St Bartholomew's Church, Corsham

St Bartholomews Church corsham

Corsham, England, 15" x 22".

I don't often do churches as a main focal point, but it was a lovely peaceful spot for a bit of plein air painting until some maintenance workers started up their garden brushcutters.  I think one of the biggest challenges of painting plein air is loud noise.  I just can't concentrate too well.  Anyway, I managed to complete things before they got too close!  I tried to emphasise all the different angles of the grave stones.


Tricky Reflections - Whitehaven Harbour


So above was a photo kindly sent in by one of my subscriber friends (Thanks Tony!), and a question about how to handle a scene like this...  So I had a go and this is my effort...

Tricky reflections whitehaven harbour

As you can see, I...

1) Changed from landscape orientation to portrait, and moved the horizon up a notch or two

2) Moved the dominance of the central about away from the middle

3) Simplified the background - just think about shapes and not what they are

4) Reduced the number of boats

5) Concentrated on those reflections - they are the key part of the painting


Ross on Wye, High Street towards Market Hall

Ross on wye high street

Ross on Wye, England, 15" x 11".

The shortish High Street in the beautiful town of Ross-on-Wye.  My reference photo from a visit was taken on an overcast day, so I had to improvise with the shadow work.  It's quite a nice scene for getting in that really dark background in the middle and the introducing a figure and car to have some light and contrast against it.  The only delicate part of the painting was doing the Union flag in the centre (you can almost miss it).


Ross-on-Wye Market Hall and Broad Street 2

Ross on wye market hall and broad street 2

Ross-on-Wye, England, 15" x 11".

A second attempt at this scene from a slightly different angle to get more of the lovely Market Hall in.  I wanted to try and replicate some of the warmth of the red bricks of the Market Hall in the shadows across the road.  As I did with my last one of this scene, I have some figures and cars emerging from the shadows and a connection with the foreground and background.


Ludlow High Street

Bristol savages ludlow high street

Ludlow, England, 15" x 11"

Another plein air from a recent trip to Ludlow.  I managed to position myself right on the side of the road and up against a market stall selling pies, so quite a busy spot.  But it did have a great view down the High Street to some lovely timber clad buildings down the end.  It was a very busy place to paint from but thankfully I did not get too many interruptions (apart from a near miss with the local bus)


Ludlow Market - Plein Air

Ludlow market

Ludlow, England, 15" x 11".

The lovely Ludlow Market on a Saturday Morning.  This was a 'plein air' painting done from the corner of the market under challenging conditions - the wind gusts sometimes made my light weight easel take off and then there was the odd spot of rain when I had to temporarily move to the covered entrance of the next door Pizza Express (apologies to PE customers with me getting in the way).  All part of the fun of doing outdoor painting in the UK.


Broad Street, Ross-on-Wye

Ross on wye market hall and broad street

Ross-on-Wye, England, 15" x 11".

A view up Broad Street in Ross-on-Wye with the red bricked Market Hall in of course Market Place.  The painting was based on a reference photo from a recent visit - it wasn't bright sunshine on the day, so I have taken the liberty of adding a few dark shadows across the foreground and have a few figures connected to that, rather than have them too separate over on the right.  Hope it works. 


Pedestrian crossing by the White Swan Pub, Yate

White swan yate pedestrian crossing yate

Yate, England, 15" x 11".

A scene I have done many times before over the last few years, and interesting to go back and repeat a subject just to see how I might approach it differently.  So I find that now, I perhaps have a looser style of painting and I happily change some of the objects to suit the composition.  So for example I have grouped the buildings more closely together to fit then all in, changed the position of the pub sign and position the street furniture & bollards to help with the balance.  Overall a useful exercise.


Barges, Pinmill

Barges pinmill

Pinmill, England, 15" x 11"

An artist friend kindly sent me some photos of a very popular location with painters - Pinmill in the UK.  A place I have never visited and I am not one to commonly paint somewhere I haven't been.  A painting seems more special when you were actually there yourself.  But sometimes having little knowledge of a location has advantages - It does help, for me anyway, to simplfy the scene.  I am not preoccupied with having to make sure I get every detail in like well known land marks.  So for example, the background here is very easy - it's just a wavy band across the picture!



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.