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December 2014

Goose Green Yate 6


Goose green, Yate, 22" x 15".

A local spot a few hundred metres from where I live.  I've done a few paintings of this location, from different angles and seasons.  This time it's early autumn, and in the foreground, some purple leaved maples have dropped their leaves.  The dark tree on the right was done with a sword brush, loaded with plenty of dark paint (neutral tint mainly).  Just dabbing the paper with the point of a brush like that gives some fairly nice leaf effects.


Free Painting Videos from Colour In Your Life

I've recently come across an Australian TV company who have produced some great videos showcasing some well know international artists.  The programs are aired mainly in Australia, NZ and the US, but you can view them on Youtube.

Here's a great one featuring some of my favourite artists - Alvaro Castagnet, Hermen Pekel, and Joseph Zbukvic.  They are all paiting one huge watercolour!  It's complete chaos from the start, but they end up with a very good result and you can see each of their individual styles.  Who said too many cooks.....

 Click here for a link to their Youtube Channel.

It would be great to see all these aired in the UK.


Yachts Gathering, Bristol Harbour Festival


Bristol Harbour, 22" x 15"

One of my accepted entries to the Bristol Harbourside Art Prize.  A row of up market yachts at the Bristol Harbour Festival with the Arnolfini Art Gallery behind.  I can remember doing the painting on a warm summer's evening and the tricky bit was to get the hull washes not to dry too quickly and have them merge in with their reflections.  I only just made it and had to work pretty fast.  I try to avoid having to re-wet paper to get that merging effect.  The reflections were done with a medium sized mob brush, with a nice point.

The exhibition is currently open in Bristol at the Harbourside Art Gallery.


Tavira, Algarve, 10 - The challenge of painting with the light behind you.


Tavira, Portugal, 15" x 11".

I try to keep telling myself, never paint a scene with a strong light behind you and well here I go again.  It's difficult to get that light and shade contrast which is so much easier with light coming from the side or coming towards you.  Anyway in this one I have tried to put the white clothed gentleman against a dark shadow, so maybe I have got a bit of a focal point here.  The other difficulty is the shadow of a figure - it gets hidden somewhere round their feet and you try to slip it in there as best you can.


Vilamoura Marina 2, Algarve


Vilamoura Marina, 15" x 11".

The newish marina in Vilamoura.  A wide promenade around the perimeter of the marina and surrounded by lightly coloured buildings with warm terracotta roofs.  The actual marina and yachts on the left were given a very loose treatment as were the palm trees - this time a medium sized synthetic brush and starting from the crown, some quick radiating strokes for the leaves and then a quick downward stroke for the trunk.  I kept a few light coloured figures to contrast against darker background shadows.  I generally always make up my figures and rarely use a photo as reference.  I think this way for me, it tends to give them a bit more movement and not looking too static.



Beach Cafe Cala Mijas on the Costa del Sol


Cala Mijas, 22" x 15"

A beach cafe scene at Cala Mijas on the Costa del Sol.  I decided a different approach on the sky.  The whole area was whetted first - uniformly.  While still damp, I laid down the sky wash.  I think it allows for more even colour, but you need to watch out for the wash accumulating in dips in the paper if it's not stretched.  Getting a hair dryer on the job can prevent this.  Also while the sky was still damp, I laid down the sea wash and allowed a bit of bleeding between the two.  Resist the temptation to touch up the sky or go in again with more colour.  Many a time I've painted the sky with two washes and you do loose a bit of freshness.


St Tropez Harbour - Boats Moored Up


St Tropez, 22" x 15".

A larger half imperial painting of a similar scene I did a while back.  This picture is currently being exhibited at my local art society exhibition at Yate Heritage Centre together with other members' works.  I can remember trying to resist putting too much detail on the right hand side - loads of boats there and fiddly details to avoid.  It was a very dark and gloomy day, but warmed up with the red tones of the buildings.


Shady walk down Brook Street, Chipping Sodbury


Brook Street, Chipping Sodbury, 11" x 15".

My favourite paintable street in Chipping Sodbury.  I thought the scene lended itself to a portrait orientation this time.  Having the light coming in at that angle helps define the cottages and their window details.  Plus it helps having a few distant trees behind the roof to help the contour and add a bit of contrast.


Place aux Huiles, Marseille


Marseille, 15" x 11".

A fairly loose and quick sketch of a tree-lined square near the port area in Marseille.  Apart from waiting for the initial wash to dry, the whole picture was down all in one.  The roof tops went in first, then the front of the building.  This was merged into the left hand trees and the lower shadows.  Chimney shadows and figures were last to go in.  The foreground man had a bit of water dropped into the right leg and allowed to take it's path down the sloping paper.


Tavira, Algarve, 9 - Quiet Residential Square


Tavira, Algarve, 15" x 11".

A quiet residential square in Tavira.  Steps in this painting 1) initial wash starting of course with the sky then coming down warmer to the bottom.  Dropped in a bit of weak cobalt blue into the foreground while still damp.  Dry the 2) background buildings, darker of course and varied the tones as I came down.  Then 3) vehicles, figures and their dark shadows.  Last 4) very dark trees painted in loosely and a bit of random splattering for leaves.