I had a bit of trouble with this painting – well I have trouble with most of my paintings – but this time it forced me to start again.At the outset I was caught by the light through the trees illuminating the flowers and reflecting off the petals and leaves. I think I caught that with this version – though it was quite tedious painting the bluebells -because I needed to reserve a lot of the white of the paper for these reflections.
The first one below lost the effect of the illuminated flowers and became disunited – though it has some qualities which eluded me in the second version.
The venue is an old, disused, railway line coming from Maghull, in the north of Liverpool, to Southport, where I live, called the Cheshire Lines. I think around this wood was a branch line linking to the main line.
I stumbled on this during a cycle ride a couple of weeks back. The bluebells are now fading away fast around here.
A few repeats here. Versions of these saplings in a sunny clearing in Ainsdale woods have been presented before. In this latest version I feel I have got the lightness of the birch leaves in the sun. I think the photograph flatters the painting, though it might look better in a mount.
This is of the grassy sand dunes close to the beach in the evening. This was a sketch, done on the back of a one of my many rejects. The glow works well, despite the yellow, and I used masking fluid to get the glistening tips of the foreground grass. I needn’t have bothered as I got far better results by scraping the damp paint with my scalpel. I’m not sure introducing the green in the foreground helps with the overall harmony. You may be seeing this one again.
And saving the worst to the last. I’ve presented this entrance to Ainsdale woods before . I thought that by introducing leafy branches across the path it might help to lift the image but these puny leaves look like an afterthought and trying to hint at forms in the dark areas remains elusive – oh well.
Another view from Ainsdale pine woods near to my home, where the firs and bracken have populated the old sand dunes down to the beach.
You can understand, in a more credulous age, the belief in sprites and fairies as the morning light bristles or crepuscular darks grow.
And another go at the view of the woods and path I posted a few weeks ago. The first one was quickly done on the back of an old painting and I loved the glow I achieved. Unfortunately some of the old painting had been cut down so it didnt fit my frames and mounts. Hence this second attempt on a fresh sheet.
I saw a woodland scene simply done in watercolours the other day and wondered whether some of my scenes could do with decluttering. The painting was eye catching though too simplistic for my taste but I felt it was worth trying some of the principles.
This painting was from view I have had lying around for a while and I thought that it would make a good starting point. I proceeded with a wash of strong primary colours over the wetted sheet and then moved the whole lot with more sprayed water to get some colour mixing into a myriad of hues.
When dry, further forms were created into sprayed areas to give hit and miss shapes and gradually the whole thing was worked up with drier and drier brushwork.
I’ll do a few more and compare them with earlier paintings I have done.
A few loose washes and plenty of splattered masking fluid got this off to a good start. I wanted the smokey luminosity of low autumn sunlight and it seems to have worked at least for the top half. A very similar subject to an earlier painting I posted , but not surprising as they both were from images taken on the same day, but I like the air of mystery in this one.
Having travelled back from my Life Drawing class and needing to set up an exhibition this week, I have not had time to paint anything new. Then as I was browsing through images on my camera I spotted one I had done a couple of weeks ago and not posted. I recall at the time I wasn’t too taken by it, but after a couple of weeks my antipathy has softened, so here it is.
I also should post it as I have a rule to post everything I do, whether I like it or not, which I pretty much follow, another reason to inflict this on you.
Last Saturday the weather was bright and I got off the train a couple of stops early on my return from the morning life session in Liverpool. I walked back through the woods. With the birches resplendent in their yellows and oranges I took a few photos as I walked home. This painting was a view at the end of my walk with a couple of figures borrowed from another shot. In hindsight I should have given the man the dog, so it stands out in the light. I might try a few more images from my walk.
I apologise for another version of sunlight through trees on consecutive blogs, but in mitigation they are in different media.
I mentioned in previous blogs about walking with a group of French visitors who had come to Southport. On the Saturday we had a sunny walk, taking lunch on the beach at Formby. I posted a painting I did of the scene on 24th October. This is another painting based on views I saw, that day, on our way to lunch, walking through the woods to Formby and then on to the beach. I have done another, very different version of these woods. I’ll post that in my next blog.
I tried to keep this painting very loose; spraying the paper with water and then throwing paint into the dampened area after which I then drew into and painted with a brush. As I was building up layers of paint I spayed in masking fluid both on dry and damp paper at differing times of painting, so the masking fluid covered different colours and tones.
Following my watercolour sketch – Walk in the Woods – I presented a week or so ago, I thought that I would develop it a little. I liked the bands of light and shade created by the beeches in this wood on The Southdowns Way, close to the Cuckmere Valley. I mentioned in the blog that I took some pictures of passing walkers and I put in a couple with their sticks. I also kept the colours muted and resisted my urge to bang in some scarlet amongst the greens. Not sure whether it has the impact of my Dog Walkers where I succumbed to the scarlet urge – but maybe I got some of the calm I experienced on the day. Hope it calms you, also.