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December 2016

November 2016

Porthleven Cornwall, and another 5 boats in a row at low tide


Porthleven, Cornwall, 22" x 15".

On the principal that groups of 3, 5 or 7 of anything looks good, here's another sketch of Porthleven and a row of 5 boats at low tide.  Of course it's good to make all these boats a little difference in appearance in some way.  The sketch was another one from memory of the harbour down there, so apologies to any locals who might see this scene and any inaccuracies as regards the placement say of the dominant church tower.  I try to really think hard about composition and moving objects to suit the picture - moving lampposts etc is an easy thing to do and not copy exactly what you see.


Studio demo, Fuengirola, at Alda Con Limon


Fuengirola, Spain, 15" x 22".

An 'in the studio' demo that I did on the recent watercolour course at Alda Con Limon.  The subject is Fuengirola and in response to a request from the attendees I went through a harbour scene and describing in detail the stages I go through here - 1. Sky, 2. Sea and waves, 3. background buildings, 4. boats and 5. reflections.  After the demo, everyone else had a go and I'm pleased to say they all made a pretty good job at it!


Place Saint Eugenie, Biarritz and light against dark


Biarritz, France, 22" x 15".

The Place Sainte Eugenie near the seafront in Biarritz.  A row of shops on the left, a Hotel in the background in a darker light and then some cars I placed in front of that to have a bit of contrast.  That is a key element I look for when planning a painting is what area can be dark and what area can be light and also nice to have those two elements together to emphasise the tones.  So here it is a couple of cars, but it could equally have been a few figures with their shoulders and heads with some highlights against a dark background.


Plaza de las Comendadoras, Madrid, Plein Air #2


Madrid, Spain, 22" x 15".

My second plein air demo on a recent course I was the tutor for at Alda Con Limon (if you're in Spain, check them out for all the regular painting courses they do with guest artists).  So if you saw my previous demo, this is almost turning around 180 degrees, walking down the street 50 metres and another view to be had.  The corner of the square here has a busy cafe - so a challenge to depict all those tables and chairs and their legs - solution, just go loose.  


Porthleven Harbour, an imaginary composition


Porthleven, Cornwall, 22" x 15".

An imaginary composition of Porthleven Harbour in Cornwall (If a local saw this they would say things like "the pub on the right is too close to the tower"), but I have painted this pretty coastal town a few times now and can do it in my head so to speak.  Playing around on a larger size paper I really had some fun with splattering and dropping some clear water into the back ground buildings while the wash was still quite moist.  Looks disastrous when you do it but becomes less so as the paint dries.


Plaza de las Comendadoras, Madrid, Plein Air


Madrid, Spain, 22" x 15".

The lovely Plaza de las Comendadoras in Madrid, a demonstration plein air painting on my recent short painting course hosted by Alda Con Limon.  This was a morning painting, not too bright, so I had to imagine the shadows some what.  There were so many painting subjects just in this square.  You could have turned 360 degrees and found something to paint at every angle.  Also I was thinking about the time of day, not only the different subjects but the angle of the sun.  The above composition might have been quite nice with a diagonal shadow across the facade of the main building.  This painting is sold.


Figure emerging from the shadows, Tythe Barn, Bradford on Avon


Bradford on Avon, England, 15" x 11".

A figure merging from the shadows near to the old Tythe Barn in Bradford on Avon, a group of medieval buildings in this pretty town in the UK.  I gave the figure a walking stick - there's plenty of ramblers here and the nearby Avon Canal.  This was another 3-colour painting, which I am getting used to and great for any plein air painting as you have a really light weight palette to take with you.


Theatre Royal Bath - a commission


Theatre Royal, Bath, 22" x 15".

A recent commission I have done of the Theatre Royal in Bath.  I am happy to do commissions based on a photo or maybe on a previous painting I have posted.  Pricing depends on the size and sometimes the complexity of the scene, but the cost is very affordable!  And turnaround is normally a week or two.  Just email me for more information!


Shiny pavement reflections, Faro, Portugal


Faro, Portugal, 15" x 11".

My central plan with the painting was to get those 3 reflections on the shiny pavement surface from the 2 white vehicles and the front of the right hand building.  And another dynamic to deal with is the colour of the buildings.  Yes they're white, but look more closely and there's a myriad of tones in there, especially on the older ones maybe in need of a lick of paint.