Sunday, 26 July 2015

Plein Air Sketching in Little Venice, London

Church in Little Venice, London
Drawing done in situ, pigment added later.    

At the moment I am interested in exploring different papers other than the conventional ones used with watercolour.  This paper is a slightly tinted cartridge paper and quite absorbent.  J M W Turner liked using tinted paper for some of his sketches.  I am also exploring a looser, more illustrative style with my pen and wash.


Urban sketching in Little Venice was interesting with lots of canal boats, bridges, buildings, greenery and people.  For my first sketch yesterday I chose a particularly busy and difficult townscape with bridge, buildings and water in it.  As you can see I have nothing to show for it.  After lunch we found the church above which was more in my comfort zone for plein air sketching. The big lesson I learnt yesterday was to pick my plein air sketching scenes much more wisely in future and not to over stretch myself with over complicated scenes during plein air sessions.    









Friday, 17 July 2015

The Whimsy of Five Cows in Watercolour


“To laugh is human but to moo is bovine.”  ~ Unknown Author


The Whimsy of Five Cows

Hot Pressed paper is my favourite surface to use with watercolour.  The pigment glides effortlessly across the paper and produces wonderful blooms and blends quite easily compared to a Not or Rough paper.  Though please remember HP is a fast paper and I do not recommend it for watercolour beginners.  
  
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Cow studies on scrap Rough and Not watercolour paper


On my car journeys around the UK it is always fascinating watching the cow breeds change as the miles flash past.   Belted cows generally means we have reached the north near Cumbria.  Highland cattle in large numbers means we have reached the top end of Scotland or the Scottish isles.   The lovely black and white cows are mainly seen where hubby and I live in the south and surrounding counties.  Geography and the different types of breeds go hand and hand.   

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My cow studies took me down the route of individual differences between one cow and another within the same breed this week.  Just like people, animals have individual characteristics and personalities. 









Sunday, 12 July 2015

Urban Sketching At Wrest Park, Bedfordshire

This is a sketch I produced at Wrest Park in true urban sketching style; meaning completely finished in one sitting on location. 


Urban sketch of The Pavilion in pen and wash

A sunny day last week encouraged hubby and I to visit Wrest Park in Bedfordshire for the first time.  We both found it to be a really interesting and lovely English Heritage stately home.  Undoubtedly we will visit it again in future.  I like their idea of spending a Sunday afternoon listening to music in their grounds with a picnic.  Of course fitting in an urban sketch or two would make that my idea of heaven.  Though I am fully aware that some summer urban sketching sessions have their problems. 

This session found me blissfully painting away sitting in the sun on my picnic blanket until I was rudely interrupted by tiny black flying monsters.  I lasted until I got to final pen stage.  At that point I had had enough and decided to pack up camp and move further round onto a bench to finish off.  People disturbing my sketching sessions I can cope with as I am quite happy to talk to anyone about my art or anything else for that matter.  Being interrupted by flying visitors is a totally different problem all together

Whilst all this battling with black flying things was going on, Hubby had gone to explore The Pavilion on the inside.  I joined him there later when I had finished sketching and battling.    

Interior of The Pavilion

The design of The Pavilion interior was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.  I noticed this straight away as I walked in the door.  It may be a lot smaller in size but it is still very impressive to see. 


 Main building at Wrest Park


View of the long half mile garden from the main building terrace 
with The Pavilion at the very far end.

Wrest Park for us was an extremely enjoyable day.  I wonder if that was also helped by afternoon tea and cake.  Always a favourite of mine especially when it comes in a tea pot with an additional pot of hot water. 







Wednesday, 8 July 2015