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.
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.
Last Saturday the weather was bright and I got off the train a couple of stops early on my return from the morning life session in Liverpool. I walked back through the woods. With the birches resplendent in their yellows and oranges I took a few photos as I walked home. This painting was a view at the end of my walk with a couple of figures borrowed from another shot. In hindsight I should have given the man the dog, so it stands out in the light. I might try a few more images from my walk.
I apologise for another version of sunlight through trees on consecutive blogs, but in mitigation they are in different media.
I mentioned in previous blogs about walking with a group of French visitors who had come to Southport. On the Saturday we had a sunny walk, taking lunch on the beach at Formby. I posted a painting I did of the scene on 24th October. This is another painting based on views I saw, that day, on our way to lunch, walking through the woods to Formby and then on to the beach. I have done another, very different version of these woods. I’ll post that in my next blog.
I tried to keep this painting very loose; spraying the paper with water and then throwing paint into the dampened area after which I then drew into and painted with a brush. As I was building up layers of paint I spayed in masking fluid both on dry and damp paper at differing times of painting, so the masking fluid covered different colours and tones.
I am on the south coast of England visiting friends and family for a few days and decided to take a walk along part of the South Downs Way which mainly strides grassy chalk uplands along the south coast. I started my walk in the Cuckmere valley estuary where the river winds across the broad valley and headed north but very quickly found myself in Westdean Country Park and quite dense forest. In the breaks in the trees the light broke through the canopy and there were some lovely areas of light and shade, particularly where the copper beech trees hung over the path. I might work this up into a painting. As I worked, a number of walkers passed and I snapped a few of them as they cut between the light and shade. Hopefully I will get to do a few more paintings in the coming days.
Another floral theme, though without the flowers. I liked the idea of the remaining leaves dancing in the sun before they fall and bitterness and ice struts in. This painting was done fairly loosely, trying to build up texture with spray as well as painting wet into wet. This has inspired me to look at some other woodland scenes I have struggled with in the past.
Some time ago I reported, after painting the plein air Downholland Farm I posted, that I had left my portable palette behind. When I came back to search for it I came in my car and had to park on some waste land and the easiest way was to cut through this small copse. I loved the evening light coming in through the trees and the branches and trunks cutting across the scene making an almost stained glass effect. When I came out of hospital last week I thought that I could do this in pastel and sat down and cracked on and produced this pastel below:
I thought that the pastel would allow me to get the criss-crossing branches easier and also allow me to work up the foliage catching the light in the shadows. I was unhappy with the results and decided to have another go in watercolour. I tried a splattering approach with the foliage on the watercolour and got some wonderful textures, but had to go over a lot of it in order to get the tonal contrast I was after. In the end the result was better but still it lacked the impact that I was after.