They have been lining the drains around here for most of the week, and whilst I am not too sure what the process involves, it has clearly taken a great many vehicles of all shapes and sizes, pumps, generators and swarms of orange-clad men in white helmets who, between sporadic bursts of manic activity, did a lot of standing around, talking. Which was most fortunate for me, once I realized they weren’t going to be changing position very often, as it gave me the chance to try and draw them. They mostly stayed still except the one on the left in this sketch who kept wriggling his legs I think in an effort to keep warm, but for all I know he could have been rehearsing his part in an upcoming pantomime. Anyway, they seem to have lost interest in our road now.
Painted in Moleskine A5 sketchbook.
The snow may have gone, for now, but the memories linger, thanks to a painting I did looking out of a window where I had no need to worry about freezing water or fingers. I used New Gamboge, Permanent Rose and Cobalt Blue in the sky and some Raw Umber in the buildings.
Snow in November – Thanks to Storm Arwen. You either love it or hate it, viewing it as either magical or a threat to life and limb. It’s certainly magical to paint, and in some ways simplifies the landscape into areas of cool blues and violets against areas of warm siennas and ochres with a few slithers of untouched paper.
Of course, the difficulty with watercolours is if the water hasn’t frozen, your fingers probably will, so if you are somewhere where you are unable to sit in a car, it might be a good idea to memorize a simple view or make a pencil sketch to work from when you reach home – alternatively you could just paint the view through the window.
With Winter fast approaching it is good to have a memory of Summer and the thought that one day it will all return. Meantime, there is always something to enjoy in every season. All you have to do is let it find you.
I saw this view while I was washing the car this morning. The autumnal colours of the trees bringing this usually shadowed corner out into the spotlight, if only for a little while. By the time I had finished the car and sketched this, the sky was beginning to look a lot more grey. I used New Gamboge and Burnt Sienna for the main tree.
Another time, I might not align the lamp post with the edge of the refuse bin quite so well. Originally I wasn’t thinking of taking it as far over to the right, but it just happened, you know?
Painted in a hardbound A4 sketchbook Stillman & Birn, beta series.
Today, three pears remain uneaten, although if those we had last night with chopped pecan nuts and maple syrup were anything to go by, I don’t expect them to be around much longer. Apparently, Pears ripen from the inside outwards, so there is no point in prodding them while still on the tree. You have to lift them off gently just before they drop. When you come to sketch them, you have to try really hard not to make them look too much like old-fashioned light bulbs!
After many years of trying, our little Pear tree has produced fruit which has reached full size. It’s a race to paint them before they are eaten, but I hope I may manage a few more.
One of the joys of Autumn/Fall are the colours unique to the season.
I enjoy seasonal painting whether it is Snowdrops or Daffodils in Spring, the rich colours of a Summer garden or the fruits and berries of Autumn. ( I also like Winter landscapes and snow). The point is, every season has something to look forward to, and it is the anticipation during the rest of the year which makes it so special. For example, would Pumpkins excite us as much if they were as abundant throughout the year as they are in October?
Nothing says ‘Autumn’ quite as much as pumpkins, even the little munchkins! Whether out in the garden or inside on a table, they always bring a splash of welcome colour into our lives as the days become shorter and greyer.
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.