Category Archives: Landscape

A Place, a Painting, a Drink and a Platter.

Hi Readers

This new occasional series of posts picks out some wonderful places that we have visited in our travels, drinks we have enjoyed there and some memorable meals.

As you know I love to record our travels in watercolour and so this series will feature watercolours painted during those many years of travel.

It will cover a good number of Countries, but we have to start somewhere and so here is the first post in this series , featuring a a few parts of Australia.

Golden Skies at Sydney Harbour Bridge. Watercolour 18 inches by 8

  1. Sydney and Watson’s Bay

Sydney is one of the World’s great destinations. Its location , Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are only a part of the great cultural attractions of this City.
Savour the great wines, enjoy the scene and the food all around the harbour and the City.

However my choice for this first entry is just in the outskirts of Sydney at Watson’s Bay, approached from the Bay on one of the Ferry boats this headland town boasts one of the finest Fish Eateries, Doyles!

Get a balcony table and enjoy the great fish and chips,( we ate Kingfish) enjoy a lovely glass or two of crisp unoaked Australian Chadonnay. The views are great and then reboard the ferry and tour the whole of the Bay.

Watson’s Bay near Sydney. Watercolour 18 inches by 8

2. The Barossa Valley

Many years ago on a visit to Adelaide I had the chance to spend some time in the Wine region of The Barossa Valley. A recent article in the newspaper had me looking back at my notes and photos and this led me to produce this watercolour painting , a Pen and Wash sketch.
The wines in the Barossa Valley are great, some legendary, and on that visit I  enjoyed some Old Vines Shiraz and a great Australian “Barbie” .
Australian bred beef is terrific and we naturally had some wonderful steak and some Kangaroo too. The visits to the Wineries were very good. The scenery all around the region was lovely. I hope  my watercolour captures a small part of this great part of South Australia.

The Barossa Valley. Watercolour Pen and wash Sketch 10 inches by 8

3. The Blue Mountains

Not many hours from Sydney are the beautiful Blue Mountains. A great place to stay and visit with sweeping vistas in all directions. The steepest train ride anywhere too I seem to remember.

We stayed at Katoomba and enjoyed great hospitality and food. One really memorable dinner was in Leura , at a restaurant called Silk’s Brasserie where ate great beef tenderloin and had some of the best food and service possible.

I see it has moved now from Central Leura to Silvermere in Wentworth Falls, it is great to see they are still doing well. And of course our meal was accompanied by a lovely Australian Cabernet Sauvignon!

The Three Sisters Rocks at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains. Watercolour 18 inches by 9.

Next time we will reminisce about the Cote d’Azur in France.

I hope you have enjoyed this first post of this new series.

Happy travelling

Brian

It’s 2022 where shall we go?

Happy New Year!

Well lets hope it is  — for us all.

A return to travelling , meeting eveyone, ditching the mask and returning life to normal. It it too much to ask?

Alas it may be but we can only plan and dream, and we do have some plans to look forward to but I wont tempt fate by talking about them yet.

So today a couple of watercolours to welcome the New Year, painted this week between Christmas and New Year of the English Lake District, one of the few places we did manage to go to in 2021.

I was amazed to find that I have a ready painted 18 sketches and watercolours of the region since travelling there in June 2021. I guess that is because we really enjoyed the area, the people and the food there, and the scenery is stunning!

Although in June it was very busy with all of us Staycationers!

These two new watercolours are of Buttermere and the beautiful waterfalls at Aira Force near the shore of Ullswater at Glenridding.

The climb up to the top of the bridge shown in this watercolour is about  150 metres which was for us quite an achievement!
But the circular walk is really a lovely experience and well worth the climb.

The falls drop about 20 metres and the roar is terrific.

The second watercolour is a larger work of Buttermere Lake, still in the Lake Dirsict but a little futher west of Ullswater.

It is very famous for  Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks and the area has always been a popular place for painters and walkers with the mountains coming down to the lake.

This is a more traditional watercolour of Buttermere , this time in more Autumn hues and is 50 by 30 cms and is painted on Arches 300 gsm watercolour paper, my favourite watercolour medium.
It is for sale on Artfinder as are many of my watercolours.

Buttermere in the Lake District. Watercolour on Arches 300gsm paper , 50 by 30 cms. Fleetwith Pike to the left and Haystacks Fell to the right

 

I was prompted by our lack of recent travel to tally up the Countries that we have visited over many years, and I was surprised to find that it came to 57 different Countries. Mind you as there are over 190 Countries worldwide there is still plenty of scope for more to be added, let us hope we can!

