Starting our return journey back to Cape Town we stayed at a place just north of Mossel Bay which was at the foot of a mountain range with fantastic views everywhere. This was the view from one of the room’s windows.
There was riding as well as flat green bowls and squash available at this place. I sat in the morning light and sketched some of the horses in the paddock.
Then into Mossel bay which didnt look very promising at first with its oil refinery and business quarter but the old town was very pleasant. Sitting at a beach side cafe under the old lighthouse watching the dolphins surf the incoming waves in the bright December sunshine was better than Liverpool in the snow.
So on to the Etosha pan and the Okaukuejo waterhole. Our room was yards from the actual waterhole which to my dismay was artificial, but boy did it attract some wildlife. The others went off on a game drive but I just sat in the shade and watched the animals come and go throughout the afternoon. I sat and sketched them in pencil, somewhat difficult as they kept getting spooked by flocks of birds flying off the trees. A couple of the pages are below.
I then did the watercolour at the top.
After this we went to another waterhole at Namutoni, this time real, but it only seemed to attract birdlife, so I decided to paint the old German fort, incongruously next to the waterhole.
It was very sad that they were doing very little with the fort, as opposed to the old German Police station at the Waterberg Plateau park which was used as a restaurant and had a very elegant veranda running around it and where you could breakfast. Why they needed a police station in the middle of nowhere was beyond me.
I quickly did a view of the sandstone cliffs you had to climb to get onto the plateau. It needed to be fast as a patrolling baboon was
likely to return after inspecting the rubbish bins for food and make off with my painting. Unfortunately for you readers he wasnt successful.
Anyway next stop Cape Town and, hopefully, a little less rushed itinerary, which may improve the sketching.
The tour continues moving inland to the Brandberg Mountains which contains the highest peak in Namibia. This basalt plug, the remains of an extinct volcano glows red in the morning sunshine giving the impression of it being alight. This was painted in the afternoon in the manicured grounds of the lodge.
Still further inland towards the Etosha salt flats in the evening light as the distant hills constantly changed colour in the decaying light.
Another painting done whilst on gallery duty on Thursday. It was from a walk I did last Tuesday in an area north of Settle in god’s own county of Yorkshire. We were returning to Settle along the River Ribble when we had to do a detour as the landowner didnt like the riff-raff on their land and we walked along a country lane to the wall in front of the farm ahead and then through the gap in the wall by the barn on the left and then onwards beside the river again. I liked the way the walls and road curved ahead to reveal the farm and way forward.
I’ve done scene before and posted it, but I came across it the other day and wondered if I could try it in the three cool colours I use, following on from the previous post where I used three warm colours. So this was done with lemon yellow, alizarin red and winsor blue. I have tried this combination before and found it quite difficult, when compared to using the warm colours – maybe it’s the more staining effect of the winsor blue and alizarin which can quickly overpower the painting . I must try a few more to see if you get a different feel to the paintings with the cooler colours.
I wasn’t completely happy with the original painting which you can see below and applied the paints on this one in a much looser way.
I suppose it was the early morning mistiness and recession past the trees which interested me as much as the horses. This was done with three colours cad. red, cad. yellow and ultramarine and mixing a lot of them on the paper.
Working on a handmade canvas I thought that I might revert to a style I once adopted. Ironically I used more colours in this painting than in many of the watercolours I paint and it took a lot longer with all the preliminary sketches and the assessment of the marks and then there were the corrections – it fair wore me out.