I painted this scene many years ago, before I started this blog, and came across it the other day when I was sorting out my studio. I felt it needed some good darks to carry it off and running in strong colours can be quite tricky which is why I adopted the approach below.
Seeing my earlier attempt I thought that I would try again. Hopefully I have got the solidity and reflection I was after.
Other paintings of the Lake District are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
This was inspired by a recent walk that many in these northern climes might recognise. I like the way forms grow and dissolve in the gloom and a patch of light grabs attention.
I was hoping for smoother transitions in the sky but found the very necessary break of light made that difficult. Now, having had a go I can see another way of approaching the subject so that could mean version two – I apologise in advance .
Anyway, a merry xmzzz to all my reader. Have a great time.
This morning I was roused from my slumbers at 5-30 and the sun was shining, so I went out to do some painting. It’s still cold here, but I took some tea to drink whilst the washes were drying and all was well with the world.
This was the second sketch of the day. I crossed the canal and ventured towards Clieves’ Hills – an area I paint a lot.
Here are some earlier sketches I did when we had a warm spell in April. They are up on the Cumbrian Coast in the Lake District. It took us an age to get there and on the way back the car started to do some very strange things. We limped home but it wasnt a happy day.
This is a view of the area as we climbed the hills behind Ravenglass.
This was a view over the River Esk as it comes to the sea at Ravenglass. The gorse was in full flower with bright burst of yellow all over the hillside – though from the sketch above you might think that they were daffodils.
I liked the dark background behind the sunlit fields and path and the way the light was reflecting off the tops of the trees. I tried a block approach, using square brushes, but in hindsight should have primed the paper with a strong undertone. I might then have got a bit of vivacity with the primer showing through, complementing the rough approach.
I was thinking of getting my oils out for this one but decided that first I might just sketch it out in pastels, and here is the result. I certainly like the lost and found edges lending an air of mystery to the piece and the way the land dissolves into the atmosphere.
I took it from a couple of photos combing the best bits although I am a little unsure of the darkness that pervades the bulk of the image even though, as I keep telling myself, this is necessary to state the highlights.
When I was abroad I received a commission to paint a cottage in Cartmel which is in the English Lake District in Cumbria. It will be for a present. The cottage seems to be an old mill, set beside the village stream. On drawing it I realised that there was no symmetry in this building. The photo I received is rather flat and taken in winter, so I have added some colour and put the leaves back on the trees.
Being away on the run-up to Christmas has caused me to miss some of the exhibitions around here. I managed to get my framer, Glynn, to hold his window for me so at least I got some paintings out before Christmas ( but only just). I have restricted it to landscapes of the area around us and called it ‘ Behind the Dunes’ as we have a very sandy beach around here. I forgot my camera when I set it up but here is an image from last year – apologies for the quality and my bike getting into the frame.
Thanks to Glynn at Ges Bur Studios, Southport for the space.
I suppose I wanted to slop some paint around and do a simple landscape and the brooding layers of hills around Borrowdale seemed a good candidate. I had some photos taken from afar so there might be some topographical errors here, but I hope I’m not too far out and anyway the paint had a mind of its own as you know. I had envisioned a more brooding skyscape and it seemed ok when it was wet… . Same old story.
The scene does seem to pose a threat but walking along the banks of the Derwent, in decent weather, as it flows through Borrowdale for me is a calming and serene experience. Well worth the drive up the M6.