A view of Kew Gardens

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Above, a watercolour I have done today, a corner of Kew Gardens in London, of the small garden behind Kew Palace.  This is based on the last sketch I did out of doors in London, in mid-February this year.  A picture of the sketch taken at the location is below:

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Yesterday and today I have painted two new versions at home, altering the scene to imagine the changing season, leaving out the archway on the left of the small building.  I have been working in watercolour, with a loose wet-on-wet start, followed by some more detailed brushwork.  Yesterday’s version is below.  I think today’s version is better on the whole, but, as seems inevitable, there are bits of each I would like to see combined in one.  I think today’s version has too much fiddly detail in painting the plants and I quite like the areas in the picture below where I have outlined some of the plants with the brush, leaving quite a bit of white paper.  The building below is too bright in colour, and should be more muted.  Never mind, I am keeping in practice and one day I will be back painting on location again.

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A visit to Mirepoix

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Mirepoix is a small town in southern France, south-west of Carcassonne.  At the centre is a cathedral and a medieval town centre with a busy market place.  I’ve visited and sketched there several times.  Locked down in London, I have been looking through sketchbooks and decided to use some images to paint new versions of places I have been.  Here is the sketchbook page, from July 2018:

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I decided I wanted to simplify, and focus on the decorative facades of the buildings, and give a sense of strong light and heat.  So the trees, for example, are excluded.  The first new version is at the head of this post, and here is my second attempt:

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My third version was done very quickly, and leaves out the nineteenth century (I’m guessing) covered market building on the right:

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Light and shade

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Here are some more of my watercolour experiments, working on the portrayal of light and shade.  I am also interested in the contrast of defined and less defined shapes, and dropping in colour to wet areas of the painting sketched out with a brush.  They are based, fairly roughly, on my own sketches, and the third one on a work by Marc Folly.

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