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.
Having had to rebook a holiday for the second time this week I thought that I would recall one from a more carefree time. This is on the Italian Lake Garda, a little hamlet near Salo. It was out of the way and frequented, it seemed, by locals. I saw quite a few small gatherings passing away the evening around the quay and a small promenade, putting the world to rights and greeting friends. Some even brought their own chair and when done would fold it up and carry it back to their house.
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I painted this scene many years ago, before I started this blog, and came across it the other day when I was sorting out my studio. I felt it needed some good darks to carry it off and running in strong colours can be quite tricky which is why I adopted the approach below.
Seeing my earlier attempt I thought that I would try again. Hopefully I have got the solidity and reflection I was after.
Other paintings of the Lake District are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
I had been working on another version of Shasta daisies I published in May, but things went from bad to worse to unprintable. So last night I started sketching this and it seemed to tumble out. I posted a version of this done on site at the end of May, but the lighting wasnt what I wanted. To get this view – and with it the light – you need to get further back down the canal, so far that the subjects became just dots. So the telephoto lense came in handy here.