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September 2016

Small boats moored up along a jetty, Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura


Fuerteventura, Spain, 15" x 11".

A few small boats moored up along a jetty in the Puerto del Rosario.  Quite a tricky one with painting in the sea all in one go and cutting around the boat shapes ad trying to get the boat shapes 'right' with them pointing in different directions.  Thankfully the boats in the background needed less detail and they're just really lines, but it's the shape of the sea surrounding them that makes them appear as boats (hopefully).


A Porthleven inspired composition - boats at low tide in the harbour


Porthleven, England, 15" x 11".

A porthleven inspired painting with some boats at low tide.  An exercise in using your imagination, once you are fairly familiar with a location and it's landmarks, to take the key elements of a place and change things around.  So anyone who knows Porthleven, I have the church tower in the background, but then have changed the surrounding buildings as I developed the painting.  I am not sure what inspired me to have some large white boat in the middle ground right, but it seems to work well in blending in with the boat in front of it.

This painting was done with three primary colours - Cadmium Yellow, Winsor red and Ultramarine blue.


River Avon at Bradford on Avon


Bradford on Avon, 22" x 15".

A plein air painting from a recent trip out this summer.  Painted under 2 challenging situations - the local parks maintenance team had their noisy hedge trimmers and leaf blowers out next to me and towards the end, it started to rain.  Well it does rain some times in the summer in the UK, so the best you can do is protect the painting and dive for cover.  Then try to complete the painting based on your memory of the scene - good practice anyway.


Riberac, France and using 3 colours and a black


Riberac, France, 15" x 11".

On a recent holiday I had decided to travel light and took away with me some free paint samples from Sennelier - a Yellow Light, Opera Rose, Cinereous (whatever that is) Blue and an old Ivory Black I had lying around. Using just 2 brushes - a small synthetic and a largish mop, this would be a useful exercise in seeing what colour combinations I could come up with.  On the whole they made quite a nice 'stone' colour which worked quite well in this French street scene.  I will be posting a few more paintings soon, all with those same 3 colours.


White Horse Pub on The Green, Biddestone, Wiltshire


Biddestone, Wiltshire, 22" x 15".

A very picturesque village in Wiltshire UK and a filming location for the TV series 'Agatha Raisin'.  This was the first of 2 plein air paintings on a recent trip with some other artist friends.  In fact we were all wandering around the village looking for suitable painting spots and one of the residents thought we were the film crew.  It was mid summer but freezing cold in the morning.  I could have done with some gloves.  There's a couple of good pubs in the village and this is the central one on the Green.  Most of the time there was a beer delivery lorry outside the pub hiding most of what was in the central part of the composition, so I had to regularly move to one side by a few metres to check on the view!


Corso della Republica, Fabriano, Italy 2


Fabriano, Italy, 15" x 11".

A view down to the central square in Fabriano.  I was going for two focal points here - the first one with the guy on the left in light clothing with the dark arch behind and then the angular shadow on the right hand red building.  For the shadows in the bottom right hand corner I dropped in clear water while the wash was still damp, and added in thicker, darker paint for the deeper shadows by the car and the figure.


Hotel Alize, Marseille Old Port, 3


Marseille, France, 15" x 11".

A rework of an old painting, this time with a slightly different angle and more people.  I like going back to old subjects for example from 2-3 years ago and see if I can improve on the original or try out new techniques and then compare that with the original.  It's interesting to see any changes in my style, which there have been over the last 5 years.  Now, I like to change what I see in front of me to suit the composition - adding people is a great example into a street scene where perhaps my reference photo had none.


Two houses in Provence - a demonstration painting


Provence, France, 22" x 15".

A couple of country houses in Provence.  This was a demonstration painting for a tutorial session run recently and based on a reference photo.  The trick I think with French country houses is to not make them too neat with lines and colours.  Dirty them up a bit and put in some bright blue shutters.  The foreground had to have a bit of texture, so different tones of green were applied.  I regularly do not use any 'green' paint, but prefer to mix my own - of course a bright yellow and ultramarine blue, or cobalt turquoise and yellow ochre makes a duller green.


Porthleven Harbour 4, Cornwall


Porthleven Harbour, Cornwall, 15" x 11".

The western harbour wall in Porthleven, Cornwall, with some morning light coming in.  An initial wash went over the whole painting, thinking about the colours of areas which will be left or painted around.  Of course the focal point is the white van, made brighter with the darker colours around it and the shadows.  The background buildings are implied with the angular shadows giving form to the roof tops.  The top of the shadow along the wall was made a little softer with some pre dampening with clear water.