Tuesday, 25 October 2011

View from a hill

We decided we needed a good dose of fresh air on Sunday and so drove down to Wimpole Hall, a lovely stately home in the the south of Cambridgeshire. The last owner of the hall was the daughter of Rudyard Kipling, but when she passed away the home was given over  to the National Trust. The grounds surrounding the hall are quite expansive and contain a working farm and a beautiful large walled kitchen garden. The estate is quite close to the county border and so, as is often the case in England, the landscape starts to change as the characteristic flatness of Cambridgeshire finally gives way to the bumps and hills of lovely Hertfordshire.

This watercolour is based on a photo I took as we sat at the top of a hill under the canopy of a beautiful old oak tree and gazed back across the estate towards the hall, which was hidden behind the distant tree line. In the far distance, the chalk ridge of the Chilterns provided a hazy blue backdrop to the vista. The wind coming from the south was blustery but quite warm too. We both laughed as Louie sat there in the wind, his big ears flapping as though he was about to take off!
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Wimpole, watercolour in Fabriano Venezia sketchbook, 25cm x 18cm/10" x 7"

 And of course this post wouldn't be complete without a photo of Louie enjoying the view ... and the wind!

What a handsome Beagle I am :)
Have  a really lovely week and happy painting to you all :)

42 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great day.....very soft, lovely painting....and a beautiful dog!

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  2. this looks like it was painting on-the-spot...what clear colors.....and I love louie, what a beauty he is!

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  3. Awesome painting! Lovely fresh colours and dynamic composition, an absolute winner.

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  4. Gorgeous watercolour - fabulous greens!

    Louis - what a handsome chappie you are! *mwah*

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  5. Composition and colours are beautiful! And Louie... very handsome!

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  6. Hi Michael, this is gorgeous! I love the looseness of the strokes, especially the fluidity of the tree branches and all that mark making in the foreground. It's very exciting to look at.

    Please give Louie a tickley scratch from me, those ears are mighty fine and look soft as silk.

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  7. Hello Michael, I remember Wimpole Hall from when I used to live near Royston. This makes me quite nostalgic for those gently rolling, wooded hills.

    I know about floppy ears as well, from our Cocker Spaniel!

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  8. Thank you everyone for your kind comments:

    Maggie - and I thought I stayed up late/got up early! Yes, it was lovely to get out. Louie says thank you for the comment too :)

    Celeste - I used bigger brushes than I would normally use plein air so I'm pleased it still gives that painted-on-the-spot feeling.
    Louie says thank you :)

    Sharon - I'm very pleased you think it's a winner. I think I'm beginning to get there now :)

    Pat - new transparent colours in this one - Perylene Green, New Gamboge, Permanent Magenta and Prussian Blue - all gorgeous.
    Louie says a big *mwah* to you too - oh and Missy of course!

    Judy - Wow, I think Louie is probably blushing more than I am right now ;)

    Lisa - lots of wet in wet, mark making and scratching out in this one. I even used glazing (which I'm playing with ATM) to pull the harmony back! I'll make sure Louie gets his scratch later. His ears do feel like silk too!

    Keith - Yes, South Cambridgeshire is truly lovely with the undulations but I love Huntingdonshire too.
    If I have another dog it will probably be a Cocker or Springer :)

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  9. Hi Michael.
    What a beautiful Painting. So much depth, and it is so clean and bright,
    Rare for a Watercolour. You aught to be proud of this one my friend. And of cours, Louie, What a lovely looking Beagle. All the best Michael.
    Vic.

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  10. Hi Victor, thank you ever so much for your kind comments my friend. It is nice to get a bright painting in watercolour isn't it? Louie seems to be getting quite a few nice comments too. Best wishes, Michael :)

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  11. I LOVE this Michael! I love the addition of figures too.
    You might want to visit Batemans one day which is down this way, the South-East in Sussex. It was the home of Rudyard Kipling himself! :0)

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  12. Hi Michael,

    First and foremost your lovely painting. Your colors are brilliant and the tones are perfect. Love the branch and leaves in the upper left. Great work. Yes, Louie is a very handsome lad indeed.

    All the best to you,
    Joan

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  13. Michael, I always get up early, but not usually that early…just so happened that I work up, made a cup of tea and what better time to peruse my favourite blogs! I do find I do some of my better paintings early in the morning.

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  14. Your painting let us feel the wind and the pleasant touch of fresh air on the face... I like the careful composition and the wonderful, varied greens of the fields. It must be a great delight walking in such beautiful places - both for you and your wife and for Louie!!!

