Sunday, 28 August 2016

Pastel course

Misty Morning

Setting the scene
Morning Sail, was painted on an atmospheric day,  threatening rain clouds and soft mist in the mountains and a still reflected lake.

The horizon line is approx. 1/4 of the paper, this will aid a dramatic sky in the composition and create distance in the mountain scene.

 Colours were kept subdued working with tonal hues rather than exact colour shades, this will help to give a peaceful harmony to the painting.

Working on Fisher 400 pastel paper, this is project two on my online pastel course.
 It is a perfect course to start painting with pastels, with many handy tips, step by step instructions and clear photographs, materials explained  and above all personal feedback with each project. I have painted with Pastels for over twenty years, and find them such a wonderful medium. 

Why not start painting pastels this Autumn and sign up to the Pastel Online course

The price of the course is £55.00 , there is no time limit to the course.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Painting from reference photographs

Ullswater Mooring

I think this would make a great reference photo for a watercolour painting.
These shouldn't be copied to every pixel, but used as an idea, or for scale.
The horizon of the lake could be moved lower to give more drama in the sky.

More detail could then be added to the boat.

I would ignore the canoeists, not that I dislike canoeists, I would want to create a sense of space and tell a story about the single boat.

The mountains could be painted with more atmosphere and misty conditions with wet in wet and plenty of water. The trees on the shore could give a strong tonal value against the light tones of the lake. This would add more drama to the painting.

I would also imagine a few more reflections under the gorgeous Red sailing boat.

The float could be masked out with masking fluid?

The lake could shimmer with a little wax added.

I would keep to a limited palette of around four to five primary colours Cadmium Red been a definite contender.

So all it needs now is paint to paper.

If you fancy joining my Online watercolour course with personal feedback

Friday, 19 August 2016

Rambles with an artist Catbells

Start :Keswick Launch
Distance and Terrain : Four Miles on good fell paths, a steep short walk.

Catbells, possibly the most walked fell around Derwentwater made famous by Beatrix Potter in Tales of  Mrs Tigglewinkle. A super introduction into Lakeland walking, with stunning 360 degree views, this short but steep hill can be walked in a couple of hours without sketchbook and inspirational stops.
For aspiring artists the only way to start the Catbells ascent is by Launch from Keswick. Glide across the lake, view the mountain above picking out the path to the top and witness the reflected beauty of Derwentwater Lake. Make sure you have your camera at the ready for added wildlife of an Otter or Kingfisher. You may feel the need for a quick sketch, let the walkers go ahead and then you will have the peace of the mountain path to yourself.

The way ahead is upward in a steady ascent, through the wood and reach the cattle grid on the hairpin bends. You should see the small path heading up the mountain side, if the bracken is high you may need to look a little closer. 

Keep to the path and take plenty of stops to take in the views below and behind. Skiddaw,  the main bulk of mountain at the head of Derwentwater, it's partner in crime sitting proudly on the right is Blencathra, with Keswick nestling below.

The higher you climb and the views will reward. Newlands valley can be gazed on your right, as you walk along the ridge. Causey Pike the mountain with a nobbled top, along to Sail and the Coledale Horseshoe keep you company  Below in Newlands valley a tiny hamlet can be seen ' Little Town' made famous in Tales of Mrs Tigglewinkle. I wonder did Beatrix Potter  walked along this same path.

Take a well earned rest before the final ascent, the path becomes a  small rocky scramble but not for long and the summit will appear. A walk along Catbells any time of year will always inspire. You may have to share the top with other walkers, Sheep and even the odd Rook scavenging for left over sandwiches. A perfect place to get out the sketchbook.

When it's time to descend, take the path heading down towards the Lakeland head back along the lower Catbells terrace, with views at every step. The path can be seen before a stone wall that heads down to the lakeshore. Plenty of sketchbook stops next to the waters edge, silhouette scenes or Autumn colours even an odd boat or two gently moored in a secret cove.  

Cakes and Coffee will entice at the new Lingholm Kitchen and wall garden and afterwards you can catch the ferry back to Keswick.

painted in Oils