Cambridge and Ely sketches and large watercolours too!

Hi Everybody

We have just had a couple of days in Cambridge and a lovely afternoon in Ely.

Ely is a delightful City with a truly magnificent Cathedral and right next to it there it a great cafe called Julia’s Tea room, very nice soup and scones for lunch!

The whole city is very nice with walks and old houses, including Oliver Cromwell’s to see.

So just a couple of quick sketches to turn into larger watercolours back in the studio.

Ely Cathedral from outside the City. Pen and watercolour sketch 9 by 7 inches. Another view from the river. The Cathedral dominates the City from every angle!


It turned out to our surprise that it was Cambridge Half Marathon weekend , and no I wasn’t entered! It was a bit disruptive and due to COVID or just making life easy many Colleges were closed to visitors which was a great shame. However we were able to visit Kings College and King’s College Chapel which is fantastic with such amazing stained glass windows and a rich history. There are so many great sights outside of the Colleges too so we enjoyed outr time there.

Here are two sketches , one of King’s College and Chapel and a view along the River Cam with some inevitable punters gliding along.

Pen and watercolour sketch of King’s College from the river bank. And a view from one of the many bridges of Colleges’s and Punts.

 


We also has a superb dinner in a family run Italian restaurant right by the river edge called Mimosa. Really superb and they made us so welcome. A great find. Good Tapas lunch too in La Raza on Rose Crescent. The best meat balls bravas I have ever had!

Since returning I have painted two larger watercolours and so here they are. They don’t fit very well with the Cambridge and Ely theme but I have really enjoyed painting something a bit bigger and  bolder than normal.

Firstly a view of the Norfolk Broads called “Big sky over the Broads” Large, by my standards, at 21 inches by 9 and another of a view across the North Downs in Kent in the summer, bright fields and another big sky. Also large and bold!

I hope you like them

A large watercolour 21 inches by 9 on Arches paper. “Big sky over the Norfolk Broads”

Across the North Downs in Kent in high summer. Watercolour 21 inches by 9.

They are both on Artfinder (www.artfinder.com/Brianswatercolours)  if you think you would like to hang them in your home!

Now with a third jab received travel seems a bit nearer, let’s hope so!

Do stay safe and well

Brian

Faversham – A gem in Kent

Hi Everybody

Faversham in Kent is a very old, and historic town well worth a visit.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book and settled for many centuries Faversham was a favoured town as far back as King Stephen in the early 12th century. He  established Faversham Abbey and Faversham has for centuries been an important seaport and market town. Once a centre of the explosives industry and still the home of a major UK brewer , Shepherd Neame

Today Faversham has many charming old houses and a thriving market as well as a Quay where barges and other craft can be seen.

It is favourite place of mine to paint and enjoy the quaintness of the area, including the nearby marshes and the creeks leading out to the Thames Estuary.

It has a fine local Art centre in Creek Creative ( and a very nice cafe too!) and shortly Faversham will be hosting a exhibition called ” Home is a Feeling” at which some of my artworks will be on show along with many items created by local artists and crafts people.

Here is the flyer for it

So today I have included some of my watercolours of Faversham which I hope you will enjoy. If you get a chance do visit Faversham and enjoy the town , it’s Quay and the excellent hostelries and shops to be found there. 

Barges at Standard Quay in Faversham Watercolour 15 inches by 11 on Arches paper

Market day in Faversham. Sketch 11 by 8 inches

Oare Creek near Faversham

A Barge at Hollowshore near Faversham

Faversham Guildhall and Market. Sketch 11 inches by 9

Boatyard at Oare Creek near Faversham. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

Evening at Standard Quay. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

I hope you have enjoyed these watercolours of the Faversham area and that you will find the time to visit this very interesting town.

Happy travelling

Brian

 

Travelling again – Touring around Yorkshire

Hi Everybody

I haven’t posted for some weeks now as somehow now that our lockdowns are gone and life is returning to normal, albeit slowly, I have found that we have been quite busy which is great!

However recently we managed to spend  a few days in Yorkshire, based in nice Hotel called Sandburn Hall and from there were were able to make a few visits to various places in the East of the County.

Yorkshire scenery is lovely and the coast is great with various villages and larger towns to explore.

Days spent in York are rewarding too and although it is busy City there is so much to see.

In this post I have included some new watercolours and also some from previous visits to the County. I hope you like them and that they remind you of the area, or inspire you to visit Yorkshire too.

In the south east area of Yorkshire lies Flamborough head, with it’s lighthouse and cliffs. This view is of the bay there from the cliffs .

The Bay at Flamborough Head. Watercolour 46 by 23 cms.

 

Further north is Robin Hood’s Bay, This very pretty village is at the bottom of the cliffs and it  is a steep! walk down to get there. It seems even steeper on the way up.