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  15. Lovely fresh greens. It has a real sense of a peaceful sunny day. Beautifully captured.

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  16. Magnificent landscape! There is a multitude of elements all working together to create a very nice sense of depth - the color gradation, the fence and lines of grass, and the beautifully painted tree branch. I really loved it as soon as I saw it!

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  17. Hi Sandra. Thank you very much for your lovely comments and the info! Rudyard Kipling got his first name from a beautiful village close to where I was born and where his parents fell in love!

    Hi Joan. Thank you for your lovely comments. I was so pleased with the colours in this one too. I see you have been busy too so I will be over to visit your blog soon. Louie says thank you Joan :)

    Hi Maggie. I'm very much the same. If I wake up early, I generally get up, make a coffee, and sit and read (art books of course) or read posts and comments from my favourite blogs too ;)
    At the weekends when I don't have to worry about getting to work on time, I often paint. It's a lovely time of the day when the house is quiet :)

    Hi Lucia. Your comment about feeling the wind is so very nice, thank you :) I would have loved to have painted, or even just drawn, this scene on-the-spot but I enjoyed it all the same. We had a lovely walk - especially Louie :)

    Hi Vandy, thank you very much for your lovely comments! It's enormously encouraging for me when fellow Cambridgeshire artists like my work :)

    Hi Blaga. Thank you very much for all your lovely comments. The distant hills were almost pure ultramarine in reality but I thought that would look unrealistic so I flooded a little green in to them while they were still damp and that has kept them looking real but without bringing them too far forward.

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  18. Another excellent work Michael. The clean, fresh colours are a joy to look at and I find the use of a portrait format for a landscape painting quite intriguing. It works well.

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  19. Hi John. Thank you very much for your lovely comments. I like using a portrait format for landscapes - it does change the whole feel of the piece :)

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  20. Such a serene landscape , beautifully painted...the colors are just lovely.

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  21. Good morning Jane! Thank you for stopping by again and leaving such a lovely comment. I'm delighted that you have become a follower now - I will be becoming one of yours too :) I love the freshness of your recent work and those botanical illustrations are just amazing. Not enough patience to attempt something like that myself lol:)

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  22. really lovely michael ..beautiful shades of green and freshness ...louie deserves a portrait :)

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  23. Hi Jane, thank you very much! Yes, I think Louie does deserve a portrait but it will have to be from photographs - he would never keep still long enough!

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  24. What a wonderful landscape, I like it! Composition, colors, light...everything look perfect! Well done Michael!

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  25. Thank you very much for your lovely comments, Tito. I love your watercolours so your encouragement really does mean a lot to me :) Ciao.

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  26. Wish I could have been there, it looks like a great spot to bring a book and a blanket... you have a wonderful use of color and atmosphere! And looks as though Louie truly enjoyed himself!

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  27. Hi Rose, thank you for your lovely comments. It is a lovely place, quiet but not deserted, and so nice to sit and chat or read and sketch :) Yes, Lou always enjoys a big long walk and being a Beagle he also likes to scavenge!

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  28. It's a beautiful view and you certainly did it justice...Louie is lovely too!

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  29. Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely comment Cathy. Louie says thank you too :)

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  30. I know beagles well, my grandmother had one when I was a kid. Definitely scavangers! But lovely scavengers!

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  31. Lovely painting and fab Louie portrait too.

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  32. Hi Sue, thank you very much! I might be a Bailey but not related (AFAIK) to that one of photographic fame! Louie's a bit of a poser and much more photogenic than I am!

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  33. What a lovely dog is Louie.
    This is also a beautiful painting, the colors are very bright. Just wonderful.

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  34. I came here to thank you for your kindest comment and explanation about ColorBrush.
    I like your sketch very much, so full of air and nature's wisdom.

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  35. Thank you very much, Renske. Yes he is a lovely dog but he keeps stealing the cats' food :)

    Thank you very much, Irina. I hope the information has helped you :)

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  36. O, that is (not) funny. LOL By us it was the other way around. Jera stole food from Bibi.

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  37. Hi Renske. My cat Tom often steals Louie's place on the sofa next to me! Revenge is sweet :)

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  38. Thank you Sadeu - I'm pleased you like this one :)

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  39. Beautiful watercolour here Michael ... love it! :)

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  40. Thank you very much Ingrid, hope you got your blog list sorted :)

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No silly verification words here - all comments are appreciated! Thank you :)