NEXT YEAR'S SCRATCHES AND SCRAPES – PASTEL PAINTING

I got the pastels out for the last blog and thought I could do with having a stock check. This entails doing a few paintings and seeing what hues and tones I am short of. I found a shop in Liverpool which sells Unison pastels. Normally I buy them over the internet, but it is far better making sure that you get the right ones by seeing them in the flesh and trying them out. So here’s a scene of thistle seed heads in the sun. I was sat waiting for someone on a park bench this autumn when the sun came out and I was caught by the brightness of the seed heads and the way they seemed to glow against the shadows. So I snapped a few photos and here we are and I’ve got my list for a shopping trip.

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

HARVEST – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I was taken by the variety of colours in my grapes as they were ripening and with the light picking out highlights and creating shadows I thought that it might make a good subject

The wine production here in Lancashire was rather small on account of the fact that I ate all of the grapes. I have a habit of nipping into my greenhouse and thinning out the bunches, to prevent them getting tightly packed and bursting. Sometimes I over do it.

In this painting I was unsure about the foliage, but a fairly loose rendition seems to have worked. The leaves proliferate and constantly need thinning out, so you get this busy green background which I feel I have portrayed.

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

ECHINOPS AND FRIEND – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A late entry to my upcoming solo exhibition of flower paintings. I have assembled 16 paintings to show at my framers next week. So I am spending time getting things ready, at the expense of painting.

I must admit to getting a bit down after putting work in a couple of mixed exhibitions of late and selling nothing, but last week I entered another and went to collect my work to find that I had sold three. One of life’s small victories which puts a spring back in your step. So I’m entering this one a bit more optimistically – but only a little bit.

Other florals are available for sale on my website ( which I am currently updating) grahammcquadefineart.com

LAST LIGHT WITH LILLIES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another previously attempted painting, but unlike the last post where I had messed around with the edges of some paintings, this one was started from scratch. Hopefully I have captured the luminosity which I felt the first version lacked and I have simplified the design as the last one was a little too busy.

These lillies, which grow in my back garden, were supposed to be red but as the years go by they take on a more orange hue. They also grow to be about six feet tall so you end up looking up at them and into the sun if it is getting low in the sky.

A reminder of summer as the frosts gather to clear away what remains.

Other floral work is available for sale in time for Christmas on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

ESCHSCHOLZIA IN SHADE – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

Another trial painting. Checking out what I can demonstrate. It certainly wont be this. Too much overpainting to get the darks. I have trimmed the painting above. It certainly needs more flower and less background and those Californian poppy leaves are a bugger to do – though I do love the contrasts from the white page to the deep mixes of indigo and the poppy petals create lovely swirls of colour. I’ll be back with another go at this.

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

BOUGAINVILLEA – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

Having been away for a few days wielding a paintbrush at my daughter’s house – though only on doors and other woodwork, as well as a multitude of other DIY tasks – I havent done much of the other painting.

Just before I left I did this trial for a demo which I need to give in October. It is of my bougainvillea which is flowering profusely in a pot. I think it needs a few tweaks but could be a candidate for a subject. Anyway, I offer it as a blog.

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

BLUE HYDRAGEAS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

I have a number of hydrangeas in the garden but they are predominately pink despite adding buckets of aluminium salts to to turn them blue, the colour I prefer. Someone recently told me that the soil also needs to be acidic, so that may be my next approach, but the other day as I was crawling amongst the undergrowth I discovered I actually had a small blue hydrangea which I think was a gift from a visitor. So you got a painting. There may be more of these if I discover the trick of turning the rest blue.

Talking of more: here’s another attempt at my lush gladioli, the subject of the last post. There were a few issues with the first one, despite the overall effect of the main blooms that I was very satisfied with.

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