Many years ago I went to a workshop by Charles Evans, a fine watercolour painter and this painting, more in his style was the result of a great day with him.

Watercolour of Robin Hood’s Bay , painted during a Charles Evans Workshop. 45 by 30 cms.

 

Here are two of my watercolour sketches of Robin Hood’s Bay.

Robin Hood’s Bay. Watercolour and ink sketch 31 by 23 cms.

A side street in Robin Hood’s Bay. Watercolour and ink sketch 23 by 26 cms.

 Even further up the coast is the fishing village of Staithes. This watercolour from last year tries to capture this pretty village, which is once again at the bottom of a very steep hill!

Staithes in North Yorkshire. Watercolour sketch with ink 26 by 23 cms.

Turning inland towards York reveals the varied scenery of Yorkshire, the Moors and then the softer farming countryside as we headed for York. 

No visit to Yorkshire is complete without visits to some of Yorkshire’s Stately homes and this time we were able to visit Castle Howard, Beningborough Hall and Nunnington Hall. 

Unfortunately Castle Howard interior was closed as a film was being shot there, but the garden and grounds are spectacular and so here are two quick sketches of the view across the lake and the gardens near the Castle.

Across the lake at Castle Howrd. Watercolour Sketch with ink. 26 by 23 cms

The view of Castle Howard from on of the flower gardens. Watercolour sketch 24 by 24 cms.

In York there is so much to see and it is a sketchers paradise, but also there are some great Restaurants and Cafes to enjoy. Two are our particular favourites. Rustique, a great French style bistro in Castlegate, and Little Italy in Goodramgate. Both really good and very welcoming. 

Here are a few sketches of York from our previous visit which try to capture the interesting scenes around the City.

York Minster from Low Petergate .

York Castle

“The Shambles” in York

Petergate in York

York Minster from the City Wall.

Finally a trip to Harrogate is always for us a must, with its elegant buildings , beautiful parks, great shopping and above all, Betty’s Tea Rooms!

We were lucky as the queue was only 25 minutes( it can be much  longer!) and as always it was a great coffee, scone and cake event. If you are there do visit this beautiful Tea Room in a very elegant building.

This quick sketch will serve to remind us of a great few days in Yorkshire. 

Betty’s Tea rooms in Harrogate. Sketch 26 by 23 cms.

Wherever you are stay safe and if you are now able to travel again do enjoy it!

Best regards

Brian

ps Don’t forget to post my shop on Artfinder (http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours)for many watercolours that are for sale or contact name about any that you see here or elsewhere on this blog.

 

 

The Lake District – Studio Watercolours

Hi Everbody

Over the past while and both before and since our recent visit to the Lake District I have been painting fairly large watercolours in my studio of the area.

Some are based on the sketches in my previous post but others are from photos of the area.

One, of Scafell Pike has already been sold, but the others are all available, so do contact me if you think one would go well in your home.

Also recently I sold a painting of The Mourne Mountains with all four seasons on the one wide watercolour.

This has encouraged me to try another, This time of Derwentwater and so this is the first of the Studio Watercolours

Four seasons at Derwentwater, in the Lake District. Watercolour 45 by 20 cms on Arches 300gsm watercolour Paper.

This next watercolour is an impressionistic watercolour of Buttermere, a beautiful Lake in the area.

Buttermere. Watercolour on Arches paper . 33 by 23 cms.

Next the sold watercolour of Scafell Pike, quite impressionistic too.

Scafell Pike in the Lakes. Watercolour on Arches paper 34 by 23 cms.

In Ambleside the House on the Bridge is one of the famous sights of the Lake District.

Here as a studio watercolour.

The House on the Bridge in Ambleside. Watercolour 34 cms by 23.

Near Ambleside is the beautiful Langdale Valley and the Langdale Pikes. Here is a watercolour of the scene at dawn as the sun breaks into the valley.

The Langdale Pikes and Valley at Dawn. Watercolour 42 cms by 30 on Arches paper.

And now Ullswater as the evening sets in

Sunset in the Lakes. Watercolour 45 by 20 cms

This next watercolour is again of Derwentwater but now in full summer, just as we saw it.

Reflection at Derwentwater. Watercolour 54 by 25 cms.On Arches watercolour 300gsm paper. The largest of this series of watercolours.

And lastly Stockley Packhorse Bridge

Stockley Bridge in the Lake District. Watercolour 34 by 23 cms on Arches paper.

I will continue to paint more watercolours from my sketches in the Studio of the Lake District but this is the work so far.

I do hope you enjoy them , it is a wonderful area to visit and to paint!

Happy travelling!

Brian

 

Sketching in The Lake District


Hi Everbody

Well,it’s seems amazing but we have just had a nice 6 day holiday in the Lake District of England, and with really nice weather too, whilst our home county of Kent was suffering heavy rain and thunderstorms!

