Grow house Tomatoes

Although these Tomatoes have their roots firmly in the grow house (a miniature glass-house for those not so horticulturally disposed), they have grown enthusiastically enough to be bursting out of it in all directions, and this vine has become rather top-heavy. The late Summer or early Autumn sun has them ripening by the day and their colour changing almost as one looks at them.

Cheeky little thing

This little character has been standing, minding his own business in a cabinet at home for years, without me noticing him. My eye was probably drawn more to the assortment of teapots which surround him. I wonder if he is Dickensian, but there is nothing whatever to indicate who he may be or from where he came. But now I have discovered him, I love drawing him. I have no idea what he is holding. I thought at first it could be a microphone, but if he is Dickensian, I don’t think it can be!

All the greys here are variations of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. His face and hands are from Yellow Ochre and Permanent Rose. His hair, purely Burnt Sienna.

On the vine

Our Tomatoes have finally decided to ripen. They could do with a few more days of sunshine really as there are still a lot of green ones. At the moment we have rain and dark skies, so perhaps we will be making chutney soon!

Moleskine watercolour notebook 5×8 ” (13x21cm) portrait format

End of the platform.

This is a sketch I did recently while looking around the old railway station at Toddington. There are a whole lot of things going on there and loads to paint, which I hope to do more fully one day, now I know what’s there. Unfortunately I’ve discovered it just as I am in mid preparation for the new term. What I hope to do is to turn this into a larger painting and write more about the location, but it will be a few weeks before I get around to doing it! Just another thing to put on my ‘Places I must paint’ list.

Caring for Figs

Our fig tree has had access to more light this year which means it has grown and looks very pleased with itself. Unfortunately, it hasn’t had so much sun, so a lot of the fruit will not have the chance to ripen. The rich colours of the insides always come as a surprise, but always fun to add to the pages of a sketchbook.

Barn across the field.

It’s looking as if we will be able to hold face to face classes again from next week (for how long remains to be seen). So been busy preparing for the new term which seems to be strange and exciting at the same time.

This barn across the field at Sherborne makes use of a limited palette of Quinacridone Gold, Light Red and Cobalt Blue, trying to keep the colours muted under the grey skies we’ve been having for quite a time now.

Watering can

Sometimes I use my sketchbook to play around with ideas, try something different, without meaning to create anything in particular. Here I was using a stronger ink line in the sketch, making it play a more dominant part in the finished drawing instead of having it disappear beneath the watercolour when I paint over it. Apart from having the side of the watering can coincide exactly with the centre line of the sketchbook, which is bad designing on my part, I quite like the look of this sketch.

I also like the way the watercolour has behaved. I made the main grey area from French Ultramarine, Indian Red and Yellow Ochre, mixing them very loosely and allowing them to merge on the paper. I also like how dark they went when I added a little Winsor violet. There is also a little Cerulean Blue on the top of the can and on the handle.

Painted in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook portrait format 8×5 inches.

Flower tower

Some places have hanging baskets to prettify their surroundings. Others have window boxes. In Stow on the Wold they are big on flower towers dotted around the town, to bring some welcome colour to the summer months. The place is also big on vehicles, making it hard to find anywhere to park unless you get up really early in the morning. In reality, there were lots of cars parked behind the tower, and something obscuring some of it in front, so I suppose they have to stack their flower pots on top of each other, otherwise no-one would ever see them.