Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Seaford Head

Its always nice to get out and about with sketchbook and pen. I went up to Seaford Head with Margaret last week, on a beautiful sunny day, and sat at a picnic table drawing the view up the Cuckmere Valley.

The wide-angle camera lens doesn't do justice to the rolling hills however and has the effect of flattening everything out.

I much preferred drawing it and focusing on the distant hills, while also getting in a more panoramic view in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

A couple of days later I found myself with an hour to spare in nearby Brighton (while Margaret took t the grandchildren to the cinema) and so sat in the Old Steine gardens and drew a couple of buildings.  No time to colour them in, so I did the watercolour painting when I got home.

I made the lampost far too big and shoujld have done better with the foreground generally, but time was short and this was the best I could do. Here is a photograph of where I was painting from

If I'd had longer I would have added the fountain in but it was really quite tricky with fish curled around the base.  A job for another day perhaps.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Back to the Loire Valley

I wanted to try again to capture the stone colour of the Loire Valley chateaux.  I have used Buff Titanium before but somehow it seems a little lifeless, partly perhaps because it is quite an opaque colour.  I read somewhere that raw sienna plus a touch of cadmium red might do the job so I tried this and the results were quite good.  In this painting below of Chateau de Loches, I also used some Alazrin Crimson to make the shadow greys a little more interesting.

Chateau de Loches

Monday, 31 July 2017

Something different

I've been thinking for some time that I ought to try something different than buildings and landscapes so I've painted a couple of cars.

The first one is a Rover 90, a classic car from the 1950s.  I actually owned one of these when it was quite old.  Unfortunately it needed quite a lot of work doing to it and the cost was too high for me to afford at that time, so I sold it.  It was a very comfortable and luxurious car with wood dashboard and leather upholstery.   I saw a similar one (but a later model) the other day at a motor museum and have included the photo below my painting.

My second car is another car from the 1950s, a Fiat Topolino, a predecessor of the famous Fiat 500 which are still made to this day.

I took a photograph of one (below my painting) in Boulogne but when I went on the Internet to research the car I found that it was made in a variety of colours so I chose the black and red colour scheme instead of plain black.

I've enjoyed painting cars for a change and may do some more.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Town and country

I love going to Greenwich on the River Thames and here is my attempt at painting the Old Royal Observatory

Here is a photograph taken from the other side of the observatory from the bottom of Greenwich Park

I am always inspired by the view I see when I drive to the nearby village of Alfriston.

Here is the view

My wide-angle camera lens has flattened out the landscape - disappointingly so in fact, and so I compensated for that when I came to paint it@

Friday, 21 July 2017

Painting outdoors with the art group

The last couple of Fridays I've been out with the art group in lovely summer weather painting local scenes in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook. Last Friday we went to Rottingdean where I sat by the duck pond and drew the houses and church opposite.  I completed the sketch by painting in some watercolour washes when I got home.


This afternoon we went to the nearby town of Lewes where was sat in the gardens of Southover Grance and painted the old building.

Southover Grange, Lewes

We have to make the most of these fine summer days because in England our weather has been accruately described as "two find days then a thunderstorm" which is all too often true.

Virtual Paintout in Malta- July 2017

I enjoy participating in the Virtual Paintout - every month, Bill Guffey selects a country and posts it on the Virtual Paintout website and we then use Google Streetview and choose up to three scenes to paint.  We then send them off to Bill and he publsihes them on the website.  The site has been going for a number of years now and the list of countries visited is huge.

This month we visited Malta and I have completed two paintings and sent them off.

The first the Malta Maritime Museum in Birgu.  I was attracted by the lovely old steam engine that stands in front of the museum.  The Streetview image follows below my painting.

Malta Martime Museum

Malta Maritime Museum - Streetview image

The second painting is Fort St Angelo, again in Birgu. This is a 16/17th century castle which was the headquarter of the Order of St John and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Fort St Angelo, Birgu, Malta

Fort St Angelo - Streetview image

Saturday, 1 July 2017

A week in the Isle of Wight

We've just returned from a week in Cowes in the Isle of Wight - a centre for yachting and other boating.  If we'd stayed another day we'd have been able to watch the Round the Island Race, an annual event in which about 1700 boats sail round the whole island. The fastest yachts complete the course in about four and a half hours, but for others it takes the best part of a day.

Anyway, I did some sketches from the balcony of our apartment and here they are