Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Cloud Inversion

Looked out of the window this morning onto a curtain of mist, but could just see a glimmer of sunshine trying to get through, so off I went down to the Lake with camera in hand. I wasn't disappointed the effects on the lake were magical, the joy of a digital camera you can snap to your hearts content. I stood for a while and watched trees slowly emerge into bright sunshine. Somehow I just feel more inspirational when the sun shines, I'm painting on a big canvas in Acrylics of a scene in Chamonix, I started it yesterday and think it could take me all week, unlike last weeks paintings.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Quite a week

Day Seven. Well I managed it 6 paintings in a week, hats off to our American artists, it really is quite a challenge to produce a painting a day, been motivated, picking a subject and painting to a certain standard. But I really did enjoy it, not knowing what I would produce at the end of the week or in what medium. Today's painting is one of my online step by step projects that I started doing last year, it's been really great seeing students work improve quite dramatically and gain more confidence with techniques and painting.The power of the Internet is a marvellous thing at times.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Is it, or isn't it that is the question!!

Day Five. I think Innominate Tarn is finished now, I really enjoyed painting this, there's nothing like painting when everything is going well, I do enjoying working on canvas and painted this upright on an easel I tend to stand instead of sitting, I like to feel that I'm stepping into the painting! Not sure what tomorrow will bring, the fells had a lovely covering of snow today, it would be great to get out in it!! One of the joys about living here in the Lakes is that you are never stuck for a mountain to climb, it's just making your mind up which one!! I've been busy this week with bookings for my Italy course in June and my online course is taking off, it's fantastic seeing how students really come on with each project.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Nearly but not quite!

Day Three. Well this is quite a challenge I've given myself!! I should have thought about daylight hours in the month of January! Blue skies today in the Lakes, I had a walk down to Friars Crag and boy was it cold and windy but it does look very dramatic with the snow on all the tops. Today's painting is of 'Great Gable from Innominate Tarn' painted in Acrylic on canvas and I haven't quite finished it, the foreground and tarn still needs playing with, I used a palette knife for most of the mountains and stones it's a change from painting with brushes all the time.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Bring me sunshine, everyday..........

Day Three. Well today I wanted to be inspired by snow capped mountains and I also wanted to paint or sketch on site, again off I went with Puffa jacket, sketch pad etc, I was unsure of what to paint, which can be be a bit worrying but once out I soon became inspired, Clough Head is about 4 miles from Keswick and is one of those mountains that looks fabulous with snow, it seems to make it appear bigger for some reason!!I stood in snow and hail showers waiting for a glimpse of light, and suddenly an opening in the clouds and that was it, 2 or 3 minutes!!! Again a watercolour on Arches 140lb paper and a limited palette of Winsor Blue, Ultramarine, Permanent Rose, Burnt Sienna and Indian Yellow. I left the foreground until last and nearly popped snow in but I'm pleased I didn't and kept it to as the day was. I have a friend who's surname is 'Clough' and always think this is his mountain!! You can often see Para-gliders taking flight from it's lower fell.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Rumbles of Thunder

Day two. Well I fancied painting outside today, I got all ready, watercolours, camera tripod ( I use this for an easel, it's very light weight and means I can work upright and hands free) puffa jacket, this keeps me nice and snug on those cold fells.But the Hail came, the tiny bit of sunshine that was there disappeared behind big grey clouds and to top it all rumbles of thunder!!! perfect outside watercolour conditions!!! So I dug out my sketch book and worked from an old colour sketch of a favourite view, it's from a part of Derwentwater that I love, I never tire from painting at this spot. I'm more pleased with today's painting again it's on Arches 140 not paper, I used a limited palette of Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Permanent Rose and a touch of Indian Yellow, I also checked my tonal range with my little tonal gadget, it's been a real eye opener using this and I feel has made a big difference to my watercolour paintings. I made my tonal gadget myself , I think I could copyright it!! It includes all 9 tones that you should use in a painting. So tomorrow, let's hope the sun shines on those snow clad fells and I can get out and capture them.

Day one Well this is the first painting of hopefully six, painted in one sitting, I wasn't sure what I fancied painting this cold and wintry morning, but obviously needed reminding of warmer sunnier days! It was a close call for photographing before it got too dark, I will re photograph it tomorrow in a better light. It was painted on Arches 140lbs paper using Ultramarine, Cad Red, Translucent yellow and Burnt Sienna watercolours a little masking fluid was put on the daisies. Thinking what to call it ' Terracotta Pots' got me thinking on my Italian language 'Terra' means earth and 'Cotta' is cooked, cooked earthern pots makes sense!! . Not sure what I feel like painting tomorrow, I wonder if it may be a snow scene!!

Friday, 16 January 2009

Grasmere reflections

Well here is a watercolour of the photo from last blog, I tried to capture a misty feeling and once started on the painting realised how many trees!! But kept the foreground trees brighter and more shapely than the background, I used Winsor Blue, Transparent Yellow and Permanent Rose, my favourite red!! I'm thinking of next week having a go at painting a picture every day, may leave out Sunday!! It's becoming a bit of a craze in America, so maybe we should have a go over here!! Keep watching next week to see if I manage it!!!!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Nasty Day

Sitting here in a stormy cold and rainy Lake District I wondered what to paint, and thought this view of Grasmere would transport me to sunny warmer days. It's quite a difficult picture to paint with lot's of trees!! Reflections, a building and a little action with the rowing boat. Thinking about this picture I'm going to keep my horizon line at about 1/3 this will allow me to have a good space for the sky, but this could be painted without a sky!! Tackling the trees will be fun, but been aware of keeping the distant trees more blurred, blue and Grey's. I will put the building in because it's in a good position and also causes a nice reflection in the water. The rowing boat is great especially with the red jacket this breaks up all the greens and of course is a complementary colour for all those trees!! If you fancy having a go please do email me the painting I would love to see it, I'm going to tackle it over the next couple of days and will blog the result.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Classes, workshops and head first in the snow!!

Just got back from a wonderful skiing and a little painting holiday in the beautiful French Alps, luckily everything is still in one piece, been an artist my concentration level in a breathtaking place is not always 100% I often loose my footing and end up in the snow just for admiring the scenery! I've just organised my watercolour evening classes in Keswick they start Mon 19th January, and the weekend workshops are proving very popular, these will be quite intense days where we will cover alot of watercolour techniques and secrets!!! I've put another date in for Fri 27th to Sun 29th March in Keswick. This picture of Ullswater is one that I will be demonstrating step by step, it's a great painting to have a go at.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Happy New Year

Here am I sketching in one of my favourite places, Chamonix I am looking across at the 'Dru' a wonderful mountain or maybe it is called a peak!! I have spent the New year here and the weather has been fabulous very cold but brilliant blue skies I think the shade is between winsor blue and cobalt but maybe a need to look into another blue!! It's very easy to stick with the same palette year after year, a new year should bring a few new ideas, techniques and new colours.Today I tried using gouache instead of watercolour to see if this freezes!! and it didn't but we were sitting in bright sunshine, I always find it quite challenging using a different media, today the only challenging thing was that I had paint in the bottom of my bag, the gouache hadn't hardened like watercolour.The other challenging thing was skiing down a cadmium red run!!