HUE AND THE PADDY FIELDS, VIETNAM – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

I did most of this by the banks of the river at Hue. Scooters and small motorbikes are a major form of transport here and there are lots of them. The group of people changed in this one, but the woman in the sunhat stayed. They were a family or group trying to sell tourists trips on dragon boats and boy did they try – though they left me alone – perhaps they thought I might sell them a picture.

The land in Vietnam from north to south is heavily utilised. There are paddy fields everywhere and quite a few water buffalo. Many people work on the land. It looks like hard graft – reminds me that there might be some gardening to do when I get home.

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

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ROUND AND ABOUT HALONG BAY, VIETNAM – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We flew into Hanoi and almost as soon as we arrived we were whisked off to Halong Bay. It was impressive, but very similar to Krabi in Thailand with less sunshine and even more tourists – this was industrial tourism.

I had wanted to get the limestone stacks in a sunset or sunrise. Unfortunately I was swimming at sunset and the sunrise was a cloudy affair. Still I did get some good photos.

As for Hanoi. We were only there for a matter of hours, staying near the old quarter. It was pandemonium. I would have loved to see more – but perhaps my health wouldn’t have taken it. We had to get the night train out and head south to Hue.

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

FLOATING DOWN THE MEKONG – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Well it’s hardly floating, more flying down the fast flowing river powered by a large motor. The captain sits at the front kept company by the cook, as you can see in the first sketch.

As the scenery changed and passed out of sight so fast I decided to do small thumbnails.

However, being on the boat for six hours with nothing else to do allowed me to practise my watercolour, whilst the rest of my fellow travellers caught up with their sleep. There were some great views particularly in the later afternoon sunshine.

Other watercolours are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

THE BOATS OF KRABI, THAILAND – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Arrived in Krabi, Thailand after long sleepless flights. The main features here are the towering limestone cliffs and crags and the long tailed boats. The boats ferry you from place to place dousing you in plenty of sea water in the process – but who cares – it aint snowing.

The light was changing fast when I sketched these boats by the riverside and by the time I came to finish they had lovely effects illuminating their sides. I may do this again as a more studied painting – especially as they started to load-up one of the boats with provisions.

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

TOP OF THE HILL TO COODEN – WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

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Another plein air painting I was forced to complete at home. It was nearly done when my stool started making strange noises underneath me so I stood up and it fell apart at my feet. As the place was covered in sheep droppings I decided to pack up and continue our walk up the hill and on to Cooden.

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The day before I had gone to Hastings and walked to Fairlight where this row of coastguard cottages stand on top of the cliff at the highest point. I left out the radio and communications mast and hid the large radar behind the bushes on the right. I certainly wouldnt like to live there with the houses being continually bombarded by large doses of radio waves even though they are relatively low frequency.

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Here are a couple of sketches I am less happy with. The one above  is of Ecclesbourne Glen a deep ravine on the sandstone cliffs east of Hastings. The hillside is covered in a mass of amorphous vegetation which  I knew was a bad thing to try to paint but I have a long affinity with the topography, having run it many times in my youth before heading off on the run along the cliff-top path to the next ravine and another lung-bursting descent and climb.

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This last one is of a newly mown  field in a valley on the edge of Friston Forest. I was taken by the illumination on the row of trees at the foot of the slope. Behind is the deep valley in shade beneath the forest. I didnt do the contrast justice, but sitting in the afternoon sunshine in isolation amid the birdsong was a pleasant way of passing the afternoon.

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

THE BULL IN THE NEXT FIELD -WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

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We went for another walk, this time near to Pevensey, close to where the Normans landed to invade England – but that was a while ago and they had moved on. My planned circular route was scotched by a group of heifers which had gathered around the gate we needed to negotiate which caused my wife to refuse to enter the field. So we had to go back the same way. On the walk I sat down and did a sketch of the flat marshlands. As I worked a bull strolled into view. Now that is a field even I might refuse to  enter.

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I did this second painting  of Litlington and its 12th century church, in East Sussex on the same day as I painted the sketch of the walk in the woods posted on my last blog. It got delayed as  I had to finish it at home.  I ran out of time on the day, because I had arranged to meet my wife at Alfriston Church at 4pm and didnt want to keep her waiting –  I didnt want to to risk walking home.

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

EARLY MORNING SKETCHES – WATERCOLOUR PAINTINGS

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With the light not  as good of late and other commitments, I havent been out early morning  painting recently, though this Friday I woke to a glorious morning, but I was unprepared as the weather forecast hadnt been that good and  I had to let that slip by.

Here is what I have in my new sketchbook, done earlier in the month. The one above was painted  with my back to the canal, taking in the country around Downholland in Lancashire.

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Another one looking away from the bridge over the Leeds Liverpool Canal onto one of the many barn conversions.

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But I couldnt resist the canal for long, not in this early morning light.

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This was a barley field, looking over to Clieves’ Hills. When I completed this I had a ride around on my bike and saw the path cut into the barley and the view was more into the sun. It was this that was the subject of the pastel painting I put on the blog a week ago.

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Finally, this was a view of a field I painted that I found when I discovered a footpath on my map I had never tried before. It gave me some other views I might paint later. It started to cloud over as I painted so I returned home, only to find the cloud gone by the time I got back.

Other landscapes are available on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com  

or grahammcquadefineart.co.uk