Sunday, 27 November 2011

Ye Old Dog & Partridge

Ye Old Dog & Partridge
Watercolour on Paper
38cm x 28cm (15" x 11")

Elaine and I have a soft spot for Ye Old Dog & Partridge at Tutbury. Most of the wedding party stayed at this historic inn on the nights before and after our wedding. The half-timbered building dates from the 16th and 17th centuries (thank you

I painted this yesterday at one of Tony Slater's painting days for the Shelford Group of Artists. The theme for the day was Ink and Wash.

Tony was keen we start with a loose drawing in ink without going into too much detail and without doing any preliminary drawing in pencil. This is exactly the opposite of how I normally work so it was a good exercise for me.

I’ve mentioned before that I always seem to rush when I am painting in company (see Through a Window Through a Window) and this happened again.

I did a light sketch positioning the major shapes and then attacked it with the paint. My initial strokes were a bit ill considered and sloppy so I decided to embrace this and paint the whole thing with quite a large brush (a number 12).

When I was close to finishing the picture, I realised it lacked interest. I added the flowers and at Tony’s suggestion altered the door so it was open, but the painting really could do with someone walking up the path to the pub.

I’ve vowed to spend more time planning my paintings. I am going to draw thumbnail sketches to explore the subject before I start a picture. This will give me a stronger sense of what the finished piece will look like and help me to spot and correct design flaws earlier in the process.

Sunday, 20 November 2011


Watercolour on Paper
25.5cm x 35.5cm (10" x 14")

This picture has been on my to do list since I started painting. It is based on some photos I took on my birthday in 2005 while Elaine and I were on holiday with Paul and Wendy in Cornwall.

I worked hard during the week to have this painting ready for today because I’ve spent the weekend with David in the Peak District.

We did some walking, but probably not enough to offset the eating and drinking we did in Ashbourne.

I spent Saturday looking for a particular type of river view. This must have blinded me to other ideas because now I realise I want to paint the cliffs in Dovedale. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any photographs so I am planning a return visit with Elaine.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Another Modelled Drawing in Ink

Buddha Head
Modelled Drawing - 11 November 2011
Ink on Paper
35.5cm x 43cm (14" x 17")

I have posted quite a few modelled drawings in ink because I am enjoying the exercise.

Before starting the Natural Way to Draw, I would have approached this drawing in a completely different way. I would have spent ages measuring relative dimensions and angles. Starting with a scribble of about the right shape and size and gradually building up the surfaces is a much more enjoyable experience.

I cheated a bit by marking out the approximate positions of nose and eyes before I spent too much time scribbling. I don’t feel too guilty because who wants to spend 3 hours on a drawing that looks like something from the Chamber of Horrors?

Sunday, 6 November 2011

The Black Horse

The Black Horse
Watercolour on Paper
52cm x 34m (20.5" x 13.5")

Elaine commissioned this view of the Black Horse for her birthday and it is probably the most demanding picture I have painted.

The initial drawing was tricky. It is an old building on a slight slope. Lines I expected to be straight - weren’t. Objects I expected to line up – didn’t. On top of this, there are so many windowpanes.

The large areas of flat colour posed another difficulty because they aren’t very interesting to look at. I’ve tried to spice up the roof and the large yellow wall, but the picture could still do with more variety of colour and shape.

Then there are the horses. I decided not to try for accuracy and painted them with a large brush. Now I wish I had been a bit more careful.

It is not the best picture I have painted, but it invokes happy memories and was a labour of love.