Doune Cottage, Scotland 8.5×11 watercolour on 140lb Arches CP
Still painting from my vacation pictures taken last fall. The cottage sits near Doune Castle in central Scotland, which was the castle featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It was a pretty spot and while my husband ignored the “Beware of Bull” sign and tromped off across the field to get a look at the Castle itself, I was enchanted by the crofter’s cottage as a potential painting subject.
If I’d known the significance of the Castle, I would have listened for the sound of clapping coconuts.
This didn’t turn out the way I wanted but it did improve quite a bit from when I first took a crack at it. The fountain at Sullivan’s Pond is white of course and not blue but I relied on the negative painting of the pond to give me colour and define the shape of the spray. Not great but what I learned by doing this exercise will no doubt improve my next attempt.
No one said it has to be good 😎
The final pencil sketch before applying pigment…
The crocuses were huddled in bunches where the sun had strength. I left the few shrinking snowbanks out and embellished the promise of leaves. The crosses didn’t face the main road and gave the impression of white sticks from this angle.
Nevertheless, St. John Horton Anglican Church is a charming historic church on the main road as you come into Wolfville off exit ten.
A few artist friends, and my husband and I, were fortunate to have tea there in December at the end of an historic buildings tour as part of the town’s Christmas celebrations.
On the weekend I attempted a second church sketch of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Dartmouth in a looser style. For technique, I did a pencil sketch followed by ink, followed by pigment applied loosely with mainly a half inch flatbrush. I like the looseness but lost some accuracy as I got carried away with the flow of paint. The building and trees to the left should have receeded further into the background. I do like the bell tower and am happy with the scale, especially of the cars. It was Sunday morning and as my mother would say, “Church was in.”
Feeling a little rough after all the sugar yesterday, I felt like doing something abstract. With no pretence to understanding the subtleties of colour and form, apologies and gratitude to Kandinsky for the inspiration.
An overpass on a gray March day is not the most uplifting subject but the challenge was great. You can hear the frost coming out of the ground and the pale red glow in the trees says the sap is running so I’m good with that!
Getting tonal variations out of a muted palette took a bit of colour testing. I’d go for a more intense sap green in the highway sign next time and skip the fast moving truck even though the three large white patches sort of balance the sketch. I’m also kind of hoping my hand gets steadier the more of these sketches I do. More practice.
My friend, Bev, loves to collect art and her walls are filled with paintings including one of the first one’s I ever sold. When I visit, it’s as inspiring as visiting an art gallery.
However, on this particular visit it was the light that caught my eye–and of course the tulips. Which made me long for warmer days.
Bring on the spring flowers, Mother Nature, I’m more than ready.