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November 2015

Market Day at Montpon Menesterol, France

Montpon_market_day_france

Montpon Menesterol, France, 15" x 11".

Wednesday market day at Montpon, a town in the Dordogne region of France.  I had to battle against the quite yellow tone of the old T H Saunders watercolour paper I am using at the moment - there's quite a variation in the tones of the paper - some cream some quite yellow.  If you have some ochre tones to the scene, then great!  I had plenty of yellow umbrellas and parasols.  I went quite cool with the shadows, and while the paint was still moist, I dropped in other colours into the building walls.

 


A view up York Street in Bath

York_street_bath

Bath, England, 15" x 11".

A view up/down York Street in Bath towards the Roman Baths.  Quite a busy little street - quite narrow and throngs of visitors on this early summer's day.  Quite a loose painting really done in three phases - 1) Initial wash, the let dry.  2) second layer of darker areas and shadows, Cars and People.  3) Darker lines reinforcing architectural details. 

 


A view up Bridge Street in Bath from Pulteney Bridge

Bridge_street_bath_from_pulteney_bridge

Bath, England, 15" x 11".

A view up Bridge Street in Bath from the famous Pulteney Bridge.  Bath is famous for it's Period buildings and architecture all constructed in the lovely local Bath Stone - a combination of my yellow ochre, burnt sienna and some 21st century dirt added in with some blue.  Sorry to the locals with my simplification of the Georgian architecture.  I have just really hinted at it with a loose style and not too precise with the lines and window details.

 


Cycle up the promenade, Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote

Cycling_up_the_promenade_puerto_del_carmen_lanzarote

Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, 15" x 11".

The promenade along the seafront in Puerto del Carmen, and some cyclists passing the Tourist Office.  I have never painted cyclists before and the main challenge is making the bicycles 'look right' (their proportions, distance of wheels from each other) and having a sense of movement and speed.  So I understate the moving parts - pedals and legs - so that they are just a blur.  I am painting on Saunders Waterford rough paper, and this helps with the reflections on the sea - I use the side of a mop brush with paint that is not too 'thin' or watery.

 


Chipping Sodbury High Street 9 - a loose approach

Chipping_sodbury_high_street_loose_style_9

Chipping Sodbury, England, 15" x 11".

A town local to me and the main street I know very well and have painted many times.  On this occasion I decided to go really 'loose' in style - it probably started with the background.  There's about a dozen old buildings back there, simplified in almost one stroke.  I made sure it was light in tone and dropped in a few different colours.  Also to maintain interest on the left side, I introduced a couple of 'connected' cars, joining the background with the foreground.

 


Old Beech tree at Old Sodbury

Copper_beech_old_sodbury

Old Sodbury, England, 15" x 11".

A large Copper Beech tree in the village of Old Sodbury near my home.  The whole sky area was wetted first, then while damp I laid in my wash of mainly cerulean blue, but making bold strokes from the centre rather like the spokes of a wheel.  The foreground shadow did not exist in reality, but I think the picture needed it and a way of having the two figures connection that with the middle ground.  The shadow was painted first and figures afterwards.

 


Huidenvettersplein, Bruges, Belgium

Huidenvettersplein_bruges_belgium

Bruges, Belgium, 15" x 11".

A small square near the centre of Bruges with market stalls and cafes.  And the typical 'stepped' gable ends to many of the lovely buildings here.  The people sitting in the cafe on the right had a very loose approach - almost random lines and strokes to give the feel of figures, tables, chairs and all their legs!  Perhaps there is a bit of a focal point on the right - the brightly lit side of the building contrasting with the deep tones of the background trees.

 


Heritage Centre, Yate, England

Heritage_centre_yate

Yate, England, 22" x 15".

The Heritage Centre in Yate, a large barn like structure in the middle of Yate my home town and a centre for historical & cultural activities in the area.  The first wash was a usual cool blue for the sky at the top and down to a warm tone in the foreground.  I think there's some sequoias growing on the left- quite bulky conifers with stout trunks.  Quite a loose painting and all done with a large mop brush and a medium mop brush.

 


Walk along the River Frome, Chipping Sodbury

River_frome_walk_chipping_sodbury

Chipping Sodbury, England, 15" x 11".

A pathway along the River Frome, Chipping Sodbruy in the Costwold area.  The river is over to the right of the railings.  Maybe the challenge here was to make something out of 'nothing' or a scene which had little interest.  So I need to build in some interest into areas like the path, the hedge and the woods to the right.  So while the paint is still moist/damp, I drop in extra colours.  I made the scratch marks on the right when the paint was still damp.  When you scrape with a sharp object or your finger nails, timing is very  important.  If the paper is too wet, you make the mark and the paint crawls back into the gap.  If it's too dry you just end up damaging the paper surface.

 


Dyer Street Cirencester and a view up to the Bear Inn

Bear_inn_cirencester

Cirencester, England, 22" x 15".

A view up Dyer Street in the cotswold town of Cirencester towards the Bear Inn and the church tower.  It's a busy shopping street, hence an opportunity to include lots of figures and cars.  I try to connect the cars with their shadows and shapes and allowing the two foreground vehicles to bleed into the dark foreground.  Many of the figures were the last stage of the picture with their legs merging in with the shadows.  I think the cool sky worked well with the warm buildings on the right hand side.