I drew the sketch above in Dulwich Park a couple of weeks ago, in early February. At this time of year, a quick sketch is all that is practical to do out of doors, but I have now used this sketch to make three different versions in watercolour. I usually paint using a primary triad – that is obviously red, yellow and blue – mixing all the other colours from these three. But they do not have to be the same three pigments, and there are many options to choose, which may be warmer or cooler colours, or creating a darker or lighter effect. In particular, these pictures use three different blues: French Ultramarine, Cerulean, or Winsor Blue. Here are the three images with their varying palettes.
I continue my aim to do a quick flower sketch every day during the January lockdown. Lately I have been trying different media combined with watercolour. Here are three simple flower pictures, drawn from life, which use watercolour with oil pastel. The strong colours and more chunky form of the pastels encourage a bolder approach. I am learning from this every day.
Above, sketching with my friend Lis at Horniman Gardens, below, a day at Kew Gardens:
A group of my small watercolours done at Kew Gardens also hang in the home of a friend:
Some quick sketches done on location in East London – three at Museum Gardens, Bethnal Green, and the final one at Victoria Park.
As a consequence of the pandemic lockdown, I did not visit central London between mid March and early August. More recently, I have taken some sketching trips with friends, sometimes visiting places like the Tower of London, which are unusually quiet now. Here are some recent location sketches of Butlers Wharf, the City skyline, the gates of Lincoln’s Inn, and the Temple Church.
I drew yesterday from a roof garden at 120 Fenchurch Street in the City of London. The garden is open to the public and is fairly new; the plants will become more established. The roof garden is at the fifteenth floor and has spectacular views over London. My fellow sketchers, Lis and Gafung, tackled the views, whilst I looked more at the structure of the new garden.
I have just returned from a painting holiday in Southern Italy, staying in Matera, and in Alberobello in Puglia. Here are some watercolours from this trip, all painted on location. Matera is famed for the Sassi cave dwellings which are believed to have been inhabited for 7000 years. The view of the town, topped by the tower of the cathedral with a river gorge below was certainly challenging. We then moved on to Alberobello, which is known for the trulli buildings, a traditional form of rural building now a focus of the tourist industry.
From here, we visited Monopoli, Polignano a Mare, and Locorotondo. Here are some other paintings I made on this trip: