CLIEVES HILLS – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

With the sun shining I got up early on Monday morning and headed to Clieves Hills on my bike. On my last painting trip I spotted this cottage at the foot of the hills from another angle and made a mental note, but returning on Monday, I was more taken with this view, with sweeps of stubble leading the eye. Comparing it to the other sketches I did on the day I feel I have captured a dose of morning freshness under the sun’s first rays.

I then headed up the hill and, from across the field, spotted this group of buildings nestling under a tree. This is the kind of light I want, crisply defining shape and form and keeping me warm as I paint.

Then I shuffled a good hundred yards along the ridge and set my stool down to paint these cottages that almost hang in the air looking out to Liverpool and the Welsh hills beyond. I have been reluctant to paint these before as it is at a well frequented viewpoint. Casting shyness aside, no-one even noticed me as I painted away.

The grasses, plants and flowers in the foreground were a picture in themselves and I might turn this into a painting in the near future.

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

TOWARDS NEW CUT LANE – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Another in a graphic style acrylic painting, though this is not on canvas but on paper and slightly smaller at around 36×52 cm than earlier paintings of this type. The undulating furrows of a newly planted potato crop caught my eye as I cycled around the Moss earlier in the year.

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

AROUND HALSALL – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Well, we are presently experiencing our normal summer; high winds and rain, which I am told is set for the week, but last week there was a brief taste of sunshine. I had the last couple of pages in my old sketchbook to fill and a new one was waiting to get started on – so I needed to take the opportunity..

For the first painting, I chanced upon a little path off the road as I cycled along. I liked the sweep of the path and the tonal range of deep shadows against the ripening barley. As I got cracking a tractor came bouncing down the path, so I had to collect all my belongings and head for the long grass. Anyway, he didnt return and calm returned.

This second one was at the top of Clieves hills and again I liked the deep tonal contrast – and the incongruous speed signs. Just off left are the trees I painted and posted on 18th June.

For this one, above, of the cottages on Cut lane I had to wedge myself into the hedgerow on a busy road. I may have spooked a few cyclists as they caught me in the corner of their eye on passing.

And finally, sat on the verge of a quiet country lane, painting the fields and farm, I was surprised by the number of walkers, cyclists and the odd car or two which passed. These days no-one miders you and they hurry past. I didnt even need to cough.

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

THE TRACK TO NEW CUT LANE – ACRYLIC PAINTING

This is another in my series of local views though this one is less stylised than the previous two, but I have pushed the colours again. I posted a plein air version back in July last year and when I found it in my sketchbook to do this version, I was quite pleased with the watercolour I had done out in the fields.

So in some way I have taken a backward step with this painting by not pushing it graphically but I am pleased with the summery vibrancy and the looseness.

In the meantime I have been reworking the first two. I’ll post them soon when all the changes have been made.

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

A STORM PASSES GREEN KETTLE FARM – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Second in the series of the graphic and colour-centric landscapes I am completing. Not sure if there is too much detail in the foreground here and that a further paring down could prove beneficial. I am already reworking the foreground of the first in the series I presented earlier, and painting a third.

I did a watercolour of this farm a long time ago and there isnt a lot going on though I love the outline of the buildings and the wind sculpted trees. This time I added the storm and am very pleased with some of the outcome.

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

EARLY CROPS UNDER CLIEVES HILLS – ACRYLIC PAINTING

This image was developed from a plien air painting I posted at the start of June.

I wanted a bit more colour and punch and also thought that a graphic style could enhance the saturated colours so I gessoed over an old painting on canvas and set to work. I had been influenced by work by Fred Ingrams amongst others and although I havent achieved his brave use of colour it is an early step.

It might be worth producing a small set of paintings in this style and see if they develop. I have plenty of raw material both photos and sketches to draw from.

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

STATION ROAD, BARTON – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This may have a ring of familiarity. I did a similar painting en plein air and posted it a few weeks ago and decided it would make a good subject for a long format painting. I liked the lane on the left leading into the cluster of buildings in this hamlet and the long fingers of shadow extending into the sprouting barley.

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

MORE LOCAL SKETCHES IN WATERCOLOUR

Well today the rain came and not soon enough for my lawn. It also gives me a rest as I have been madly cycling around the local area in the good weather looking for subjects to paint. The first of this set of sketches is a complex called Dicconsons farm. I sat on the edge of the field and painted the bend in the lane. When I completed this one I shuffled 90 degrees on my stool and did the view looking across the field and up Clieves Hills, just outside of Ormskirk.

I then had to pack up and get on the bike again and rode around until I saw Dicconsons Farm from across the fields. I was attracted by the way the light was reflected off the roofs. As you can see lemon yellow was a particular favourite that day.

Other local landscape paintings are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

ROSE COTTAGE, PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Rose cottage seems a misnomer for a farm complex, but that’s what Google said it was when I checked it out. Actually, it wasnt the farm that initially attracted me – though the building acted as a superb foil – it was the gloriously yellow rape seed growing in the field in front, with the illuminated spring foliage on the trees. That was what made me take a photo or two on one of my recent cycle rides.

With Boris’ latest edict I might now get back to painting outside in the coming days – though the temperature has taken a nosedive of late which is a hindrance, as I am too impatient to wait too long for paint to dry; not advisable with watercolours.

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

WASH DAY AT MARSH FARM – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

Yesterday I decided to join a painting club on one of their summer site visits. I had just joined this club, mainly for the exhibition possibilities, and they sent me their summer schedule which contained some places I had not been before in the area. Marsh Farm was one, and as it was a nice day I thought I would get out and give it a go.

Apart from my old wooden stool falling apart from under me as I painted, it was a good day. Above is the group painting the farm, whilst I sat on a bank by the track – one of the few comfortable places left with the demise of my stool.

Other landscape and townscape paintings available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com