"The artist...is also a born adventurer. His explorations, unlike those of a tourist, are rewarded by the discovery of beauty spots unmentioned in the guide books, and with tireless curiosity and an exceptional proneness to wonderment, he will come upon objects of remarkable interest overlooked or even shunned by more disciplined observers."

Augustus John, R.A.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Patterns in the landscape

After the Hay Crop. Acrylic on canvas. 10"x12"

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

More Pencil and Wash Drawings

Green Woodpecker. Pencil and Ink Wash. 140mm x 100mm.

Young Ravens wing exercising. Pencil and Ink Wash. 125mm x 150mm.

Two more wash drawings drawn for the Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club report.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Frenchlands Tower, Moffat

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

Weekend in the Scottish Borders

Saturday 13th September 08.
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.

Sunday 14th September 08.

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

Grey Seal

Grey Seal off Flamborough
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.