I have a couple of watercolour demos to do at the end of the month. In fact they are on consecutive days which is a bit awkward – I need to get that secretary replaced. The first one wanted a canal scene so I have been looking through my images to find something suitable to do. I did this yesterday morning, so with a bit of preparation, like getting my paints ready and having everything to hand, I should be able to do in the allotted hour and a half.
This is a scene I have posted before, both as an on-site sketch and as a more finished painting. The painting never sold and I have made a few small changes in this version. I am thinking of getting down to the canal and starting to build up a series of canal paintings as they were popular and its always a nice place to sit and paint.
I parked up in the carpark by the canal ready to go off painting and just took a glimpse along the towpath. Fingers of mist still clung to the reeds, avoiding the sun’s weak rays. Out of the reed beds some moorhens glided across the chill water, probably thinking I might be a source of a free breakfast.
I tried this out in pastel to get the wisps of mist. In hindsight I could have done it in watercolour and used white gouache for the mist.
With some better weather of late I at last got out to do some painting last night. I cycled inland a little way and painted this 17th century hall and farm which stands by the Leeds Liverpool Canal. The canal is hidden between the foreground – a field of broad beans – and the first row of trees/bushes. I sat on a mound of stinging nettles where I think I left my palette and to round it off I got another puncture. The joys of painting plein air.
In the dash to fill my long/thin frames for an upcoming exhibition I did one of the Leeds- Liverpool canal from the bridge. I did a similar view a few years ago, but this is from a recent photograph. The orientation really suits this format.
It is also three years to the day that I started this blog. I might buy myself a cake.
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.
This started out as a bigger painting. Initially I liked the array of trees in the background and the way they dwarfed the narrowboat and man, but when I completed it, the mass of foliage was boring and overpowering. I decided to cut it down from half imperial to quarter imperial. This is the quarter imperial (36x26cm) painting. I do like the warm colours of the man and lifefloat on the narrowboat, singing out in the sea of greens and the smaller size has put more focus on the boat. I still have some misgivings about the painting and will put it aside to consider it later.
As promised, or threatened, in my last post I said I would present another scene of the Leeds Liverpool Canal from where I was painting the other weekend. After the boats on the left and right had departed another boat came in under the bridge and I reached for my camera. It seemed like everyone was making the best of the good weather to get their narrowboat moored up for winter. I particularly liked the smoke coming from his exhaust or chimney – not sure which – which partially obscured the bridge.