These sketches of the Leeds Liverpool Canal were done a few days ago as the weather has now taken a turn for the worse, or returned to the norm, depending on your level of pessimism.
The sketches are of each side of the bridge, by the Ship Inn at Haskayne, although on the first one the bridge is just out of view on the left. It was when I was well into this second sketch that I realised something was missing. Here is a painting of the same site which I sold a few years ago.
Admittedly the second one was painted in the evening light whilst my top sketch is done in the morning, but I must say that the willow and the ivy on the bridge do add some character and interest to the image, not quite balanced by the reeds now growing on the canal bank.
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.
I decided to work up a couple of paintings I did as plein air sketches and posted a few weeks ago. I was a bit disappointed with the results and am trying to work out why I feel this way. I think this one could have been done with more textured foreground and less of the ploughed field although I do have a problem with the large amounts of green that that might produce.
This second one might do with increasing the contrasts but again I am concerned with masses of green. I will leave both in the studio and mull over them whilst I get on with something new.
Other landscape paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
Two more from my painting trips of last week. Since then I haven’t been out as we have been getting a lot of much needed rain. Presently I am working this sketch of a tree up into a small painting, so I’ll be putting that on the blog soon.
I might even work this one up as well. There is a great view on the other side of the cottage and the overhanging tree and cable poles give it character. Hopefully the good weather will make a comeback, but at least I don’t have to water the garden.
Well, the sun continues to shine, so I’ve been out on my bike again. This is an old track I used to ride down a lot on my way to and from work. I loved the variation of the trees and the line of reeds. After painting this I went back to where I painted Down Holland Farm (earlier post) and found my metal pallet in amongst the stinging nettles.
This one is an old cobbled canal bridge, looking into the sun. I had to stand in the middle of it to paint in order to see the buildings and light on the hedgerow. It is a bridge from an old farm track over the canal to nowhere (I cant understand why it was built) yet as I worked 3 dogwalkers came past, then a pony and trap and finally to people riding horses. Each time I had to move my gear to let them past. It’s tough out on the road, or bridge in this case. Though I might develop this further as I liked the scene and I haven’t done justice to the main tree.
Out in the early morning: this was a bit of a problem, as although the sun was shining, the air temperature was around 2oC. So the washes didn’t try very fast so I did a lot of pacing around whilst the painting sat drying on the grass in the sun. Still it’s great to get out and as I returned home I saw a couple of sites well worth painting on another visit. Always good having somewhere to go rather than wasting time looking around for a subject.
Another canal scene and in a place I’ve painted before on the Leeds to Liverpool Canal. The light coming in from over the fields and catching surfaces on the boats and vegetation caught my eye. To evoke the morning stillness I tried to reduce the range of colours, so that there was a calmness of hue.