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October 2014

The Roman Bridge at Tavira, Portugal


Watercolour of Tavira, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms.

A 'pedestrian' only bridge in Tavira Portugal, and looking to some whitewashed buildings on the far side.  It's low tide and there's just a slight reflection in the mud and shallow waters of this tidal river.  There was a bit of careful painting around the roof tops and chimneys and the white building was made not too white, but tainted a bit with some blues and any old paint off the palette.


Railway Bridge, St Raphael, France


Watercolour of St. Raphael, France, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms.

A Railway Bridge in central St Raphael, a coastal town in southern France.  Looking through the bridge I tried to resit overdoing the background buildings (apartment blocks I think), and also try to connect all the main components of the picture so nothing is left out on it's own.  Pavements and roads are often made out of different materials of course and I often find pavements to be 'warm' and roads a cooler tone, so a bit of blue.  Here, pavement and road were done in one go and left to merge into each other.


Penberth Cove Cornwall


Watercolour of Penberth, Cornwall, 22" x 15" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms.

Penberth is a little cove/old fishing village in deepest Cornwall.  Apologies to local residents - I don't think dogs are allowed now in Penberth Cove, so Mr 'fatman' and his dog are only making a 'virtual' appearance in this painting.  I went quite dark with the boat shadows - a bit of neutral tint with ultramarine blue or alizarin crimson.  Bits of the foreground left unpainted, soon became rocks helped with a bit of a shadow next to them.


Tavira Algarve 6 - Row of shops and parked cars with deep shadows


Watercolour of Tavira, Algarve, 22" x 15" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms

A view of central Tavira, a town near the coast in eastern Algarve.  Looking across the street and a row of shops/cafes.  This sort of composition I think is great for watercolour - areas of light and dark shade coming down the painting.  Wish we had those strong lights in the UK.  Car windscreens are sometimes a bit of a challenge - they're not flat and they take in reflections from everywhere, so I just give them a very loose treatment and leave in some lighter areas.


Russel Mews and view towards St Johns Church Chipping Sodbury


Watercolour of Chipping Sodbury, 15" x 22" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms.

Russell Mews in Chipping Sodbury, looking down the alley way to the tower of the local Church behind some lock up garages.  The mews is named after the famous cricketer and England player who now has a gallery in the town.  The Church tower was painted in quite loosely, then the shadows were quite important here - all the different angles and giving depth to small details like the sign on the door and the red bin.


Albufeira Old Town 5


Watercolour of Albufeira, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms

A windy road leading down into the old part of Albufeira Town.  The pedestrian crossing was not made too perfect - I try to make the perspective correct with the initial pencil drawing (I use a 2B or 3B), and then 'mess' it up a bit by not keeping too rigidly to the lines and a few tyre marks at the end of the painting - some sweeping curves with the dry brush strokes of a synthetic brush.


South Stoke Bath 3 - Plein air demonstration


Watercolour of South Stoke Bath, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms.

A plein air demonstration for the South Stoke Art Society this summer.  It's a view of the heart of the village and the old telephone box.  I can remember having two challenges with the painting - it was quite a warm day so the paint was drying so quickly, then half way through the painting a gust of wind blew over my lightweight easel.


Fishing boats at Cadgwith on the Lizard in Cornwall


Watercolour of the Lizard in Cornwall, 22" x 15" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms.

Cadgwith is a tiny fishing village forgotten by the 21st Century, located on the eastern side of the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall.  Here, the focus is on a typical white-washed cottage with a thatched roof, and some relatives of the old pilchard fishing boats, high up above the shore line.  Painting of the beach was done fairly loosely as you can see.  Unpainted spots became rocks, emphasised with a bit of a shadow behind them.


Newquay Harbour 9


Watercolour of Newquay, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms

A scene along a busy side of Newquay Harbour in Cornwall, and as the sign eludes to - an embarkation point for boat trips and also where many local fishing boats unload their catch of shellfish.  Sky wash went in first, down to water level, and continuing down the right side with the warm tones.  Then the background hill and far harbour wall shadows, painting around the far boat.  Then the sea - lighter in the distance and a deeper colour towards the foreground.  When the sea was was dry, I painted in waves and reflections with a small mop brush.  Last were boat details, shadows on right harbour wall and figures.  And sign lettering was with a bit of white gouache.


Alexandra Parade, Weston Super Mare


Watercolour of Weston Super Mare, 22" x 15" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300 gms

Almost the centre of this seaside town near where I live.  A sweeping curve of the road and a bit more interesting than a straight line curb.  The sky was was laid in first and then while damp, I painted the roof tops with a warm light red.  So a bit of intentional merging took place.  On Saunders paper it's all well behaved.  I've done this before on cartridge paper and you end up with a horrible mess.  When all was dry, I painted in the shadows of chimneys etc..