Saturday, 28 November 2009

Hills and trees

Something I miss about the landscapes here are the hedgerows and stonewalls between nearly every field in Britain. This gives quite a bit of structure to a painting, so in this one I found the trees in the valleys made a nice substitute. I've started to use wax as a resist over colour as well as to retain the white paper. I've never actually used the gum watercolourists usually use for this purpose, and wax can be moved around as quickly as a brush without me having to wait for it to dry. I haven't got the time to wait around!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Volcano in the distance

Started to notice a slight change in the weather, more clouds appearing making the sky more interesting whereas before it was pretty clear all day. Nicemist in the mornings too combined with the distant hills are challenging to paint also.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Confusing hill and valleys

Sometimes there's just too much to paint, and I found that out today...too much detail doesn't make for a good picture!


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Olive trees

Playing with the colours and shapes of the olive tree. They are a peculiar colour of grey, green, turquoise, blue.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Trees in the landscape

This is a nice balance of colour and shape in this sketch. I'm particularly keen on this aspect ratio too for my landscapes.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Mist over the hills

22nd November 2009 - Mixing up the media with watercolours, wax, oil pastels, gouache. All sketches from this day are here


Saturday, 21 November 2009

Looking at the work of John Piper

I found the work of John Piper today. I was happily surprised by many of his watercolour landscape sketches, mainly because I sometimes feel that my work is too messy in my attempts to keep things immediate. And his style struck a chord with me on some level. He's probably the only artist in watercolours I've thought that actually does what I've been trying to achieve. Rhythmic patterns and shapes, often dark with intense colours. Here are some of his paintings...and a link to a website with more of John Pipers work here.

Cardiganshire Hillside 1975

Beach, Llantwit Major, Wales 1957

Cardiganshire Farm 1975

Wolf's Castle, Pembrokeshire 1971

Autumn colours and olive tree shapes

The olive trees are becoming the focus of more of my sketches as the other trees fade and loose their leaves.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Garden at Poggio Boldrini

A few quick sketches of the garden at Poggio Boldrini, Tuscany, Italy. Olive trees, cypress, lots of shrubs andw autumn leaves falling.


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Best warm autumn day, Tuscany, Italy

Perfect warm sun on my back as I sit on the ground and paint. The shapes and shadows are alive with autumn colours. Truly the best day here.


Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Storm approaching on walk to Chiusare

Chiusare walk, Tuscany, Italy - 17th November 2009
The weather was a bit disappointing compared to yesterday and some stormy looking clouds came over the hill on my walk to Chiusare. Noting the difference in colour temperatures painting on a daily basis now, it really is starting to reflect the weather conditions. Click here to view all of todays sketches

Monday, 16 November 2009

Hot autumn day, Tuscany, Italy

16th November 2009
Watercolour and watercolour pencil sketches. Today it's hot, I think my shapes and colours are much bolder for this. Hot hot hot colours, the autumn trees look amazing today..
Click here to view all todays sketches

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Train trip from Buonconvento to Siena, Italy

15th November 2009
Pencils were out today, and a first trip in Siena. Siena is a very impressive city, full of character, heaving with Italians out for a Sunday afternoon stroll. I walked past the Colors of Beneton shop and all I could see in there was black or grey. The Italians love to dress in black I discovered, as I stuck out like a sore thumb in my lime green jacket.


Saturday, 14 November 2009

View from Poggio Boldrini

The view from Poggio Boldrini towards San Giovanni D'Asso, Italy -14th November 2009. A hot autumn afternoon, makes me feel like using warm colours in my palette.

Friday, 13 November 2009

View of Poggio Boldrini

Poggio Boldrini, San Giovanni D'Asso, Tuscany, Italy.
I walked around the valley to the next crest of a hill to paint where I'm currently living...you can see it's on a ridge, surrounded by old olive trees, and oaks in the valleys.



Thursday, 12 November 2009

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The ape collection

The penetrating mosquito whine of the Ape can be heard ringing through the air. Little 3 wheelers with a front cabin big enough to squeeze two truffle hunters into and space for a dog cage in the back. What more could a person ask for!




Monday, 9 November 2009

3 months in Italy...

Poggio Boldrini, San Giovanni D'Asso - 11th November 2009
It's autumn in Tuscany, and I'm here for 3 months on top of a hillside surrounded by valleys of oak, ash, birch, and elder. I'm here to paint mostly, and to rest, walk, escape part of the English winter at least and perhaps learn a bit of Italian. First impressions from the Capanna...I'm working in sketchbooks for the first few weeks just to see what happens. The autumn colours are great, and the sun is still warm.