Monday, 22 December 2008
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Sunday, 7 December 2008
A typical dales barn. This one in Littondale is situated beside the road just down the dale from the village of Litton. For three summers I lived in the dale whilst working for the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union studying Peregrine Falcons. This was an important time artistically, falling as it did straight after I left college. Surrounded by an abundance of subject matter and away from the sometimes distracting creative influences of art college I was free to begin developing and exploring my own 'style' and way of working. It was around this time that I began to draw and sketch directly with pen and ink, although I had been advised to use a pen whilst at college. At that time with the arrogance of youth I had ignored the advice, something I now regret as it was probably the best advice I was given. Had I taken heed whilst at college my work would probably have developed much faster. So to Barry Raynor thank you, I did eventually listen, I just wish I had done so sooner.
Saturday, 6 December 2008
Tuesday, 2 December 2008
Sunday, 30 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Sunday, 9 November 2008
As much of my work is essentially representational it makes a change to paint something more abstract. Albeit based on close observation of a natural object. In this case a small fragment of Silver Birch bark. Painted with a palette of; Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue, Ivory Black and Titanium White
Saturday, 1 November 2008
One of three Linocut prints, hand coloured with watercolour. The image is based on a sketch drawn a few years ago late one evening at Elland Gravel Pits. As the fox slowly worked its way through the woodland, oblivious of my presence on the opposite bank of the River Calder.
After cutting the block, the image was printed in black and then coloured using mixes of Paynes Grey, Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna. The same combination of colours was used for the other two prints although subtle differences in the strengths of the mixes gave each one a slightly different atmosphere.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Another interpretation of the previous post. Using the watercolour (with Chinese White added to make it more opaque) sparingly, allowing the dark toned paper to show through in parts of the picture. The opposite of my usual style as I normally prefer to work on white paper leaving unpainted areas for the highlights, rather than painting them in.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Sunday, 12 October 2008
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Sunday, 5 October 2008
More drawings from yesterdays walk round Denaby Ings. In good weather there are usually a couple of Buzzards soaring over the woodland. Yesterday the weather was hardly suitable for a large soaring raptor, so I wasn't sure I would see them. Walking around the edge of the reserve I found two birds feeding (presumably on earthworms) in a newly sown field. Surrounded by the fresh green of the young shoots.
Saturday 4th October 2008. Field Sketching at Denaby Ings.
Not a particularly good day, cool and overcast with the constant threat of rain and a strong south westerly breeze. These drawings are the result of a three and a half hour walk round in the afternoon. I spend a lot of time at this small Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve. Its quietness appeals to me more than the crowded hides at the nearby Old Moor Wetland reserve. Here I can settle to concentrate on drawing without too much disturbance. It may not attract the range of species that can be found at Old Moor but there is always something worthwhile to draw, and even the most humble of species is worthy of closer attention.
Sunday, 28 September 2008
This painting is based on a watercolour sketch made earlier this summer in Wharfedale, not far from Bolton Abbey. Whilst perhaps not an obvious subject for a picture, my interest was sparked by the tones and colours of the cut grass contrasting with the uncut areas around the field headlands. The overcast sky 'flattened' the landscape adding to the abstract pattern.
I started by painting in the sky, using a mixture of cobalt blue and titanium white with a little burnt sienna. Gradually darkening the mix towards the skyline. The hillside was painted using this same mix with the addition of cadmium yellow pale. Varying the amount of yellow to alter the shades of green, gradually intensifying the colour mix towards the foreground. The marshy uncut meadow in the centre added a warmer tone of colour as a contrast to the cool pastel greens, and was painted with a mix of burnt sienna and cadmium yellow. The foreground hillside, an area of grazing pasture was painted last using a mix of french ultramarine and cadmium yellow dark with a little titanium white.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
Wednesday, 17 September 2008
A watercolour study based on the pen and ink sketch posted earlier. Intended as a rough for a larger painting and very quickly painted in simple flat washes of colour.
Standing beside the steep gully of the Frenchland Burn, below the conifer clad Hunterheck Hill and founded by the French family. This 16th Century stone rectangular Tower house was extended in the 17th Century to form an L-plan.
Monday, 15 September 2008
A day of constant drizzle which finally eased off in the evening, giving just enough time to quickly capture the sunset in the rapidly fading light.
