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February 2017

Scraggy Pine tree, Praca Dr Antonio Padinha, Tavira, Portugal

Scraggy pine tree Praca Dr Antonio Padinha

Tavira, Portugal, 15" x 11"

A pine tree amongst some palms in this pretty little square in Tavira, Portugal.  There's a lovely sweeping curve of the buildings on the left, up to the chapel/church at the end of the square.  Very loose treatment (sorry) to the souvenir shop on the left - all their products on stands outside were just greatly simplified (I can't paint every postcard).  Two figures, centre, almost blend into their background, helped by the limited palette in this one.


Mykonos Steps and composition

Mykonos steps

Mykonos, Greece, 15" x 11"

What attracted me to this scene was the row of steps leading up to I presume the first floor of these local houses.  I thought it made for a nice composition and a classic leading your eye into the picture - maybe to the telegraph pole.  I also introduced the two figures, walking in the shade mainly, but the top of their bodies contrasting with the shadow on the background building.  A bit of splattering with clear water was used in the darkest area of shadows in the foreground.


Duras shutters

Duras shutters

Duras, France, 15" x 11"

A study of the main square in Duras, SW France.  I am trying to bring together all the main elements of the picture.  So across the middle, a shadow hits the parked car, then a couple of figures are connected to the car, the shadows of the couple are joining the larger figure and then almost a connection to the smallest figure on the left.  And simply there are 3 main areas of the paining - background buildings, middle ground figures and cars and the the foreground shadow.


Bristol Savages sketch night - "a good prospect"

Bristol savages a good prospect

Watercolour, 15" x 11"

Bristol Savages, Wednesday night sketch and the topic for the evening - "a good prospect".  So I interpreted this as a god view, here over rolling hills and maybe a location like the UK, Ireland or perhaps France.  There were two main stages to doing the painting.  First step was the initial wash, very weak at first and the stronger greens at the foreground.  Then, almost a second wash starting from the top, defining the far trees, hedgerows, shadows and painting around the houses.  Smoke was added as a last stage with mainly white paint with a hint of cobalt blue.


Bristol Savages sketch night - 23rd November 2016

Bristol savages 23 november 2016

Watercolour, 15" x 11".

I can't remember what the topic was for our Bristol Savages sketch night late last year, perhaps the theme inspired me to paint this scene of a couple of smugglers boats up on the shore, they're illegal load in barrels on the right.  So a completely imaginary scene, perhaps reminiscent of Cornwall in the UK which had been famous in previous centuries for that sort of activity.


Sunlit street, St Foy La Grande

Sunlit street St Foy La Grande

St Foy La Grande, France, 15" x 11".

Another 3 colour palette painting of this small town in the South West of France.  Cars can be quite difficult to do when they are totally in the shade, especially if they are dark cars.  So I think you have to just concentrate on the main lighter areas of the car - the roof, bonnet and maybe headlamps.  I have a few figures on the left side to connect the shadows with the lighter buildings.


Essaouira Morocco

Essaouira Morocco

Essaouira Morocco, 15" x 11"

JL thanks for the reference photo of Essaouira on the coast of Morocco.  I found a quick way of painting in a flock of seagulls (if that is the correct word).  The sky was painted in with some random gaps.  These gaps were then made into the impression of a seagull with the addition of wings and body.  Very handy when the seagulls are a mixture of white and greys!


Bristol Savages sketch night - "It's in the blood"

Bristol savages its in the blood

Watercolour, 15" x 11"

Bristol Savages sketch evening and the topic for the night - "it's in the blood".  So trying not to attempt anything too gory, I went along with a theme of generations and here a market scene (maybe France or Italy ??) with parent and child going to the local market. Maybe it's the first visit of the child when they are carrying a shopping bag.  Well I leave it to your imagination.  I wanted to also make a feature of the diagonal shadows and the contrast against the figures and parasols.  A two hour sketch.


Chipping Sodbury High Street #10


Chipping Sodbury, England, 15" x 11".

Another view up the High Street of my local town, Chipping Sodbury.  From a painting point of view it presents a few challenges, the main one being is that the street is one of the widest in the UK, so difficult to get a classic 'H' frame for composition.  So if you've seen my previous pictures of this town, many of them concentrate on one side, and the pavement leading your eye into the painting.  The bunting always seems to be out, hanging across the lampposts and it's useful to include that to connect the sky to the buildings.