WAVEFORMS – MIXED MEDIA SKETCHES

With my daughter visiting last weekend we took some time out for a walk. It was centered on the village of Parbold in Lancashire, which has a great art gallery housed in a disused windmill alongside the canal. The gallery is run by James Bartholomew who does a lot of work in pastel over gouache. Well, he certainly did when he came to do some demonstrations for the club I once ran. I dont think he does them anymore as the last time I tried to book him he said it wasnt worth his time.

His prices bear this out and are well deserved. Some time later,I was looking at entering a painting into the open exhibition of the Royal Society for Marine Artists in London. I looked them up to see what was doing well and discovered that he had won the main prize the previous year.

He does a mixture of subjects, but his seascapes always catch my eye. I have done similar work in watercolour, but seeing his work I thought I’d give the mixed media approach a go. So here are three sketches I did this week.

My base media was transparent watercolour, not gouache. The addition of pastel over the watercolour base allows for some vigorous markmaking in keeping with breaking waves and swirling wash on the beach.

I just wanted to give it a go and see what came out. I may try a bigger one for an upcoming exhibition.

We didnt buy a painting, but one of the reasons for the visit ( apart from climbing the steep hill behind the village) was to purchase some of the big mugs he stocks which have images of his work on the outside. They are good, bucket sized mugs. I had bought a few before, but the penultimate one cracked, spilling coffee over the table recently.

Anyway, now, we are fully stocked with big mugs again and the visit has inspired me to try out a new technique. Let’s drink to that.

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

THE RED BUCKET – ACRYLIC PAINTING

Well, summer seems to be peeping around the corner around here, so why not paint another beach scene. This is a subject I tackled a long time ago, but the figures were just part of a bigger beachscape. I love this grouping and thought that it might be worth focussing in on the four of them walking along the wet sand in the morning.

And whilst I am the subject of repeats, here is another version of a painting I did post a few weeks ago. Breakout, though in that version not all the figures were breaking out – one seemed to be very occupied with their phone.

So I got rid of the texting man and added a running female. I also pushed her and the dog closer to the smaller boy and reduced the size of the painting from 52x35cm to 35x25cm and in doing so, got closer to the action. Hopefully I’ve got more of the exuberance of a summer’s day than I first had – days to come.

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

SET FINE FOR THE DAY – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

man  sitting on the edge of the water on a beach on a blue sky day

As days inch longer some of us northerners start to scent blue skies and lapping waves, so here is a toast of what is to come with a personal glimpse into the future.

Meanwhile I’ll get back to another painting as the rain thrashes the window pane.

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

LOW TIDE AT SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

The joke is that the sea goes so far out here, it always seems like low-tide.

I went down to the beach the other fine day to get some driftwood for a mobile I am making, which hopefully I will post shortly. There were some great cloud formations and whilst I was searching for suitable pieces I managed to find time to snap a few photos and later used them to give you a flavour of the beach here at Southport UK.

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

VIEW FROM THE TERRACE – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I liked the mystery of this image. The original photo was even darker and more mysterious. I decided to add figures and reveal them a bit more and do it in a blocked style.

The actual place is a cafe on Beachy Head; the same headland painted on my previous post.

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

BEACH TIME – ACRYLIC PAINTING

I just wanted some fun: a break, so I upped myself off to Camps Bay near Cape Town by gathering together some of my old photos and painting me a little time on the beach.

The yellow of the umbrella is just the base colour left untouched. I use yellow as a priming colour as I have a big tin of it that was on offer. I then blocked in the image with square brushes. I liked the shapes created by the two under the shade with a few sunlit edges creating hints as to the form – and then the colours of the umbrella…

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

AFTERNOON, BEXHILL PROMENADE – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

The other side of the De la Warr Pavilion complex in Bexhill, East Sussex, at the opposite end of the day from my last post. The hot afternoon light coming in over the sailing club and the and the yacht masts adding to the visual commotion of chimney pots, lamp posts and flagpoles. On windier days you can hear ghostly ringing as rigging ropes slap against the hollow aluminium masts.

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

LOW TIDE – PASTEL PAINTING

A day at the seaside up in Cumbria: I spotted these rock poolers on their summer holidays and took a few photos. The lad quickly wandered off but I caught a pose as he stood by another pool and in this painting drew him in a position that gave some narrative.

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

THE BEACH AT SOUTHPORT – WATERCOLOUR PAINTING

Rushing around looking at replacement paintings for the exhibition after the sudden sales, I considered a number of local landscapes for display. Some I had affinity for but was reluctant to put on show. So when the dust settled last week I thought that I should see whether I could get them to a stage where I would put them in a frame to exhibit.

This is the first one – the beach at Southport in the evening. The first version was quite large – a half imperial sheet. I realised I could get the essence by compressing it, with the sand, grasses and reflections on the water constained by a narrow format. I also kept a tight reign on the hue, reflecting the beach in the sky.

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

A COUPLE OF NUMBER TWOS – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

OK an old image for the New Year, but I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at ‘Entering Ainsdale Woods’. So here’s a second go and a title that saves overtaxing the troll’s sticky fingers.

I always have difficulties with light foregrounds against dark backgrounds and on the first one I had to resort to gouache to make some reclamations. I also felt the background tree trunks were too uniform and the dog needed repositioning. The first one looked quite good on the screen but the original didn’t stand up to close scrutiny – so that’s why you’re getting it again. This one has a lighter touch and brings out the sunlight on the autumn leaves which was something I was after.

So in compensation for repeating work, here’s a second painting, this time a repeat of ‘Receding Tide’. Hopefully I have now got the still wet feel of the shingle which I felt was missing on the first go and I extended the amount of shingle to break up the textures .

Paintings for sale are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com