Following my watercolour sketch – Walk in the Woods – I presented a week or so ago, I thought that I would develop it a little. I liked the bands of light and shade created by the beeches in this wood on The Southdowns Way, close to the Cuckmere Valley. I mentioned in the blog that I took some pictures of passing walkers and I put in a couple with their sticks. I also kept the colours muted and resisted my urge to bang in some scarlet amongst the greens. Not sure whether it has the impact of my Dog Walkers where I succumbed to the scarlet urge – but maybe I got some of the calm I experienced on the day. Hope it calms you, also.
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 woodland painting and another repeat – I have put versions of this on the blog before. Certainly a little tighter than the previous blog of the woodland scene with no splattering; using brushes only, but I am pleased with the luminosity resulting. This is down to the layering of washes.
If I remember on my previous attempts I tried a loose approach which lost the constant tonal changes throughout the piece and resulted in taking out and scratching back. Slowly building up those changes this time seems to have paid off without it becoming overly fussy.
I must admit that I was inspired by the texture I got on my previous painting that I put out on my last post and so I decided to try and apply the splattering techniques to a scene I had done before in the hope that I would get a less staid outcome.
Well there is a lot of splatter on this but the outcome was less than I had hoped for. Perhaps I could have put the tree trunks and branches in whilst the paper was wet. I also did the splatter in two sections, one for the canopy leaves and one for the undergrowth. I also lost the translucency and the light coming through which I had in the earlier watercolour. So back to the drawing board – sorry about the pun.
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.
Yes, you’ve seen it before but not quite like this. Someone wanted to buy the original, but then wanted it bigger and whilst I was at it could I put their parents in – along with the dog. So anything to oblige… I also took the opportunity to work out how to do it as a demo as a local group want a landscape demo in watercolour, so all in all, hopefully it was time well spent.
Being a sort of obsessive I do paintings over and over again. This is the latest version of this path which connects the north end of Formby with the sea via the pinewoods and skirting one of the many golf courses here. I am beginning to feel a bit satisfied with the outcome. I initially went in with warm red, blue and yellow and mixed the colours all over the paper, spraying and mixing the quite strong colours. Then, when dry I rewet some of the paper with spray and mixed in the foliage, extending the trunks at the same time. I am pleased with the effect of the light even though I have painted over the whole paper. On a previous edition I deliberately left the area of the sun white, yet it doesn’t have the same impact of lightness – see below.
Also the trees on the right now have more vitality and their warmness complements the colder colours on the left. I feel there is a greater sense of mystery in the new painting.