A visit to Exmoor

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Recently I spent a few days painting in the Exmoor National Park, staying at Selworthy.  The painting above shows a view of Exmoor near the North Devon coast.  Below, a farm building near where I was staying, and a wind-blasted tree which was painted on the coast at Porlock Weir.  All the works are watercolour, painted on location.

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Using a sketchbook

A few weeks ago, I posted some sketches I had done on a visit to Morocco.  Here is some work I have done subsequently from those quick location drawings.  There are two works in soft pastel, two small watercolours, and a section from the experimental sketchbook I have been keeping, drawing onto a background of collage, ink and gesso.  Although this seems an obvious thing to do, to keep a sketch book and then make more developed paintings later, in practice I have rarely done this.  The sketches have not seemed ‘good enough’, I am more interested in working on location rather than make studio paintings.  I feel it is progress that I have taken this further and it has helped to embed my recollections of this journey.

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Above are the pastels, first a view of the gardens of the Mamounia Hotel, followed by a scene from the Majorelle Garden, which used to belong to Yves Saint Laurent, both in Marrakech.

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Above are two watercolours, first one of Essaouira, and the second a view of the Kasbah above Imlil in the Atlas mountains.  The two last images, below, and sketchbook pages which aim to give more general memories of some of the scenes of Morocco I remember from my trip.

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Experiments with collage and texture

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Recently, I have been experimenting with a new, mixed media approach to my drawing.  Using a concertina sketchbook, I first prepare backgrounds with ink or watercolour, collage, and acrylic gesso.  Then, on location, I add drawing, and I have been experimenting with different pens and pencils.  Here are some examples, drawn in Dulwich Park, at the British Museum, at Kew Gardens, and on a recent meet-up of Urban Sketchers London, at the Barbican.