LONDON SCENES – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We decamped for a few days to London. The wife had come up trumps on the Wimbledon lottery and had some ticket options. Not that you win any tickets, no; just the right to purchase some centre court tickets. This, though, is a step improvement on getting up at 4am to stand in line to try and get entry to the outer courts on the day.

I decided to go down with her and mooch about SW London while my wife and daughter – who lives in London – sipped Pimms and downed a few punnets of strawberries whilst watching a match or two.

Here is what I did instead. The first one is a sketch of Putney Bridge. This bridge spans the Thames between Putney and Fulham. As I sat on the Putney side I was caught by the bright London busses crossing the bridge, adding a bit of colour to the scene.

The church in the background is All Saints in Fulham which is on the perimeter of the grounds of Fulham Palace, the seat of the Bishop of London. I didnt know it was there until I wandered across the bridge. Entrance to the grounds was free and I did another sketch in the palace gardens as the other punters sat on the terrace and took tea.

The light wasnt very good, but it was a pleasant way to pass the day and I visited places I hadnt been to before and then enjoyed some evening meals out with family.

It beats working.

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

ANOTHER DAY IN THE SUN – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

An early start on a warm summer’s morning, I happened upon this footpath which proved to be a very secluded spot and I was able to spread out and work undisturbed. Nothing too exciting, but I enjoyed myself.

By contrast, on this one I was perched by the side of the road, trying to ignore the passing traffic. I liked the cluster of cottages and the powerlines at the top of the slight incline.

Finally, I sat in front of those cottages in the previous painting, looking at the view they see from their front windows. As I painted, a guy stopped in his car. He owned the house you can just make out behind the trees on the left at the end of the ploughed field. It turned out he had seen a painting I had done of the area which I had previously sold. He said he was interested in getting a painting of his house which he is currently renovating. I gave him my card but so far he hasnt got back to me – but you can never tell.

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

WOODLAND SCENES – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

It was midsummer solstice and I hadnt yet been out painting plein air this year in the UK. I had done some in Egypt and I have posted those sketches, but in the UK either poor light, cold or life had got in the way. So, with good weather forecast, I decided on my venue and off I went. On the way, a connecting road was closed. So I had to think quickly of some other place to paint. Not a good start.

I had planned to do some simple light and shade studies without too much detail, so when I saw this half cleared wood I was hesitant. It was more complex than I wanted, but the colours were great and the glimpses of light intriguing. So I parked the bike and started painting. I did most on site, but I had to finish at home. When I saw my photos, there was barely any of the redness on the images and it was this colour that drove me to do the painting. I like the result, rough as it is and may be working it up later.

Then I saw this scene. Again, I should never have started it, but the light and shade was too much to resist.

I then arrived at the kind of thing I was after, sitting in a field of barley – a simple view, passages of light and shade, whilst the traffic inched along on the other side of the wood on the right. So, after all the setbacks I got three studies in the bag and broke the ice – which you’d expect in June.

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

PLEX MOSS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Here are a couple of old paintings I reworked recently. This one, of the local reclaimed farmlands behind our town and the roller-coaster lane that runs across it, was washed with water and almost half of the painting removed or reduced in tone. I then repainted the foreground. Hopefully it now has a softer feel. more appropriate to an early morning scene.

And another painting given a similar treatment. This one, of Rivington Pike, which you can see across the moss from Southport, where I live. A similar approach was done to this, washing off the lower half to increase the impression of morning light and then reworking the fore ground.

Both were long format paintings which I am presently short of, ready for any upcoming exhibitions.

At present I am working on some big commission pieces with one almost finished, allowing me to start on the second one. I have posted sketches of them earlier and hopefully will have something to show soon.

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

WOODLAND’S EDGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last month the bluebells were out and there seemed to be a lot of them, well they were in my garden. Here is a painting of a local copse alongside an old railway track which has since been converted to a walking and cycling path. I have painted a number of scenes along it over the years.

At the moment I am working on a couple of large abstract acrylic commissions. Hopefully I will get the first one done this week. I am using moulding paste and matt gel to give the acrylics body and form. I have had these additives a while, but never used them much. The client wants texture, so we’ll give them a try. It’s good to be forced to try new approaches and they may transfer to some of my own work in the future.

Other landcsapes and abstracts are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AT THE END OF SEGARS LANE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Another reworked painting from around this area. This one, a view I’ve painted before, is of a lane which cuts east/west across the reclaimed farmland in the glow of the morning light. The last of the mist that blankets the low fields slipping stealthily away as the crows swoop in to reclaim their land.

It’s a place I often visit on my morning cycle rides, but I’m ashamed to say I havent been out this year and May, my favourite month, is almost over. But there is still time and the weather might improve, though I have missed some good mornings already for one thing or another.

Other local scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

AMBLESIDE SPRING – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I am presently reviewing some of my old paintings and looking at a change in style. Here is one painting I decided to rework. It is a view across the fields at Ambleside in the English Lake District. I felt it needed emphasis of both the gentle changes in tone in the background and the light and shade of the foreground. By happy accident, extending the same palette across the whole picture produces a satisfying cohesiveness.

I may have different opinions in a few months time, but at the moment I think I have moved forward on this one. There are many more to go, if I have the stamina.

Other landscapes and Lake District scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A GARDEN IN LUNT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

With house guests and other problems I havent much to show, so here is a painting I sold in 2006. I recall spotting this scene over a wall as I was out painting. I couldnt find anywhere to perch as there was a ditch in the way, so a few photos had to suffice and I completed it back home.

The old garden lit by the low sun and the view across the field of barley. It is a simple scene done simply, perhaps something I dont do these days. We were discussing it the other day, as we packed up one of our exhibitions. We didnt sell much, but some of the few that sold were simple landscapes – many of them anonymous. Certainly food for thought in the coming months, when hopefully I will be out on my bike painting our local countryside.

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

THE GAMEKEEPER’S COTTAGES ON ALTCAR LANE -ACRYLIC PAINTING

Tomorrow I am back in the pop-up gallery to do my weekly stint. Last Friday, when I was there, I did this acrylic version of a watercolour I had previously painted on site. The gamekeepers cottages are over to the left, in case you were wondering. I remember sitting by the roadside, last year, absorbed in my painting when a lady from one of the nearby cottages came out and asked whether I wanted a cup of tea – very nice. Though, I always take some tea with me on these early morning painting trips. It helps me settle down and concentrate better.

I was hoping that the greater colour saturation of the acrylic would bring something to the party and I suppose it has, though the depiction of the cereal is a bit clunky and that was something I had hoped would have come out better with the acrylics.

Still, it productively passed the time. Now I have to find a suitable subject to paint tomorrow, particularly as it will be less busy than last Easter weekend.

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

ROSEBAY WILLOWHERB IN AUGUST – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Walking through a clearing in my local woods last August I spotted the downy seed heads of the rosebay willowherb about to shed their harvest into the wind. It seemed a good subject with the remaining magenta flowers and reddish stalks set against the blue greens of the pinewoods and the yellower greens of the open scrubland. Here is the result.

You know, when midway through a painting, progress starts to slow and the enthusiasm edges towards the door, that perhaps it wasnt such a good idea, or a different approach might be advised. Actually, the reduced resolution of this photo has softened its pedantic plod and made it a bit less jarring to my eyes.

But then, I know the truth – it’s in front of me. We move on…

Other floral painting is available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com