I must admit to being a little intimidated by the challenges of mixed media and got into a bit of “painters block” blaming the weather and finding all sorts of displacement activities. My excuse is that light has been bad more often that it has been good – even with my large north facing skylight overcast often means gloom.
My monthly trip to the Chevin (of which I will blog about more later) raised the spirits and I decided to conduct an experiment. Using a loose style I’d lead with 2 different mediums. Both these pictures are mixed media. They are both the same view from Otley Chevin as it was in November from the sketches and photos I took then. In the view we are looking north-east from just below the rock outcrops near the Royalty car park (Great Dibb), the hill on the horizon is Almscliff Crag.
Both are attempts to become less literal and convey more of the emotion that comes from the weather and the view, perhaps the difference between the start of a sunny spell and the of one. It is also down to the differences between the mediums, the treatment and the choice of colour, there are some faint memories of the warm autumn colours as the winter is coming on.
The first is predominantly watercolour but has ink and acrylic in the mix. It has a lighter feel and the alizarin/purple lake in the shadows adds warmth. The second is predominantly acrylic; it is colder and has a more lowering, even foreboding feel from the ultramarine/umber but I think the sunlight works.
1 Looking NE towards Almscliff Crag – Watercolour, Ink and Acrylic
2 Looking NE towards Almscliff Crag – Acrylic and Ink
July and August have been challenging because there has been so much rain (I know we don’t remember the weather accurately but that’s how it seems to me). Its also been time constrained because of our Ruby Wedding celebrations, which we squeezed as much as possible out off.
Anyway I have managed to do some work.
The first picture here is an A3 studio Acrylic based on sketches from out trip Scilly in May. The watercolour I did at the time was a challenge because of the strong wind (see May blog) so it was a pleasure to take some time over this piece without having my brushes blow on the easel. Its interesting that there are so few clues in the picture to how blowy it was – there are some white horses but they are very far away and the grasses are very spiky.
Old Grimsby, Tresco. Such a natural composition – this is looking west to Tean and St Martins. The Echium flowers were spectacular.
Now for the various plein air sketches and watercolours I have managed to gather together over the last couple of months on hiking expeditions and outings.
The first is in Wharfedale – its the second time I have painted this; the first time I was rained off. The walk from Buckden to Yokenthwaite and then back across the valley top to Cray and then across the flank of Buckden Pike to return via the Lead Mine is set to become a favourite (though its quite long).
This is looking south from the limestone escarpment above but not quite at Todds wood. The farm in the view is Grange Farm.
The second is a quick pen & wash done in the Howardian Hills near Slingsby.
Near Sligsby wmThe view north from Slingsby Banks Wood in the Howardian Hills
The following pictures are captured from the notebooks I carry on hiking expeditions I continue to work on the watercolur style to get that elusive loose/tight balance.