Better weather on Sunday and the chance to do a couple of quick landscape pen and ink sketches, drawn directly with a Rotring Art Pen. This drawing shows the view north from the Selkirk road to the hills around Moffat Well.
This view, again from the Moffat to Selkirk road, shows the ruins of Frenchland Tower.
Friday, 5 September 2008
Watercolour. 390mm x 290mm.
I missed posting last week, mainly due to the fact that I had intended to post some field drawings from the Scottish Borders. However, the planned weekend in Moffat turned out to be a pleasant drive as far as Tebay services on the M6 and then a return back home courtesy of the AA. So no work done!
This painting of a Grey Seal was done on a sheet of cream tinted Bockingford Watercolour paper. I don't often work on tinted paper and whenever I do, I'm never completely satisfied with the result. The cream toned paper never gives the crispness to the watercolour that can be achieved when working on pure white paper.
The painting is based on a pen sketch drawn a few years ago, whilst sheltering from a buffeting gale behind the wall by the fog horn at Flamborough Head.
Sunday, 24 August 2008
Watercolour. 240mm x 150mm.
One of the most atmospheric of all welsh chapels. Nestling at the foot of the cliffs on a platform above the sea. Although traditionally regarded as the cell of a dark age holy man, the existing building is unlikely to be earlier than the 13th century.
There are various legends concerning the identity of Govan but very little historical documentation regarding the site. Said by some sources to be the arthurian knight Gawain or alternatively St Gofan, wife of a celtic chief. Perhaps a more likely candidate is Gobhan, the Irish Abbot of Dairinis Monastery in Wexford, a contemporary of St David himself.
The image was drawn using a 6B Graphite pencil onto a sheet of white cartridge paper which was then soaked in water and stretched onto the drawing board. The portrait format emphasising the viewpoint down onto the little building from the cliffs above. Loose washes of colour were then laid down, working from light to dark gradually strengthening the tones in the painting, relying on the strength of the underlying drawing to hold the image together. As usual with my paintings, in order to maintain colour harmony only a limited palette was used; Ultramarine Blue, Yellow Ochre, Light Red, Cadmium Yellow and Alizarin Crimson.
Ornithologically the area is very good with Peregrine, Chough and Ravens on the cliffs, Gannets, Cormorants and Manx Shearwaters offshore and only a short distance away from the Elegug Stacks with their Guillemot Colonies.
Friday, 15 August 2008
Thursday, 14 August 2008
Watercolour. 180mm x 240mm.
A studio painting based on the field drawing posted earlier, although with some compositional reorganisation. Painted with a limited palette of only six colours; cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, light red, ultramarine, prussian blue and burnt umber.
At this time of the year the cliffs are empty of auks, their young having already fledged. Only a few late fledging Kittiwakes and young Gannets remain on the cliffs.
Sunday, 10 August 2008
Saturday, 2 August 2008
Another view down onto the beach this time on an ebb tide.
Cloud shadows on the sea. A wider variety of media on this than normal; pen and ink, pencil, watercolour and pencil crayon.
An hour spent at Bempton Cliffs produced this drawing of an immature Gannet preening. The bird was in almost complete adult plumage apart from the two dark central tail feathers.
This Porpoise was fishing just offshore, remaining faithfull to a discrete area of water. As far as it goes this was as good a view as it gets with this species. I've seen them before in Filey Bay off the Brigg, usually in early autumn with rougher seas. This time the light was better with a calm, clear sea and providing it didn't dive too deep the animal was clearly visible beneath the surface.
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Pencil and Ink Wash. 130mm x 150mm.
Started work this week on illustrations for the 2007 Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club Report. After some deliberation I decided to have a change from my usual Pen line drawings and tried some monochrome wash drawings which hopefully should reproduce quite well. These are the first three completed drawings.
Male Red backed Shrike.
Pencil and Ink Wash. 130mm x 110mm.
Pencil and Ink Wash. 130mm x 170mm.
Monday, 14 July 2008
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Acrylic on gesso primed board. 335mm x 245mm.
This small West Wales town was my home for almost three years from September 1982 until April 1985. For an artist and naturalist it was ideal, with wide open views across the estuary of the River Taf south across Carmarthen Bay to Rhossili Down and Worms Head on Gower.