Sunday, 15 September 2013

Burnsall Farmstead -Yorkshire Dales


This is the follow up painting to my pen & wash sketch earlier. As you can see I have added local wildlife, sheep in this instance and a few gulls. additionally I have added a figure between the buildings which helps the sense of scale. The roof of the nearest building has also been beefed up to help with the recession and also to emphasise the focal point.

This farmstead can be viewed from the Dales Way just leaving Burnsall on route to Appletreewick.
The river Wharfe run just below the footpath on the right of the farm. The view down the river is also worth a painting and I have sketches and photographs to create a future painting. However my earlier sketch from a few years ago shows a large tree on the left banking which sadly has gone. The decision will be to include or not.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Pen & Wash Sketches

When sketching outdoors a method I sometimes use is to make a sketch firstly with an ink pen and then complete the picture by adding watercolour washes. I find this helpful to quickly add colour without getting bogged down in if its exactly the correct tone or shade. This is also a  good method for adding smaller detail by pen and thus eliminating the need to carry a rigger or other small brushes in your sketching kit.


 Although the scene above is void of any animals this doesn't prevent the artist from adding some life into the studio picture at a later date, after all this is what sketches are for to collate information to produce a final pictures from. Usually there would be a flock of sheep in the foreground field however none were present at the time (sheep can sometimes be shy). It would be a good idea to add a few sheep grazing in the foreground  possibly looking in towards the dirt track leading to the main gate. I would probably also add a cloud shadow across the near foreground to give the picture a greater sense of depth. That's the beauty of artistic licence, you can make the scene what ever you like although I would restrain from adding any wildlife which wasn't native to the Yorkshire Dales.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Summer Exhibition

I am proud to announce that my son Darren will be exhibiting two of his architectural pictures at this years Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (7 June - 15 August). There were over 11,000 entries this year so the competition for places was extremely strong however he was successful in been selected to display his work. They are titled "Wroclaw Opera House, Rooms for Music and Wroclaw Opera House, Acoustic Landscape. As parents my wife and I are extremely proud of our son's achievements and we are looking forward to visiting the exhibition to see his work displayed in such a prestigious gallery. Further details can be accessed via the link below.

Summer Exhibition Royal Academy

Monday, 30 May 2011

Painting from Photographs

Storm breaking @ Loch Shiel - Glen Finnan
(Watercolour)

When painting from photographs firstly it is always better if you have taken the picture yourself or have a very good knowledge of the area or subject which you are going to reproduce. I would usually use photographs as a back up image to a site sketch however there are times when when a sketch is not practical. This doesn't prevent the artist from using the digital image/s to create their own sketch prior to applying paint to paper and it also helps to plan the final piece.
For this particular subject I wanted to convey a low horizon and not to get bogged down with the detail of the near shoreline trees but still portray a likeness of the original scene. I decided on the nearest headland as the focal point and I used a strong tonal balance to emphasise this by juxtaposing the headland and the distant mountain. The reflection was painted wet in wet, just as the shine had dissipated from the wash of the loch, controlling the reflection with an almost dry brush. Just before this had dried I used a slightly damp flat brush to pull out the break in the water.