A FEW MOMENTS AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

It was the stance of the fellow by the narrowboat that caught my attention. Coupled with the shade of the tree and the haziness in the background , I thought that it might make an interesting picture. The location is the old quay at Burscough with it’s cobbled pathway at the side of the Leeds to Liverpool canal – if you are going in that direction. It is the same location where I painted the old guy with his kettle – posted on 12th April, only taken from a slightly different angle.

Perhaps it is the slow flow of the canal that creates a gentle, unhurried ambience upon its banks. Time to talk, time to pause and stare, time to sit with a hopeful eye on your fishing rod. A narrowboat glides by and walkers wave, whilst ducks unhurriedly part to the canal sides and find another place to search for their watery fare.

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

BURSCOUGH DOCK – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Life has been a little hectic of late and has prevented me from doing much painting. Fortunately I have a few old paintings that I havent shown on this blog before. Here is one I did this in 2005 and it sold. I came across an image of it yesterday and was pleasantly pleased with it, well, apart from the perspective of the arch over the near window. Though it was the reflection off the sliding door and the cobblestones that caught my eye.

This old building has since been gentrified with bars, boutiques and galleries, but the brick shell remains. The area is great for subjects to paint such as the canal and the old mill you can see in the distance.

Even more canal side paintings can be found for sale on my blog: grahammcquadefineart.com

AUTUMN MOORINGS AT LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I have had a version of this painting around for a while and while I have found the market for canal scenes has diminished over the years, sales do manage a slow trickle. I decide that the reason why my earlier version of this had remained unsold was the overcomplicated reflections in the foreground. So I set about this aspect and made some other minor modifications in readiness for our upcoming exhibition.

I do particularly like the reflected light that seems to come up from under the bridge. I remember sitting on the canal bank painting a plein air version of this in the late summer sun a few years ago. The memory makes me restless for some more early morning painting – it will soon be warm enough.

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

WALK, PART 3 – PASTEL PAINTING

Here is the final part of our post Christmas walk that I have been describing recently. The muddy, last, stretch along the canal and back to the car. This is a scene I have painted before as the light on the moored boats sings against the surrounding shadows.

When a painting requires such tight detail I would naturally reach for the watercolour or acrylic. I havent the patience finding or making slivers with which to place small, precise marks. Here. I used some conte pencils for the really fine details, though I tried to keep this to a minimum and just hint at the shapes of the boats.

I love the branch which hangs over the canal.

I wasnt as pleased with the other pastel I did of the fields over the moss that we passed. Initially it was the patchwork of greens, interspersed with the winter trees that attracted me, but in the end I found the result a little disappointing. Perhaps I should have made more of the sky and pushed the fields into a tighter mass.

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

MORNING’S WALK BY THE SARACEN’S HEAD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Back to the Leeds to Liverpool Canal at Halsall for my subject. The view from the bridge over the canal by the old pub, The Saracen’s Head – which is out of sight, directly to the left.

With the light coming in from the left it almost silhouettes the narrowboats and other craft moored close to the pub.

I have posted views of this scene painted further along the canal from where the man is taking his morning constitutional. I did a sketch on the spot and then worked it up into a painting. I posted this painting in early 2020: Approaching the Saracen’s Head – Watercolour Painting In this view you can see the bridge peeping from behind the foliage in the background, along with the roof of the pub.

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

MORNING AT BURSCOUGH – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last week I was out, early morning, by the canal painting. As I was scouring the canal footpath, looking for suitable subjects, I saw the scene above. Without room to sit, I took some photos and painted this when I got home.

The sketches I did manage didnt have the same impact and I rather regretted not making myself a nuisance by sitting painting on the path.

With this view, above, I think I liked the light on the big tree as much as anything else.

Here, you can see the morning has got into its stride. The white of the boat immediately caught my attention and in the background the hawthorn berries gave some welcome complementary to the greens.

Whilst I sat and painted, a guy came to talk to me. He was a musician and certainly got my sympathy regarding the problems he had with the effects of both covid and music streaming on opportunities and income. Trouble was he spent twenty five minutes on this subject – so it slowed me down somewhat.

When I was putting together this article I thought it might reawaken the Troll who whose cowardly sneering peaks at the sight of canal art and who has been silent of late.

Wrong again. OCD Troll raged similarly against my last post – a seaside scene. So much so. that they sent two mouth frothing messages yesterday :

This is in no way ART!!….it is pure s***e!

And then twenty minutes later:

Pure crap.

Well the art was sold, Troll – yes art ( Troll’s ignorant of art history – what chance have I got?) to an artist, actually.

Other art is available for sale – even to Trolls – on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com – that’s right, Troll, FINE ART. And I’ll be putting it out for a good while longer.

PILLING LANE BRIDGE, LYDIATE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Looking through an old sketchbook I saw a version of this done on a sunny morning a few years ago and thought it might be worth working up. I tried to repeat it as directly as I could without the overpainting and overworking I did originally as you can see in the sketch I posted in May of 2018.

Other canal scenes are available for sale at very reasonable prices on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE MOORINGS AT PARBOLD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I decided to work up one of the plein air sketches I recently showed on the blog. I had a tussle with the spring leaves on the trees against the dark buildings. I initially splattered masking fluid in the area and then proceeded to paint mixes of burnt sienna, um blue, alizarin and a few others into the area to imitate buildings and dark background foliage. When I rubbed off the masking fluid and applied foliage colours it looked laboured, despite softening edges. So off it all came and I repeated the dark building colours, but then added white gouache mixed with lemon yellow and some blues. I was pleased with the soft effects it gave. I am reluctant to use gouache as I consider it a bit of a cheat, but I dont think I could have got these glinting leaves better any other way.

Canal scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

CANAL COTTAGE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

On my last post I showed two sketches I did on a morning painting trip near Burscough in Lancashire. Here is a scene I saw on the way between those sketches. The old cottage and canal boats caught in the sunshine, contrasting with the shade of the bank I was cycling on. This was the reason why I didnt paint it at the time – being in the shade, the paint would have taken an eternity to dry and I would probably be still painting it.

Presently I am debating whether to go in darker with the overhanging leaves on the near bank: I was taken by the gloominess and darkness of the bank compared to the brightness on the other side. Perhaps a metaphor for life – though it looks like the cottage needs a lot of work doing to it and I’d much rather be out painting.

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

MORNING SHADOWS – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

May has been uncharacteristically cold around here – not the kind of weather to dry your watercolours in when painting outside. Being of an impatient nature, waiting for paint to dry is just too hard for me. But yesterday the weather changed, with southern winds and bright sunshine. I got up shortly after 5am and headed towards the canal. OK, this first one isnt of the canal, but the canal was close by. The silhouetted shapes caught my eye and I thought that it would be a good one to start with.

Later I did settle down by the canal at a place called Parbold and painted the canal boats moored by the village.

It was great to get out in the morning. Hopefully there will be a few more mornings to come. Apart from these sketches I also took some photos so I have plenty of material for further paintings.

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