Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Rydal Falls

Rydal Falls painted in Watercolours

Painted  on Stretched  Arches 140lbs not with Cobalt, Ultramarine and a hint of Winsor Blue.
The yellow palette was Lemon, French Ochre and Winsor Yellow and  not leaving out my favourite Permanent Rose. 
I used some masking fluid in the waterfall, a sponge to soften the rocks and another sponge to help with foliage. The Palette knife was nearly used more than a brush, which makes me wonder could I paint an entire watercolour with just a palette knife!!!!

These hidden waterfalls at Rydal are a delight to find and with a super cafe near the top of the bridge, what more does an artist need. The best part is the little Dipper that plays on the rocks, maybe I should add him into the painting?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Another beautiful day in the Lakes and the long range forecast is looking good.
It's been a busy old week, Keswick Art Society asked me to do a workshop day in Pastels on Thursday, and I organised a weekend for beginners Watercolour workshop. The Penrith Art society workshop is this Thursday so the brushes and paints have been dancing around all week.
 It is a joy to share painting tips and ideas especially with groups who have been so enthusiastic. 
Thursday workshop is all about running, cascading and reflected water. So lets see what happens

I've  treated myself to a new toy/ necessity A SONY CAMERA and with the sunny shinning up at Castlerigg Stone circle, this was the perfect place to see what it can do.

Its got a panaramic viewfinder, great for the Helvellyn range with a dusting of snow.

A zoom lens, for those wildlife shots. 
A firework setting, but non of them today! and best of all a Snow setting!

The only problem with the camera is I got a wretched parking ticket when I bought it!!
Watch out if you go to Hombase in Kendal!!! 

Monday, 18 February 2013

Castle Crag a walk to delight.

A super glorious day in the Lakes yesterday found me walking down the path in Grange in Borrowdale.
Heading up the Cumbrian way, taking a left and up Castle Crag a proper little Lake mountain.

The sun was shinning and also the wind was blowing strongly down the pass. Castle Crag is the hill you can see silhouetted  on the left 

Nearing the path up to Castle Crag, I noticed a family walking precariously up the scree, the kids bounded in front, Dad struggling with a toddler on his back and Grandma and Grandad bringing up the rear, I did wonder why?

With a lovely easy path missing out the dangerous scree

The light on the Scotts Pines was stunning. I could imagine Pastels or a study in Oils

The top was reached and what a fabulous view from this lofty peak. Looking down to Rosthwaite and Eagle Crag, where I painted last year with a lovely group of Artists.

I sat and looked and ate a sandwich and enjoyed recognising some of my favourite places.
Blencathra in the distance, Skiddaw towering high, Wall Crag, Bleaberry Fell and Kings How all super Wainwright walks, Derwentwater and the river Derwent glistening below. What a view and bathed in sunshine. I did manage a quick sketch, it is funny, get a sketchbook out and people cannot help themselves they have to have a look over your shoulder, would they do this is you were writing a journal! 

In a painting I always like a path that leads the eye through into the distance and the glistening stream just adds to this..

This typical scene reminds me of an Alfred Heaton Cooper 

Another study that I feel would make a painting. Over the stile and down to Rosthwaite

My favourite stretch of river, the colours in the water are made of magic, I never capture it with the camera nor with the paint brush but that is what keeps me trying.

For those of you that know this stretch of river will have seen the emerald glow.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine from Derwentwater

While marching on a favourite jaunt through Big Wood and down to Derwentwater. 
Love was in the air, I noticed a necklace with a heart made of stone.

A Highland that gave me a loving smile

The sun poked through the clouds and lit the lake with sparkling light.

Even the puddles gave me inspiration

The Canada Geese did a noisy fly over the silent lake.

You don't need  Red roses to say I love you, nature gives it free everyday.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Snowdrops and Cyclamen painted in Pastels

Snowdrops and Cyclamen painted in Pastels
Size 11x 7 inches

Stage one

Washes of watercolour was applied loosely to Fisher 400 paper.When dry Soft Unison pastels was added in a negative way, trying to find positive Snowdrops.

Stage two

Trying to find my way, Rolf might say 'Can you see what it is yet?' 
My answer at this stage would be 'No' but I'll keep painting

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Spring May be on the way

Came across these lovely delicate Snowdrops and Cyclamen and think they could make a smashing watercolour study. I fancy a panoramic view but wonder should I mask out the flowers heads, try and keep the paper dry or take out the paint!

Love the delicate curves and of course the sunshine on the petals. After a damp grey few days seeing these pretty colourful flowers does bring such joy. I did enjoy watching Monty Don French gardens last night, I can see a few flower studies emerging next week. But with Snow forecast for tomorrow you never know what might appear on the paper

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Watercolours for Total Beginners

Windermere Sunset painted in Watercolours

Are you a Total Watercolour Beginner?

Not sure what brushes to use, Sable or a Hake? 
Not a fish but Goat hair and it's the perfect brush for those big washes.
A pan set or tubes? Plastic or China palette? I did have one student that used a Yorkshire Pudding tray.

 Not, Hot or Rough any ideas? It's a type of watercolour paper

If you would like some personal painting guidence, easy step by projects, Windermere Sunset is 
Project Three and you will be amazed at how easy it is to paint with just four shades or hues, another technical term. 

Stage One Primary colours are painted wet in wet, timing is the essence.

Mountains are added with varied tones to help create distance and atmosphere.
Perfect in a watercolour painting.

The Online Watercolour course is ideal for anyone who would like to learn
 techniques for Watercolour painting.

Six projects are included,all  landscape scenes
with step by step stages including composition, colour mixing and all the watercolour techniques that you will need to produce a stunning painting. A material List, Sketches and colour tags with each project to help with colour mixing and tonal values.

Price £55.00

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Stockley Bridge, Lake District

Stage One Stockly Bridge

Painting on stretched Saunders Waterford not paper and using Naples Yellow,Cobalt Violet, Permanent Rose, Manganese Blue, Winsor Blue, Lemon Yellow and Daniel Smith Yellow Ochre. 
Naples Yellow was washed across all of the paper, I find this can help to unify a painting. 
Manganese Blue in the background  helped to create distant cool hues, this semi opaque colour gives interesting granulation when mixed with Cobalt Violet.

After stage one, I decided a trip to the bath was needed and a complete immersion. 
 This is drastic measures but I felt confident that this would soften the background and some of the darks in the wretched bridge! and hoped a masterpiece would magically float to the top of the water

Stockley Bridge

Using the hake brush is ideal for softening watercolour, in the bath!
I then decided to get out the Gouache 
  and added touches of Gouache in a mad wild way, painting in this way can go two ways.
Either straight to the dustbin or in this case saved for tomorrows critique.

Online watercolour course with personal feedback on each project

Monday, 4 February 2013

Learn to paint watercolours in the Lake District

I thought I would share with you a couple of photographs of Stockley Bridge. This ancient footbridge has been painted many times over the years, it's situated near Seathwaite and is on the route to Great Gable and Scafell Pike. 
I'm going to demonstrate my interpretation in watercolours on Wednesday to my Keswick Art group.
You might wonder what 'Draws' me to this view?
I love the misty dramatic mountain landscape and think this will favour beautiful pale watercolour washes. 
The colour of the streams in Borrowdale are truly spectacular with clear water tinged with a transparent Viridian hue.

It sounds easy writing this down, but the joy will come when the brush and paint hit the paper!
I'll post later and let you know how Stockley is coming on.

If you fancy having a go at watercolour and not sure where to begin, I have a couple of places available on
Watercolour Weekend for Beginners in Keswick
Saurday 23rd and 24th February
 See my website for more details 
or just email me