This painting follows on from the one on my previous blog, which was of a cafe just at the end of this street, off to the left. The sun was out on our visit last week, giving great contrasts. This view is with my back to the Catholic Cathedral, facing the looming tower of the Anglican Cathedral ahead. Hope Street connects the two.
I like this scene and have painted it before, but from a higher angle, up on the steps of the catholic cathedral. This one is at street level, capturing the full weight of presence of the Anglican cathedral; glowering at us sinners – well it was just one drink, honest, governor.
I’m not sure why I did this one. I came across the image from my trip to Thailand. And then I’m also not sure why I chose watercolour when pastel might have been better. I then sketched them out and I had them arranged like opposing apostrophes on a line. That left a lot of space at the top.
By arranging them on the diagonal I could make the dogs bigger and fill the space – more dog less mud. I also put some grass in at the top for visual relief.
Another challenge was the dappled shade on which I may have failed. Something to ponder during the long nights of winter.
I have been fighting with floral paintings recently and not getting very far. I need an image for an upcoming demo and fortunately I have a bit of time to come up with something. So, I just wanted a break – a different subject, to set the juices running – and following on from my last post ( which was itself a trial for another demo) I thought that I would return to feel good paintings – if nothing else but to make me feel good. This was a treat to paint this – mainly washes of luscious colours. First the sky, the sea and the beach then, when that was dry, the tree and bushes etc in one hit, mixing colours on the paper. Again, I let that dry before extending the dark area of shadows, people and paraphernalia dropping in bright colours into the shadow and leaving small gaps for the chinks of light. After that, all I needed to do was paint the two front figures and those in the distance, then add a bit of texture in the sand. It was done by lunchtime – my kind of painting – putting me in a happier frame of mind.
Incidently, the beach scene was from photos I took whilst painting the scene below which I posted in February. It was a beach in Thailand – great subjects where ever you looked. I then added the front figures from other sources.
I had a bit of time to play around with some forest scenes I had collected from recent visits to our local Ainsdale and Formby woods. On the top painting I did the colour mixing on the paper adding water to push colour away from the top right and then push and reinforce the dark mixtures on to the bottom right to get contrast and mystery.
This, above, was my first try. I like some of it, but feel that I need some colour contrasts to highlight the point of interest and break the monotony.
This got a bit obvious with streams of light, but has the area of interest I needed in the painting above. Again, with a few tweaks it could be worth another try. I think if I push the bottom area up into the `middle it might enliven it a little.
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.
I did this scene plein air and posted it a few weeks back. The field of view was much wider on that one as I am a sucker for chimney pots and thought those buildings provided a good coda. This one is much tighter and focusses on the area which really got my interest. The light on the sea in the background also caught my eye when I was strolling along the prom on an earlier occasion. However, when I sat down to paint, the sea was dark, the lighting effect only came out later. Anyway, I included it on this one.
I have a number of hydrangeas in the garden but they are predominately pink despite adding buckets of aluminium salts to to turn them blue, the colour I prefer. Someone recently told me that the soil also needs to be acidic, so that may be my next approach, but the other day as I was crawling amongst the undergrowth I discovered I actually had a small blue hydrangea which I think was a gift from a visitor. So you got a painting. There may be more of these if I discover the trick of turning the rest blue.
Talking of more: here’s another attempt at my lush gladioli, the subject of the last post. There were a few issues with the first one, despite the overall effect of the main blooms that I was very satisfied with.