"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.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Malham Cove

Autumn Sunlight, Malham Cove. Watercolour on 140lb Bockingford Paper. 196mm x 296mm.
This was never intended to be a finished work, I started it as a simple preparatory sketch for a larger acrylic painting. I was trying to plan out the areas of light and shade on the cliff face and I wasn't particularly concerned with the standard of finish. So I painted the first washes very quickly and with only a minimum of underlying drawing. Only the cliff top and the stream banks were delineated faintly with a 2b pencil. Unusually for me I also worked from dark to light, painting the large shadowed area of cliff and the wall on the left first, before washing in the areas of green, leaving random white spaces to represent the scattered rocks. Somewhere along the way the painting began to become a little bit more than a rough working study, so I worked it up. Painting very quickly trying to keep the initial spontaniety and freshness (I spent more time waiting for each wash to dry than I did painting them), although on reflection I overworked the foreground stream more than I intended.


Keith Tilley said...

A nice painting from such humble beginnings. I think the dark-to-light method has worked well in this case, leaving the cliffs to really shine.

It will be intersting to compare the acrylic version if you go ahead with it.

Stuart Brocklehurst said...

Thanks Keith

I think I may try and work this way more often. Starting with the mid-dark areas first I found it much easier to judge the tonal development, working back to the light area and forwards to the solid darks.

Emma Anderson said...

It's another lovely production, Stuart. I did once visit Malham Cove.

Stuart Brocklehurst said...

Thanks for the comment Emma.
Its a good place to visit although it does get a bit busy. But on a summers evening mid week, you can have the place almost to yourself. With just a few climbers and the falcons sailing over the cliff for company.