LIGHTS OF THE FOREST – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A fellow painting blogger mentioned her drawer of shame for paintings that failed to meet expectations. I felt that the title was harsh but then thought she could mean: ‘shame, a few bits let it down – I’ll have another go later’ drawer . This latter title describes a pile of paintings that I have. They just need tweaking to get to the conclusion I would be more comfortable with.

A version of the painting above – of a summery Ainsdale woods, the same place I did a mini series of paintings recently – was on that pile. I liked the contrast of lights and shade in the first version, but too much of it was variations of green. So the other day I picked it up and had another go. This time I accentuated the colours: greens, blues and purples in the shadows and a real hit of red on the path. Just taking the scene and pushing it a little further.

There may be a little more to be done. I have, so far, resisted putting texture on the path as there is loads of texture and busyness everywhere else and I am wondering whether to further darken the shaded areas at the sides, but am wary about losing the gentle purples and blues. So this may be the finished version.

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

PATH AMONGST THE BIRCHES – ACRYLIC PAINTING

You would be almost correct if you thought you’d seen this before. It is another version of a watercolour I posted earlier in the month. This time I put it on a 76×50 cm canvas and used acrylics. I pushed back the thicket on the right, compressing the trunks and focussed more on the shadows they created on the path – adding a few more for good measure. Hopefully I’ve created a bit more energy on this one and it more accurately reflects the feeling I had cycling through our local woods in Ainsdale on that recent sunny Saturday.

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

SUNLIT BIRCHES BY THE FOREST PATH – PASTEL PAINTING

I mentioned in my previous post about a cycleride in the afternoon sun, last Saturday. Here is another in the small series of paintings from that trip. This one’s a pastel. The low afternoon sun pierces through gaps in the forest, picking out skeletal birch trees, which hang there, like automatons on a ghost train ride, scaring no one.

A fellow blogger, N, from Ink,Yarn and Beer told me to look at the pastel work of Karen Margulis. In one utube video she used a wet brush to spread and mix the pastel across her support. When I’ve done this the paper cockles, making further work difficult. But recently I have been using gouache as a base for dark areas in my pastels and havent had any issues. So, for the forest background, I dragged down purples, siennas and browns with a wet brush to create a backdrop, using Karen’s approach. I also did it in the sky. With the amount of water kept to a minimum it seemed to work. When the sky and backforest was dry, I went in with the foreground trees, grasses and the leaf covered path.

It is a dark piece and I am a little undecided about it, particularly its commercial potential, but I’ll put it up and see how I feel about it in the coming days. I have another watercolour on the go from this trip and am thinking of making the previous painting of the birch copse with shadows, into a bigger acrylic piece.

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

AUTUMN COMES TO AINSDALE WOODS – ACRYLIC PAINTING

After the holiday, back to earth with a bump – particularly yesterday, when I had some pretty aggressive dental treatment. But this blog is about painting, not my teeth, so here is a painting of the local woods which back onto the sandy beaches around here.

The woods are predominantly made up of conifers, but there are gaps where spruce makes a grab for the sunlight. Then, in the autumn these gaggles of spruce light up the forest with their colourful, leafy displays. I’ve painted this type of scene before and here, without apology, is the start of a wooded section just behind our local airfield.

Coming out of the shade of a copse, the light on the trees and their trunks ahead, grabbed my attention and the puddles on the path was an added extra.

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

SOME LIGHT IN THE FOREST – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I was in the middle of an acrylic painting and had an impulse to paint this in watercolours. It is of another favourite subject of mine: Ainsdale Woods which sit on the edge of the sandunes on the coast. I loved the purples, blues and greens, which I have enhanced here, and how they collide with the yellows of the sunlit leaves.

I tried to be sparing in my washes and brushwork to keep a freshness and may have left areas underworked as a consequence. Anyway, there`s plenty of colour for a gloomy pine forest.

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

DANCING LIGHT, FLEETING SHADOWS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

Another view from Ainsdale pine woods near to my home, where the firs and bracken have populated the old sand dunes down to the beach.

You can understand, in a more credulous age, the belief in sprites and fairies as the morning light bristles or crepuscular darks grow.

And another go at the view of the woods and path I posted a few weeks ago. The first one was quickly done on the back of an old painting and I loved the glow I achieved. Unfortunately some of the old painting had been cut down so it didnt fit my frames and mounts. Hence this second attempt on a fresh sheet.

Other paintings of the Sefton coast are available for sale at great prices on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A WALK THROUGH AINSDALE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I saw a woodland scene simply done in watercolours the other day and wondered whether some of my scenes could do with decluttering. The painting was eye catching though too simplistic for my taste but I felt it was worth trying some of the principles.

This painting was from view I have had lying around for a while and I thought that it would make a good starting point. I proceeded with a wash of strong primary colours over the wetted sheet and then moved the whole lot with more sprayed water to get some colour mixing into a myriad of hues.

When dry, further forms were created into sprayed areas to give hit and miss shapes and gradually the whole thing was worked up with drier and drier brushwork.

I’ll do a few more and compare them with earlier paintings I have done.

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

SUNSHINE IN THE PINEWOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Regular readers may sense groundhog day, but this is a more finished version of an offering I produced a few weeks ago as part of a set of woodland scenes. As I scratch around for suitable work for a couple of upcoming exhibitions, there may be more of that set coming – so those of an unforgiving disposition should switch off now…

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

BACK TO THE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

I had a bit of time to play around with some forest scenes I had collected from recent visits to our local Ainsdale and Formby woods. On the top painting I did the colour mixing on the paper adding water to push colour away from the top right and then push and reinforce the dark mixtures on to the bottom right to get contrast and mystery.

This, above, was my first try. I like some of it, but feel that I need some colour contrasts to highlight the point of interest and break the monotony.

This got a bit obvious with streams of light, but has the area of interest I needed in the painting above. Again, with a few tweaks it could be worth another try. I think if I push the bottom area up into the `middle it might enliven it a little.

There may be more if I get some spare time.

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

THE AUTUMN SUN SWEEPS AINSDALE WOODS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

A few loose washes and plenty of splattered masking fluid got this off to a good start. I wanted the smokey luminosity of low autumn sunlight and it seems to have worked at least for the top half. A very similar subject to an earlier painting I posted , but not surprising as they both were from images taken on the same day, but I like the air of mystery in this one.

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