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.
With the latest spell of good weather I have been trying to get out and do some painting, although it hasn’t been too successful either in actually getting out and then choosing the time to get out. The other day I went out in the evening and found at this time of year the sun can go down very quickly changing shadows so fast it becomes almost impossible to work.
However, last weekend I was able to get out in the morning and wasn’t confronted with this problem. Instead the subjects took off. Luckily I had taken photographs and had actually drawn them in my sketchbook (see below) but first the boat on the left departed and then the boat on the right untied and came up towards me. I did complain to the man behind the wheel that he was upsetting my painting, but he didn’t put the boat back.
But it was a glorious morning and the scene was superb and even a jogger stopped by twice to see how I was getting on. The painting above was one I did from a number of photos and the painting below was my on site sketch.
As I was doing the sketch, after the boats had departed, another one came under the bridge and I was able to get a photo or two of that which will be the subject of my next painting. The morning proved very fruitful with some great scenes in the low morning sun.