A Little Sunshine

Surprisingly after all the frosty nights and having to scrape the windscreens on the car, we had some unexpected Sunshine yesterday which put everyone in a good mood, judging by the number of smiling faces and willingness to exchange more than one syllable , me included. There was actually a little warmth in the sun, if you stood in the right place and didn’t expect too much. It was the dappled light coming through the trees and across the path which caught my mood. However it wasn’t quite warm enough to stand still for a couple of hours, so this was done when I arrived home from a photograph and memory.

Frost damage

This frost-resistant pot turned out not to be after all. It started to show signs of being less tolerant of the cold last year, but now large chunks of terracotta are falling off, although the plant itself, a Camelia, shows no signs of suffering. Most of our other pots and planters look to be made of tougher stuff and have so far shrugged off our frosty nights without complaining.

Frosty morning Allotments

There is not much happening on any allotments at this time of the year, but a recent frosty morning attracted my attention on these. I liked the white roof on the sheds and the quietness of the scene. This is actually quire a large area and there is a lot more to be seen, but I simplified the background and shamelessly removed a green screen from across the foreground, although I included it the small sketchbook version I made at the time. I also used a limited palette of colours, choosing French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre. I also used a small amount of New Gamboge to find a bit more of a green than the blue and Ochre could give me.

Goodbye to 2021

We may be getting to grips with one lot of Covid, but one thing is sure – there is bound to be another variant before long.

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday. Stay safe and please follow the rules as they apply to you wherever you may be. That way, more of us will be able to enjoy a healthy 2022.

See you in the New Year.

Shadows of Gin

Unfortunately, the Gin was missing – only the bottle reached me, but in fairness it was the light coming through the bottle which made me want to paint it. I wasn’t sure which red would work best, so I painted brushstrokes of a few different reds onto an offcut of paper, and then held it behind the bottle while I looked through the coloured glass. One of the brushstrokes seemed to disappear, which meant that was the one closest to the colour of the bottle. And the winner was… Cadmium Scarlet. I added Crimson and a little Violet for the shadows and left some slithers of untouched paper for some of the lights

This is in a small sketchbook done at the end of a long day spent painting something much larger. I should really have put it into context, showing it on a table or a window sill or something – but there is always another day.

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.

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.