LOW LIGHT ON A YOUNG RIVER 2 – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I was trawling through my images as I prepared an update to my website when I discovered this small watercolour I completed a couple of weeks ago. It was an imaginary scene based on recollections from my travels. I have painted a similar subject before using the same title. At the time it was just a bit of playing around, looking at textures and techniques – painting with no pressure. I hope you enjoy it.

Other landscapes are avilable for purchase on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

A BEND IN THE WEAR – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This is a view I’ve presented before, but wasn’t too pleased with the execution. So I’m having another go: trying to get the smoky haze of a summer’s day. I also wanted a simplified foreground which pushes the focus on the deep ravine of the River Wear in Durham.

Most of the sky and background were done wet in wet so I lost control of the forms. I was able to do a bit of shaping when I added more darks to the bottom of the far trees and flattened the waterline. It has made me relook at some other river paintings. I thought I had better warn you.

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

LONDON SCENES – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We decamped for a few days to London. The wife had come up trumps on the Wimbledon lottery and had some ticket options. Not that you win any tickets, no; just the right to purchase some centre court tickets. This, though, is a step improvement on getting up at 4am to stand in line to try and get entry to the outer courts on the day.

I decided to go down with her and mooch about SW London while my wife and daughter – who lives in London – sipped Pimms and downed a few punnets of strawberries whilst watching a match or two.

Here is what I did instead. The first one is a sketch of Putney Bridge. This bridge spans the Thames between Putney and Fulham. As I sat on the Putney side I was caught by the bright London busses crossing the bridge, adding a bit of colour to the scene.

The church in the background is All Saints in Fulham which is on the perimeter of the grounds of Fulham Palace, the seat of the Bishop of London. I didnt know it was there until I wandered across the bridge. Entrance to the grounds was free and I did another sketch in the palace gardens as the other punters sat on the terrace and took tea.

The light wasnt very good, but it was a pleasant way to pass the day and I visited places I hadnt been to before and then enjoyed some evening meals out with family.

It beats working.

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

TOWARDS ASWAN – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We are rapidly heading towards the end of the holiday and the dreaded day of reckoning when we have to settle the bar bill. As regards painting, I am getting a bit repetitious in my sketches, as there isnt any time to do anything on our visits to the temples and monuments, so all of my sketches are from the boat and there are a limited number of subjects that we pass on our voyage. I have taken to pencil sketching in a small sketchbook when I see anything interesting. I race to get the details down before we pass the scene. Then I copy the sketch onto my watercolour pad before starting the painting.

So, above is a sketch done in this fashion. It is a very basic Nile scene where the wind had whipped up the desert dust to give a slightly different colour palette. With the sun shining through the dust and reflecting off the water it gave some good contrasts as well.

At Luxor we had a sunset and I moved the hills which house the Valley of the Kings into the frame, and added a felucca which had earlier passed us, as a couple of guys paddled around the river, casting a fishing net in the warm evening breeze.

Oh, it’s a dirty business, but someone has to do it.

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

VIEW OF THE RIVER 2 – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

I did a version of this in pastels a while ago. I regularly go through my painting portfolios in order to cull them and spotted the first version of this and thought I could improve it in watercolour. So off I went. In the end I think it came out a tie. I love the rich energetic foreground foliage illuminated by the low sunshine against the calm river below, pausing before it goes over the weir.

Perhaps it is the trees and their branches on the right which unsettle me. The actual branches did stretch out and disappeared into the sun, but in the painting they seem ungainly and clutter the place. In contrast the group of trees on the left provide a good coda and, as such, maybe I should echo them on the right and let the eye wander down the bank of trees that line the river.

So there could be a third version.

Other landscapes and riverscapes are available for purchase on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

MIST DUSTED ALT ON AN AUTUMN’S MORNING – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

This is a view of the River Alt as it drifts through the fields of the Lancashire plain. I love this idyllic view which I see as I cycle across the foot bridge over the river. Though directly behind me is a railway bridge and beyond, a newly constructed housing estate. In front, around the bend, the river enters an army camp where it is used in noisy military exercises. Later, it emerges on the other side of the camp and idly sidles into the mouth of the Mersey as the mighty river breaks into the Irish sea spitting out ferries, liners and cargo ships in front of ranks of wind turbines. Here though, in this spot, you forget your surroundings and there is a calm moment of what if and possibility.

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

A GLIMPSE OF THE RIVER – PASTEL PAINTING

Looking over recent output I realised I hadnt done a pastel in a while, so here is another view of the River Wear, in Durham. This one was glimpsed as I was hurrying past to do some painting in fields alongside the river, downstream. I suppose I could have done this scene, but it would have meant sitting in the road – and whenever I do that a lorry or tractor comes along, so I took a few photos and proceeded onwards.

I was struck by the light on the grasses and foliage which made them stand out against the shadows and reflections of the trees. I did some thumbnails of this and decided on a portrait format, but now its done perhaps a landscape format would be better.

In this painting I blocked in the darks with acrylics before starting out on the pastels. It does save a lot of time, and pastel, getting variegated darks in with paint and gives a great base to build up texture.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my webbsite: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE WEAR ROLLS SEAWARD – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Last week I was in Durham and was able to get outside painting on a couple of warm and sunny days. However, the painting above was done at home. I had spotted the subject whilst sketching the dead tree beside the river, below – in fact this view above was behind me as I sketched, but getting the filigree foliage against a smoky forest backdrop needed a bit of thinking through, so I declined the challenge and painted this instead.

In hindsight I should have given it a go. Still, it was good to have an unexpected chance to get outside. The day before I sat and sketched the city skyline into the light.

This was again done on the banks of the River Wear with a curious bull snorting near my back from the field behind me. Fortunately the seemingly flimsy barbed wire fence did the trick and I survived to paint another day as this blog and my final sketch: looking up the hill to the other side of the river – testifies.

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

THIS IS NOT ART – IN ACRYLIC PAINT

The troll has been active of late though generally I can bin the missives without reading. This one slipped through the net so here is the sad repetitious content:

Shitfinder commented on LIFE SKETCHES – PASTEL AND ACRYLIC …Well….this not ART….Not even remotely….dreadful Approve  Trash | Mark as Spam
More information about ShitfinderURL:
Email: Shilo@me.com
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Despite obviously skipping their medication they are almost putting a sentence together, though the punctuation needs more work – perhaps when kindergarten resumes it will be a subject that will be covered.

As for the non-art: this is my Grande Jatte painting but without the monkeys. I loved the way the figures were lolling around by the side of the river, obviously taken by some action upstream. I added a fourth figure and have been fiddling around with the painting for a while and will probably continue to do so.

I was going to show something else I had done in pastels, but have been struggling with, probably because I am working too small. Anyway, here it is as I should show the problems as well as the other stuff.

Because of copyright I had to make alterations to the image and the painting hit the buffers. Maybe one to reprise in the future.

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

ON THE WEIR – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Whilst visiting my daughter we were walking along the river Chelmer – near Chelmsford in Essex – on a bright autumn day. I saw a swan bathed in sunlight and was hoping for it to open its wings as it preened itself. Unfortunately it was disturbed by a couple of fishermen, so for this painting I had to make something up, but I managed to capture the lighting effects against the darkness of the background which had first caught my eye.

Other wildlife paintings area available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com