A STORM BREAKS OVER BIRKDALE BEACH – PASTEL PAINTING

I am working on a small series of local beach scenes in pastel. It gives me an opportunity to try out the use of gouache to quickly block in masses of light and shade. Darker passages can take a lot of pastel to build up and painting in a mixture of colours that can be added to with pastel seems to give a fresher result. I have done it with acrylic before, but I felt gouache will retain a better tooth to the paper.

On the beach, the marram grass covered dunes give way to lonely wet sands stretching way out to the breaking waves, almost imperceptible, in the distance. Above, dark clouds gather across the Irish sea in readiness to sweep in eastwards, lashing the country with the moisture picked up when crossing the Atlantic.

It is a good place to walk, in waterproof boots, on a windswept days past wading birds, to view what flotsam the preceding tide has deposited on the wet sand. Broken branches, like reaching limbs, festooned with flags of algae and black jewels of coal scoured from the Welsh coast dot the sand like pebbles.

Other seascapes and beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BLOWING UP A STORM, REVISITED – ACRYLIC PAINTING

This is another version of a painting I posted earlier in the year. I felt that painting was too well defined for the subject and the range of colours too distracting and gaudy. I liked the concept and the array of figures, I just needed to present it differently.

So I painted this rougher version, restraining the colours and giving it the air of an exuberant jam session which is what I am trying to portray. I may have gone too far, but I’ll give it a road test at our pop-up exhibition today and see what the punters think – if anything.

Next week I am putting some local scenes, as a theme, into the window of my framer, so I need to pull back my local scenes from the pop-up and gather them for the framer’s show. This means that I will be trying out a range of styles and subjects at the pop-up. After a promising start there, things have gone a bit flat so perhaps a shake up is needed.

Get a painting for christmas – visit my website for a great choice of subjects at keen prices: click on: grahammcquadefineart.com. Go on, treat yourself!

GLINTING LIGHT OVER WINDERMERE -WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

This was an image I was playing with sometime ago from a distant trip to the English Lake District. At present, my time is taken up with commissions.

Before Christmas I had a small exhibition at my framers and I sold three paintings prior to the holiday. Since Christmas the paintings have been locked in his shop window. Latterly, non essential shops, like picture framers, were allowed to open again and a couple more paintings sold before we ended the exhibition on Monday. However, from the exhibition I have acquired three commissions and so I am working my way through those. The first one was of someone’s house and cat which I thought inappropriate to show, but the other two might make the blog – when I complete them. For me, commissions take longer than a normal painting because you need to be sure of details personal to the recipient and I also allow the recipient to be part of the planning which doesnt speed things up.

So for now, here is a view over Lake Windermere, before the next shower of rain comes in to dampen the walker. Hopefully we will be getting back there soon.

Other landscapes and views of the Lake District are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

BREAKWATER – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Just two colours were used to paint this – a warm red and a cool blue. I wasnt sure whether it would come off, but after a lot of dry brushwork and the splattering of masking fluid, it started to take shape. I was pleased with the starkness of the image – you can almost hear the shingle being raked by the incoming waves.

And by way of contrast, a scene from the same beach, but with the tide out and the winter long forgotten.

This was an acrylic study and I used a few more colours here – but not many more.

Other beach scenes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

LANDSCAPE IN WIDESCREEN -PASTEL PAINTINGS

Still messing about with pastels. I cut down a sheet into 3 long formats and did a few sketches on each portion. This, above, is a spring scene looking away from the Leeds to Liverpool canal in Burscough Lancashire. The Lancashire plane spread out before you and the new growth pushing upward into the warm, still, morning air.

At the other end of the seasons – harvest time and more of the Lancashire plane, but this time around Little Crosby which is on the northern outskirts of Liverpool, for the second painting in the series.

And finally, one regulars might recognise. I posted a watercolour of this a few weeks back with the sun momentarily glimpsing the rain sodden fields. I must admit the tonal contrasts were easier with the pastel.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my new website ( getting there -though still under construction) grahammcquadefineart.com