HIGHTOWN FARMS – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We’ve been on the road quite a bit recently visiting friends and currently celebrating the wife’s birthday in Dublin, but earlier in the week I managed to tear myself away and get some painting done. These are farms just north of Liverpool. The one above is Whitedge farm, the last painting, I did on my Tuesday morning trip.

Compare that to the softer effects of my first painting of the morning of another farm, Moss farm, below.

I think the effects are down to the slower drying rates you get in the cooler early morning. The top painting was done around 8-30 am, with the sun climbing in the sky, whilst the first, of Moss Farm, was done around 6-30 am. After doing this first sketch I continued along the track and painted Moss Farm again but from the right hand side as you look in the view above.

This was done contra jour and with a stiff brush I was able to remove paint to create some of the forms I could just see on the farm. This cluster of buildings isnt very pretty, but I think both paintings conceal most of the ugliness.

An enjoyable few hours on a glorious morning and the good weather continues here in Dublin. Just about to go off on a walking tour of the city.

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

SUNSHINE ON A RUST RIVEN ROOF – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

On my last sketching trip, which I blogged a week or so ago, I was cycling back when I spotted this barn with it’s rusting roof glowing in the sunlight. I resolved to come back and try a painting of it. But on my return, despite my expectations, the sun wasn’t shining. At the early hour the sun was still low in the sky, so I went along the road in search of another subject to paint. Here is one below:

Behind a hedge was this newly mown field, and the view up the hill. Upon completion, the sun was still playing hide and seek behind the fair weather clouds. So on I went looking for something else.

I followed an unfamiliar footpath that quickly petered out and deposited me in a field from which I found this view. A cluster of farm buildings; ones I have painted before, but this time it was from a closer viewpoint. And, when I had completed that, the sun still wasnt playing ball but by then it was getting late and I wanted some breakfast so I decided to go back to the barn and do the best I could. And there it is. Still, the red roof works well against the greens and the distressed side panels add to its character – but it would have been so much better with some bright sunlight.

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

UNDER THE HILL – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I’ve used this motif before as part of other paintings, but decided to make it a painting in it’s own right. I roughly covered over an old painting to inject some energy and mystery to the final piece and then let both the underpaintings come through all over the image.

I love this half shadowed cluster of farm buildings at the foot of Clieve’s Hills, near Ormskirk in Lancashire, and this was mainly from photos I took when I painted the same scene outdoors in May this year. Like some other landscapes I have done recently, I have distorted the colour range and heightened saturations. Though I hope to have imparted a bit more edginess into this one with the underpainting and rough handling of the foreground.

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

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