Blood Red

Growing silently and unmolested by any unwanted intruders in the vegetable garden, this is the largest, so far, of a row of North Holland Blood Red onions. I always like to paint any produce like this whether it is from the garden or brought home from the shops. I particularly liked the range of colors from dark red, through Burnt Sienna, white and greens on the stem. It also has very white roots.

CONKERS

Horse Chestnuts, or ‘Conkers’ are always a welcome sign of Autumn, and I can never resist painting them, especially when they are all bright and shiny, straight from their shells..

I make a grey from French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna for their tops and Burnt Sienna plays a vital roll in their chestnut colour, lightened with a yellow, darkened with violet. These are in my sketchbook 8×5 inches

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

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.

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.

At the end of the road

I drive past this view two or three times a day without thinking about it. Today, for some reason, it struck me it would make for an interesting sketch. The cottage, tree and postbox went in quite well, but I was a bit frustrated with the vehicle which took more time to draw than the rest put together. The weather hadn’t decided if it was going to be cloudy or sunny, so the light was a bit flat. They said more showers were on the way, so I didn’t want to wait too long to see what happened. There are a lot of greens here which need to be separated into warm and cool areas. The main tree is made from New Gamboge, Permanent Sap green, French Ultramarine with Prussian Blue and Winsor Violet in the darkest areas.

From little seeds

The Poppies have been beautiful this year and are always a welcome addition to the garden whether planted on purpose or a gift of Nature. Although their delicate petals do not always last long once the wind blows, their tall elegant seed heads add another sculptural element to the borders.

In the meadow

Same subject matter, different location. This time in the meadows near my home. Fields of them, and nobody looking as if they are thinking about moving them soon. So while everyone was sitting sensibly indoors, I perched in the shade of a bale and breathed in the sweet scent of freshly cut grasses and wild flowers while painting today’s sketch. The only down side was when I became aware of an itch in the hand holding my palette and discovered a not-very-nice-looking creature happily sucking my blood. I flapped it away, but some hours later I can still see the puncture mark it made.

This is another entry in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.