Walk at low tide - Porlock Weir

Low tide walk porlock weir

Porlock Weir, England, 22" x 15"

A made up scene based on Porlock Weir for a recent workshop.  My reference photo was a very dull day, so I added some blue sky and shadows.  It was an exercise really in light and shade and introducing a few watercolour techniques like laying down a smooth wash (the sky and water) and timing - letting everything dry for example after the first wash.  A bit of fun and not meant to be an exhibition quality painting.


Minehead Harbour - Winter low tide

Minehead harbour winter day

Minehead, England, 15" x 11".

Minehead Harbour in North Somerset and a Winter's scene.  The harbour bed here is a mixture of sand and mud, so a bit tricky to walk over in places.  It's a change to paint a dull light scene as opposed to something in bright sun.  Good practice for getting the shapes and composition right to compensate for lack of contrast.  Still, you can introduce some darks and lights - so the darkest area here might be the bottom of the boat and the lightest area might be the sea in the distance.

Burrowbridge, Somerset 2 - Wishing for a plein air visit there!


Burrowbridge, England, 15" x 11".

I missed a plein air trip last year with a group of fellow artists but I managed to acquire a photograph of the area with the iconic mound in the background.  Well I can imagine I am there by the roadside with the view in front of me.  Of course I have to insert man and his dog somewhere and decided to have him cutting across several horizontal shadows along the road.  Thankfully I have the hedgerow to add a bit more interest and angle to those shadows rather than boring straight lines.



Burrowbridge, Somerset, 1


Burrowbridge, England, 15" x 11"

Burrowbridge, and the 'mump' hillock in this Somerset village.  This painting was based on a reference photo sent me by fellow artist Jem Bowden and a plein air trip I could not make.  I adopted a very loose style here - not too much detail at all apart from a few straw bails and the couple of figures.  Those figures are much smaller than I normally do, but I think they turned out okay.  All in all, quite a dark painting with that stormy sky.


Uphill Wharf, Weston Super Mare, outdoor cafe scene


Weston Super Mare, England, 15" x 11".

An outdoor cafe scene at Uphill Wharf near Weston Super Mare, with some small cliffs to the left that overlook the estuary here.  The background, cafe figures and stone wall on the right were almost done in one go, making this quite a simple sketch, apart from some careful painting around other figures and the cars.  I think it would have been better to not have the left had highlighted roof bordered by the parasol - maybe a bit more roof to the left, or move the parasol to the right....


Uphill Wharf, Weston-Super-Mare, 3


Weston-Super-Mare, England, 22" x 15"

Another plein air painting from a trip out last year.  It's a small tidal estuary called Uphill Wharf and home to many different types of small craft and a few inhabited boat houses.  My subject here was the bow of a large catamaran - not sure if the was someone living in it underneath all the tarpaulin topside.  Where I was painting from was a small sheltered area as the wind was gusting from left to right here. I decided to put in the foreground figure to connect the foreground with the middle ground.  I think if it was over on the right hand side it would have conflicted with the background boats.


Uphill Wharf, Weston Super Mare, 2


Uphill Wharf, England, 15" x 11".

Uphill Wharf at low tide - the area is a small tidal estuary near Weston Super Mare.  Here there's some small boats moored up and just beyond them is the tidal river.  The whole area is covered in long grasses or rushes, a golden colour in late summer.  These were given a wet in wet treatment.  Some watercolourists I know might do a bit of scraping out to give the impression of the stalks, but timing is everything if you do this - if the paper is too wet then the line disappears, too dry and you can damage the paper surface


Entrance to Weston Super Mare Pier


Weston Super Mare, England, 15" x 11"

Perhaps a more unusual view of the pier at Weston Super Mare, and its entrance (the pier runs out to the left, into the Bristol Channel).  I was most pleased about the way the shadow on the left came out and the range of colours in there - I was almost mixing the colours on the paper so you get areas where the pigment was thicker, than in weaker areas it blends more easily rather than staying in one place.  Also, while the shadows were still damp, I created the pavement lines with clear water and a synthetic brush with a good point.


Uphill Wharf, Weston Super Mare 1


Uphill Boat Yard, England, 22" x 15"

Uphill Wharf near Weston Super Mare, and an assortment of boats being maintained in this tidal area.  Painting was done on a plein air trip with some local UK watercolour artists. It was a windy day in mid summer so I had to weigh down my palette and keep it horizontal to stop it flying away.  I decided to put in my trademark 'fat man and his dog'.  More pictures to follow from my trip (took plenty of photos while there as references for future paintings)


Rivermead Farm near Saltford, Bath


Saltford, Bath, 22" x 15".

A plein air painting of 'Rivermead Farm' near the banks of the River Avon near Bath.  A nice peaceful place to paint outdoors with no distractions (It's on a short road that ends at the river and a small boatyard).  Apart from that, what attracted me to this scene is the light and the diagonal shadows.  Maybe I could have put in some chickens to make it more farm-like.  The trees were painted in quite loosely with the right hand one being allowed to bleed and drip.