The area around Windermere was very busy and fortunately I had pre booked very nice restaurants some of which I have mentioned below.

The visit gave me an opportunity for some watercolour pen and wash sketches and due to the nice weather I was able to paint them “en plein air” which was very enjoyable.

In the next post I will include so more formal studio watercolour  paintings of the Lakes but here are the sketches that I have so far completed.
I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Firstly near to Windermere is Ambleside , although we didn’t realise that Ambleside at the lake is a mile or more from the town.

We went there on a Windermere lake cruise but having to wear a mask all the time on the boat was both unpleasant and in my opinion totally unnecessary as we were all distanced and out in the open air!

The House on the bridge in Ambleside.Sketch, pen and wash 10 inches by 9

In Ambleside I managed to sketch the famous House on the Bridge, which is quite extraordinary and dates back to collecting tolls , I believe mainly to do with the sheep trade.

The next day we went to Derwentwater where parking at the Lakeside is a very tricky thing to do, but on the way we spent some time at Ashness Bridge, a very old Packhorse bridge near to Derwentwater.

I was able to two quick sketches of this very picturesque scene one from the South side and one from the North.

Ashness packhorse Bridge looking South

The road there is very narrow but there is a National  Trust car park thank goodness!

Ashness Packhorse bridge looking North

Not far away from Asness bridge is Derwnetwater and there is a lovely walk along the South shore of the lake, with views across the lake to Skiddaw mountain.

I managed to capture this view in this sketch and of course there are many more photos for future paintings.

Derwentwater with Skiddaw Mountain in the distance. Sketch, pen and wash 10 inches by 9

Our next day was spent at Ullswater after a beautiful mountainous drive from Windermere across the fells.

Ullswater was much quieter and thus more enjoyable for a quiet time sitting and painting by the lake and watching the steamer gliding over the Lake. While at Ullswater we also visited The Airs Force waterfall and felt quite elated that we climbed the 220 feet to get to this marvellous waterfall.I will be doing a sketch of it shortly, as I didn’t carry anything up to the viewing point.

Ullswater. Sketch, pen and wash 20 inches by 9

On our final day we spent a few hours on the west shore of Coniston Water and i managed to paint this sketch with the very old Coniston Steamer on the lake.

Coniston Water. Sketch, pen and wash 20 inches by 9

I have arrived back with lots of ideas for future paintings which will appear on this blog in a while.

In th mean time should you venture to the Lake District I would strongly recommend these restaurants, but do book well ahead!

In Windermere – Francine’s (brilliant) and San Pietro.

In Bowness – Villa Positano (great food and atmosphere)

Beyond Ambleside The Drunken Duck (very good food but more expensive) 

I hope you will one day enjoy them.

Happy travelling once again!

Brian

A few recent watercolours, Summer is here!

Hi Everybody,

With no travel outside of the UK really possible for us yet I have been painting a few watercolours of places that I love or would like be going too.

Firstly a watercolour pen and wash sketch of Polpero in Cornwall, somewhere we have been to, but,  I am  indebted to “The Hungry Travellers Blog” (https://www.thehungrytravellers.blog) for their permission to use the photograph from which this watercolour is based. I like the verticality of the buildings that they captured in the photo.

Polpero in Cornwall. Watercolour sketch 10 inches by 9.

Next two recent commissions of Tuscany and Umbria. I have painted these scenes before but I do love to paint scenes like these again and again! Of course they are always a bit different.

Lucca in Tuscany. Watercolour on Arches paper. 18 inches by 8.

A view of evening in Umbria. Watercolour on Arches paper. 18 inches by 8.

The Lake District of England is very spectacular and so here is recent watercolour of Derwentwater there. 

Derwentwater in The Lake District. Watercolour on Arches 19 by 9 inches

 

A quiet day in Venice. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

Again and again I love to try to capture Venetian scenes and this one, quite near to the Rialto Bridge is a view that I love with the Church tower adding height to the waterfront view.

Lastly two more views of Engalnd

This first one is  a view across the Suffolk Fens  and the second of a farm and Oast Houses in Kent. I hope you like them.

Across the Fens. Watercolour 16 inches by 12.

Oasts and Farm in kent. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

Maybe soon some real travel will let me post some “plein air” watercolours.

In the mean time stay safe and well and enjoy the summer if it is that time of year for you.

Best regards to all

Brian

PS Don’t forget if you see a watercolour here you would like to buy or commission a similar version just email me at – 

brian@brianswatercolours.com

Tall and Thin, Watercolours in a vertical format.

Hi Everybody

One kind reader remarked that a recent one of my posted watercolours seemed a bit of a departure from my normal style, and that was so although now and again I do like to paint tall watercolours rather than the more common Landscape format I usually use.

