette.