Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Morning light, Derwentwater

Stage One
 Morning Light Derwentwater painted Oil on Board
 Size 24 x 24 inches 
I used a limited palette Winsor Blue, Yellow and Red ,Permanent Rose, and Unbleached Titanium Dioxide.
I enjoyed laying a primary undercoat under the trees and along the shore where I also tried to achieve some texture. With this lovely warm weather we are having in the Lakes the paint dried really well overnight.

Stage Two

So today, I started to lighten up the view and bring out the sunshine, I'm not finished yet, but thought I would share where I'm up to. I found the painting quite a challenge especially the trees, which still need a little more work. I tried 'tonking'  placing paper on top of wet paint to to remove overworked areas. This helped.! Then we I overworked again, I tried softening with a clean brush, again this worked well. I think painting in the warm sunshine stopped the painting getting to wet.
 Tomorrow I'm hoping to start to pull it all together.

The Online watercolour course with Jane Ward

Monday, 28 May 2012

Costa Coniston

What amazing weather we are having in the Lakes. I cycled round Costa Coniston this weekend.A  beautiful ride following the edge of the Lake with smells of Bluebells and wild garlic, and  fields of Yellow Buttercups grabbing my attention. With cloudless Winsor Blue skies reflected into the Lake I could have been in the twinned town of Solto Collino in Italy, above Lake Iseo.  

 Dandilion Heads 

Just one of the Buttercup fields with the Lake in the far distance behind the trees.

Daisies and tiny little blue flower that I'm trying to remember the name!!
Speedwell or 'Birds eye'

It's fantastic painting weather with so many little gems, I'm nearly doing the headless chicken act
of what to paint!
Lets see what this week brings, and as I write this I feel 'a painting a day' coming on.

For a painting weekend June 9th and 10th based around Derwentwater

Friday, 25 May 2012

Paint in the Wonderful Lake District

Beautiful weather here in the Lakes and long may it last. It's truly perfect for outdoor painting and I think the view above from Friars Crag down Derwentwater is shouting watercolour.
If you would like a four day watercolour course for Beginners and Intermediates around Derwentwater
Staying at the Dalegarth House hotel in the pretty village of Portinscale
I still have a couple of places left the price is £44.0.00
for more details www.lakelandartcourses.co.uk
or email me to reserve a place to paint in the wonderful Lake District

 Here's a link to tripadvisor for the Dalegarth Hotel

Monday, 21 May 2012

Rannerdale Bluebells

'May Time' Oil on board size 24 x 24 inches
I think is finished, I really enjoyed painting this scene, and I'm pretty chuffed with how it evolved and what I wanted to capture. I didn't quite know when I began, where I was going, apart from down the Woodland path  into Borrowdale. But now I see I wanted sunshine, but don't we all! 
With my fetish for Bluebells it's quite amazing that I've never seen the Rannerdale Bluebells in full bloom. On Saturday I was 'the support vehicle' for Nigel and Mik and a few others that needed Flapjack to complete the Keswick Sportive of six passes, Newlands, Whinlatter and Honister from both ways approx 65 miles.
With an hour to spare I had chance to go and see this truly magical  place in the Lake District. The smell of the Bluebells cannot be portrayed in a photograph maybe a painting could do this?

I think it quite shouts pastel or maybe Oil, I will keep you up to date with how it goes, but I think another trip with the paintbrush this time.

And here are the crazy cyclists smiling  just before the sixth pass of the day 'Honister'

Friday, 18 May 2012

Walking in a woodland with a paintbrush

The Oils are still in favour, I mentioned a few weeks ago about been inspired by David Hockney. A few sleepless nights later thinking about how I would tackle a woodland scene I decided to go for it. With a canvas panel measuring 24 x 24 inch I applied transparent Acrylics, using complementary shades. With this dry I then began finding my way in the Woodland scene. 

Stage two, using Indigo, permanent rose and winsor yellow in the background I'm starting to walk my way forward. With the woodland walks and hedgerows looking so beautiful, full of colourful wild flowers it is a joy to try and capture this scene with only a paint brush and palette knife. I'm hoping to get a little further through my wood today so will keep you posted 

Painting outdoors can be a little trying in rain, but you can see here a few heavy raindrops can cause amazing light and freshen the landscape.

Next watercolour weekend for beginners 
who fancy a little outdoor painting beside Derwentwater with views like this.
Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June more details

Friday, 11 May 2012

A painting day in Grasmere

Here are a few glimpses of a painting day with Lakeland Art Courses in Grasmere.
With cameras and paints at the ready we head off down to Rydal Water. Sunshine greets us walking to the shore, bags are dropped at base camp and with cameras and viewfinders we decide what to paint first. Will it be the Bluebells sparkling in the morning light underneath a shapely tree, with warm hues of raw Sienna perfect for the moss on top of the rocks. A simple wet in wet misty background is all it needs.

Whilst at the lakeshore reflections of perfect Rhododendrons in full Opera Pink glow, and Marsh Marigolds sit prettily in the foreground.

With more Marigolds shouting to be painted, but what looms behind is what I call the 'Wretched tree' 
A beautiful tree I admit for sitting on and admiring a stunning vista, but always a difficult one to portray with paint.

Now I went for the easier option!  'Silver How' with warm fells of raw Sienna a hint of permanent Rose. Wet in wet proved a good technique for a mass of trees, hints of Lemon yellow, winsor Blue and touches of Gamboge. Islands of trees in the middle ground and reflections painted at the same time,  a few ripples under stones in the foreground.

But it's not just about painting a masterpiece, it's also totally emerging yourself in a view for a couple of hours, watching wildlife dance by and relaxing in the peace and quiet of the Lake District.

But we all know that with painting there is no gain without pain! 
We often go to great lengths to capture a scene. 
So with the day ending over a Hot chocolate on the shore of Grasmere and cute little ducklings to photograph. Screams of terror broke the peace and a fellow artist needed help and rescuing from a bad tempered mean Swan. Many will know I'm afraid of Swans but poor Margaret needed help. Mean old Swan was pecking, while my shouts of 'go away and shoo' did not detract. Thank goodness a knight in shinning armour saved poor Margaret from falling in the lake and getting savaged by mean old Swan!

So if you fancy a painting day with Lakeland art courses I promise not only a masterpiece but a wonderful memorable day spent in the beautiful Lake District.

 My next weekend painting on the shores of Derwentwater in watercolours Sat 9th and Sun 10th June 

 Just email me for more details or to reserve a place

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A winter scene in Samoens

Skiing Samoens Stage 1
 Here is what's been keeping me busy over the last ten days. You may think a snowy landscape in May is a little unseasonal to paint?  Let me tell you there was fresh snow on the tops of the fells today, the weather is certainly unseasonable! so painting this scene from my recent trip to Samoens is fine.
It's been a challenging view to paint, I was so struck with the sheer beauty, trying to capture it has not been easy and I'm not finished yet! But I do feel it's starting to get there! You may wonder how I know that?
Well I keep peaking at it and placing it in places where I can see where it's going! When it's not happening, it gets put to the back of the pile!
Starting with Stage 1 I blocked in lots of shapes and tried to get a rough composition, I laid in more dark colours, realising that I would paint more lighter shades on top. I also wanted to use negative shapes in the front trees.
Stage 2 
I struggled getting the distant tree shapes and the correct hue, but feel they look more realistic now.
Next came the trees in the foreground, I wanted to give the illusion of snow laden trees, I thought it would be easy using the palette knife, which was ok but didn't quite pull it together. What did help was using my colour shaper, this little piece of equipment was wonderful to help shape the Spruce.

With a four day course starting tomorrow in Grasmere I am hoping for none of the white stuff and certainly more of the Cobalt Blue!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

No more Grey skies

Two images today one of Grange in Borrowdale tearoom in late afternoon light, 
caught on a cycle round the lake.The light is just wonderful on the blossom. 

The second image, well I've got the Oils out at the moment and I think last weekends grey days got to me! I needed a little colour!  Wow did I paint some. I think I like it!!It so different painting in Oils to watercolours. 
With Oils I can't put the brush down! 
I like the way shapes evolve without necessarily painting them, and painting more negative than positive.
So the journey with Oils as just begun, I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes!