Day 297: Bushlike Landscape

Sandstone Slopes (Watercolour)

Sandstone Slopes (Watercolour)

Working on the same paper as yesterday, which is Bockingford, I thought I’d try something a bit more adventurous based on a photo I took earlier this year. Centennial Park is a cultivated parkland but some bits of it are quite unkempt and natural and this is one of my favourite dog walking spots with a wooded area on sandy bedrock. I think the trees are Spruce so it’s not real bush (it’s not wild for a start), but it feels very much like it.

Years ago I went on a painting course with Ron Ranson and I’ve been trying to recall the lessons I learnt then, but I’m struggling. Somehow we managed to get very strong, rich colours and lovely loose expressive brush strokes – mind you, this was after a solid weekend of practice and lots of tuition so I know I’m expecting a lot to sit down and remember it all after about twenty minutes! I keep reminding myself of this and also that the aim really is to try lifting out paint again, which will happen in the later stages of the painting with some foreground trees. So far I really like the colours in the foreground, except for that unfortunate bloom on the left… I’ll have to think of some way to use it, while trying not to totally lose the nice tones.

Day 129: Distant Hills, Stage 3

Distant Hills (Watercolour)

Distant Hills (Watercolour)

The first few stones are in and looking good… I may have got them a bit too dark at the bottom of the picture, but they’re supposed to be in deep shadow so I’ll reserve judgement until the rest are complete. Maybe it’ll balance out when they’re all finished.

I’ve also done some research today, and a bit of sketching, towards a possible composition for tomorrow’s exercise as there’s a call out from a nearby gallery for works that have been inspired by music. I’m not really expecting to be able to complete something worthy of hanging within a day (the deadline is Monday!), however, I like a challenge and it’s an interesting subject so lets see how it goes :-).

Day 79: Dry Stone Wall

Dry Stone Wall (Watercolour)

Dry Stone Wall (Watercolour)

Just a few more steps have brought this painting to a stage where I think I can now comfortably leave it.

The second tree has been completed and the stone wall on the right has had a touch-up on the cracks between the stones to strengthen the contrast. There have been a few grasses added here and there and a distracting accidental shadow line has (hopefully) been removed from the far wall and trees – if you saw it previously you’ll know what I mean 😉

Apologies to all my friends in the UK who are sick of the sight of snow, I’ll try and steer away from it as a subject for a while. I can’t promise how long it will be though… I have already been tempted by some great snowy photos that a friend has taken in rural North Wales.

Day 69: Dry Stone Wall continued

Dry Stone Wall (Watercolour)

Dry Stone Wall (Watercolour)

I hear there’s yet more snow on the way for the UK… what an amazing winter it’s been over there! I only remember a few really snowy winters during my life, and have to say that I feel just a little bit cheated that I’ve missed so much snow since I left. I love walking through snowy fields, the silence that it brings with only the crunch of your own footsteps!

Rose coloured specs, I know 🙂 I have good memories of crisp whiteness and quiet solitude, and I’m deliberately ignoring the sloppy grey mess of thawing, the danger of re-frozen pavements and roads and the totally mind-numbing cold… have I mentioned I hate being cold?

While I have my eye in with regards rock I’ve put some more detail on the dry stone wall today. It took a while to get going and unfortunately the right hand wall has suffered a bit as a result – a bit grubby and overworked rather than just shadowed. Otherwise, I’m quite surprised it looks as good as it does, it was rather a struggle to work out what I was doing at first.

I think in future I would paint the stones before adding the dark lines between them, I found the order this time made it hard work as the contrast between stone and gap was too harsh.

Day 68: Hunter Valley Boulder, Day Three

Stone Boulder (Watercolour)

Stone Boulder (Watercolour)

This giant, snail like stone is really taking shape and now I’m wishing there was something on, or near it, to give some idea of scale. We tried several times at the weekend to get my friend’s 8 year old daughter to sit inside, but she wasn’t cooperating… I think it could be a spider thing 😉

This is about as close as I usually get to a finished painting. When I stopped painting today it was because I couldn’t think what else to do. However, various parts look ‘rough’ to me. To be quite honest, I don’t know whether I’m successfully not fiddling, or if I’m actually avoiding dealing with necessary finishing that will complete the picture. So, I’m going to put it aside for a while and see if that helps… By the way, any suggestions and criticism, gratefully accepted 😉