Sunday, 15 July 2012

The wild wood

This one is inspired by recent trips I have made to the local river, in between the showers, sometimes to sketch, sometimes just to sit and look. I prefer to paint from memory rather than from a reference photograph. Everywhere is so lush and green after the rain, although the meadow grass has started to turn yellow and buff in colour. The gloomy rain-filled skies offer little light but are sometimes lightly tinged with beautiful mauves and pinks. I left out much of the foreground and the near and middle distance trees to concentrate on the distant treeline to try to create a feeling of dense woodland filled with light. I used a minimal palette of Maimeri pan paints on a smooth pressed watercolour paper. Happy painting to you all!

'The wild wood', watercolour on Derwent watercolour paper A4

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


Finally ... The rain held off long enough for me to sit and paint by the river once again :) This quick sketch of the view took about ten to fifteen minutes.

"when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

River Great Ouse, Hartford, watercolour sketch

 And here it is in my sketchbook, along with a couple of other doodles, one of our garden that I did ages ago, and colour charts for both the Winsor & Newton and Daler Rowney boxes that I use for plein air work. The sketchbook is a Daler Rowney Ebony A5. They take watercolour washes really well, without falling apart as some other brands tend to! Additionally, for this latest sketch I used Kuretake Zig waterbrushes rather than my sable and sable-synthetic pocket brushes. Waterbrushes are really convenient but they are generally made from synthetic fibres and so the sharp ends of the bristles can scrub the surface of the paper and cause it to pill or, even worse, rip ... but the paper in the DR Ebony stands up to the job very well :)

Happy plein air painting my friends!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Cloudy memories

It  has been raining for most of the day ... again ... and the Met Office forecast a deluge of almost biblical proportions ... but thankfully it hasn't happened, and now it's a pleasant, dry evening here in the East of England. I painted this view of the lush green flood meadows across the river from visual memory with more than a hint of artistic license of course ;-)

Happy painting to you all!

Great Ouse and flood meadows, Huntingdon, watercolour on Saunders Waterford 140lb Rough, 10x11", 25x28cm