Queensland Sheep

Queensland sheep

Queensland, Sheep, 15" x 11".

Based on a photo sent by a subscriber, a hot dusty scene from the outback.  The middle ground needed a bit of thinking and planning.  The dust is there plus it affects the lower background as well.  So timing here was important in blending washes while still moist and then when everything was dry, I used some week white gouache and mixed it it (easy when the paper has a tough surface to it).


Saint Mark's Basilica - Too many pigeons

Saint Mark's Basilica

Venice, Italy, 15" x 11"

Based on an old black and white photo taken by a friend, this was a very quick sketch of Saint Mark's Basilica in Venice.  Probably a challenge to paint with all those architectural details, domes and spires.  And then those pigeons - too many to paint them all, so I summarise by just doing a few - almost dabs of paint with a little twist and then a shadow below.  Hopefully gives the impression.  Also, for all those people, I drew them in first then the background.


Two Ramblers - Avebury Stones


Avebury, England, 15" x 11".

Avebury Village near Bath in the UK and a popular area for ramblers and tourists visiting this ancient site.  This is the largest stone of many here.  Not sure what it is called, but I think it is 40 tonnes in weight.  I was pleased with the composition on this one - with the large stone right, balanced by the two figures on the left.  The figures connected with the stone shadow and to the background.  As you can see, the foreground grass has some 'splattering' going on to give it a bit of texture of the meadowland here.



Avebury Stone Circle


Avebury, England, 22" x 15"

Avebury, and the prehistoric stone circle which runs around the edge of the village.  Unlike Stonehenge you can go up and touch the stones/boulders.  Sheep freely graze among the visitors.  This is a plein air done with a local painting group last autumn and I had the battle of fighting against the wind and the sun - both making drying times really fast.  I think the far hill, being a ploughed up field perhaps could have been less 'red'.  The earth really was that colour in my mind but it would do being a bit paler to push it back in the compostion.


Goose Green Yate, 6


Landscape Watercolour of Yate, 22" x 15".

Last year I was kindly invited to the South Stoke Art Group in Bath.  This was my first demonstration painting and the theme was 'figures in landscape'.  Of course figures help a landscape painting with greater interest, help the composition and giving it scale. 

The scene is quite a simple one - a single cottage, dark trees in the background, a bit of grass to the right, and almost centre my figure with dog.



Gypsy Caravan, Yate


Landscape Watercolour of Yate, 15" x 11".

A recent visit by some traditional gypsies to my home town, offered a new subject with a couple of heavy duty ponies munching away at the grass verge (kept from wondering by some temporary fencing) and a bright yellow caravan with a curved roof.  It was a quick sketch and a bit of a practice at painting some horses at distance.


Road to Old Sodbury, Winter


Landscape Watercolour of South Glos, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

An anonymous country road to Old Sodbury, a little village near me.  I don't often do winter scenes and often prefer to do paintings of a summer location with bright light and lots of shadow.  But it's interesting how with a snowy scene it's not just all white, but on closer observation many other colours appear - yellows, blues, violets and so on and provide contrasts of their own with the trees and branches.


Goose Green, Yate, Autumn, 2


Landscape Watercolour of Yate nr Bristol, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Close to where I live and an interesting composition I thought with the curve in the road and hopefully taking your eyes into the sketch.  It started to come better when the road markings and the darks of the middle-ground went in.  Goose Green is a popular place for locals to take their dog/s for a walk (surprising how many people have more than one dog).


Joseph Zbukvic painting course day 1

I was very fortunate to attend recently a Joseph Zbukvic (pronounced Z-book-vich) watercolour painting course care of EPC Painting Holidays in Girona and Cadeques on the Costa Brava.  It was a superb location for painting, or indeed any holiday, and we were lucky with the weather being early October.

Anyway, Joseph is the leading watercolourist with terrific skills in the atmosphere and the tones of his work and I was eager to learn more about his style.

Day one was spent mainly at our hotel base and working in the 'studio'.  Exercise one was a study of an 'English country scene' with sunlight coming towards you in the early morning mist.

Here is Joseph's example which he completed in an hour whilst giving a running commentary!:


Notice the wet in wet on the background trees and great dry brush strokes on the middle ground trees.  The cows were literally done in seconds and looked perfect.  Well here is my first interpretation:


As you can see, I lost the plot of trying to emulate the master, and after a small ticking off from Joseph (in the nicest possible way!) I attempted a second:


Perhaps a little closer to the brief, but only done in 30 minutes or so as I didn't want to miss lunch!