This format seems to me to  lead me to a  to a “wet into wet”, reflection style and so here I have gathered some together for you to have look at.

Some recent and some not so recent but all a bit different.

The first one , painted very recently is of the beautiful Scotney Castle , here in Kent in the UK. At the bottom of a valley, often covered in late spring with a lot of Rhododendrons and Azealeas blooms  lies the old Castle and Folly.

It is a subject I do like to paint and we do visit there quite often

Scotney Castle . Watercolour, 52 cms by 22 on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper.

Here are three watercolours with a common theme.

The Pond,1,2 and 3 All about 50 by 20 cms.

 

The Pond 1

The Pond 2

 

 

 

 

 

The Pond 3

This watercolour was inspired  by a painting session with a local friend who had photographed this spot whilst in Scotland.

 

 

 

 

A Scottish river in Winter. Watercolour 50 by 30 cms

 

Some years ago we voted Portofino in Italy and this was painted from sjhetches and phots of that visit. The colourful buildings and the tranquil bay just seemed to fit this aspect ratio.

Portofino in Italy. Watercolour on Arches paper 55 by 20 cms.

 

This last watercolour is purely from the imagination and an exercise in a bright focal point in a watercolour.

Sunlight on the Pond

 

I hope you have enjoyed seeing these watercolours in a somewhat different aspect ration to my normal landscape mode.

Stay safe and well 

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring has Sprung!

Hi Everybody

It has been a funny week here in Kent with cold and, unusually for this time on year ,frosty mornings, but then the sky is blue and the sun warms things up and there is no doubt that spring is here!

Now that we have had our second vaccine  and our lockdown restrictions are easing the light at the end of the tunnel seems a lot brighter and bigger than it has for past year.

So we are back to golf and this scene from my local golf course inspired this watercolour of our part of Kent.

Across the fields at Mereworth in Kent Watercolour 40 by 26 cms For sale on Artfinder.

Here are a few other Kent Spring watercolours which I hope you will also enjoy

Bluebells in the woods

Spring reflections

From the North Downs Way

Oasts in Spring

 

 

 

Last house near to Horsmonden in Kent.

Have a safe and happy Spring!

Brian

The Master’s Golf at Augusta in Georgia

At last , The Masters Golf Championship  returns at it’s normal time of the year!

The 12th Green, Ray’s Creek and The Hogan bridge at Augusta Watercolour sketch 20 inches by 9.

 

Whilst it was good to watch the Masters last November  it is so much better in April with the course looking so beautiful, the Azaleas in bloom and the greens once again  playing very fast to make the golf even more interesting.

It has become a habit for me to post some of my Augusta watercolours whilst the Tournament is progressing  but this year I have just painted a new one.

The view is from behind the 12th Green looking toward Ray’s Creek and The Hogan bridge. The 11th fairway is in the background.

Some patrons are back watching again, lucky them!

So here a few from the past and the new one above for you to enjoy as we all watch the drama unfold over the next few days.

Hogan Bridge . Sketch 10 inches by 8

The 12th green from the Teebox. Sketch 10inches by 8

The 16th green from the Teebox. Watercolour sketch 10 inches by 8

The 12th green and two bridges. Sketch 9 by 7 inches

 

I do hope you get to see some of the golf and the marvellous scenery. Maybe one day I will get there to see it at first hand!

In the meant time, stay safe and well, and I hope we can all look forward to better days and travel once again.

Brian

A new idea- Crazy or exciting?

Hi Everybody

Last week I posted about the beautiful Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

It started me thinking that a series of the same panorama for each season might be fun to paint and then I wondered, how about just doing one watercolour with all four seasons in the one painting!

Crazy or Exciting?

Well I decided to have a go today and here is the result, hot as they say , off the press!

It starts from left to right with summer first so that I could include some yachts sailing below a cobalt blue sky. Then comes Autumn with a softer ultramarine and cerulean blue cloudy sky before winter with dark skies and rain and snow landing on the Mourne’s highest peak, Slieve Donard and below it a colder sea foaming up on to the beautiful sandy beach. Lastly we are back to spring with big clouds in a cobalt sky.

I know it’s a bit weird but it was a lot of fine to try to paint and maybe you will like it.

I would love to get your comments.

I have popped it on to Artfinder in case someone really likes it!

I am now thinking of other scenes that might work with this idea so who knows you may see some more.

With our second jab due quite soon and half of the UK now vaccinated seeing friends and family and even some travel is becoming a reality, thank goodness.

It is a fantastic UK vaccine achievement which we all are very proud of and congratulate those who have made it happen – well done!

Stay well and safe

Brian

 

Four Seasons in one watercolour. Summer,Autumn, Winter and Spring Watercolour on Arches paper 54 cms by 25.

 

Summer

 

Autumn

 

Winter

 

Spring

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