Of those  57, I have painted watercolours and sketches of 45 and many are in this Blog’s archives.

In the mean time stay safe and well and enjoy wherever you are.

As we have found over the past two years there are many fabulous places in your own area and Country to see and explore.

Very Best Wishes for 2022

Brian

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

or contact me at

brian@brianswatercolours.com and i will happily take on commissions for watercolours that are special to you!

It is what I really love to do!

Happy Christmas to you and Best Wishes for 2022

“Kentish Winter”. St Margarets Church and Oasts in Horsmonden. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

Hi Everybody

This is probably my last post of 2021 and although it has been a pretty dreadful year over all my watercolour painting has been a great thing  to keep me busy and with many paintings finished and quite a lot sold, donated or given away I have had great pleasure from my hobby!

I hope for everyone that 2022 will be a better year and that we will all manage to learn to live with the remnants of Covid and once again be able to travel and meet up with Family and Friends.

I hope to continue painting lots of watercolours, in differing styles and sizes , including my venture into watercolours painted on to prepared canvases.

“Waves” Petts Level in East Sussex from Camber Sands. Watercolour on Canvas 16 inches by 12

We have few travel plans for 2022 so I hope these will enable me to visit some new places and paint so new scenes whilst there.

In the mean time my Best Wishes to you all and take care, stay well and look forward to a much nicer 2022.

Brian

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Two new Sunset Skylines, and the Great Wall too!

Hi Everybody

In the first lockdown I painted quite a few skyline watercolours and recently I had a discussion which has resulted in the creation of two more watercolours with sunsets and the skyline.

I really do enjoy these type of watercolours which are 45 by 19 cms in size to try to get the panorama of the cities.

So here they are and as we start to see the easing of our UK lockdown we may even be able to think more about some travel once again.

Firstly Singapore which is continually changing and is such a terrific place to visit.

I recall that we ate on the top of the Marina Bay Sands building, the one that looks like a ship on three 57 storey towers. Quite an experience.

Singapore with a magical pink sunset. Watercolour 45.5 cms by 19Secondly Kuala Lumpur, an astounding Asian Capital City ,once again in the early evening.

Kuala Lumpur in the early evening.watercolour 45.5 by 19 cms.Both of these are for sale for £180 each with free shipping.

contact me for details at brian@brianswatercolours.com

 

Just for fun last week I had a look through some photos of the Great Wall of China which we visited in 2007, how time flies.
We had such a wonderful time there with some great US friends and also managed to go to see the Terracotta Warriors at Xian and visit Shanghai too.

Surprisingly I hadn’t sketched the Great Wall when we were there so I decided to paint two pen and was watercolours last week.

So here  they are, they are both about 27 by 24 cms

The Great Wall of China, just a small part! Watercolour pen and was sketch

Another part of the Great Wall Watercolour pen and wash sketch I hope you will enjoy this short post and that you keep well and optimistic for the future!

Brian

Places I would like to be – The Lake District of England.

Hi Everybody

As I sit here in continued lockdown and recall our many and  varied travel plans that have all come to nothing, I remember how for the past few years we had planned a short break in the The Lake District of England. To cap it all we now have snow! , not a lot just a few inches but that is enough to cause some travel chaos here, not that we can go anywhere anyway!

Frustrated by not being able to go anywhere or even meet people I resorted this week to guide books and the web for inspiration of the English Lakes and so for the past three days I have painted four watercolours of some of the many places that we would love to visit in and around the area of Cumbria, with its magnificent scenery.

Maybe later this year or next we will be able to visit and enjoy the scenery at first hand.

The Lake District today lies entirely in Cumbria and is home to the highest peaks in England. It covers over 1200 square miles of mountains and lakes.

The highest peak is Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet and this first watercolour tries to capture Scafell Pike and  Scafell  and the lake before them called Wasdale. With around 20 lakes and many Fells and Peaks the Lake District area is a very popular destination for visitors, hikers, painters, photographers and all outdoor pursuits as well as for it’s good accommodation ,and great food, and a warm welcome.

Scafell and Scafell Pike with Wasdale lake  in the foreground. Watercolour 13 inches by 9.5 on Arches Rough Watercolour paper. Available for purchase on Artfinder

My second watercolour is of the delightful small town of Ambleside which lies at the Northern end of Lake Windermere and is very famous for the “Bridge House”.

The 17th Century house, originally built to store produce from fields on the far side of the Stock Beck, is one of the most curious and  often painted houses in the Lake District.

The Bridge House in Ambleside, a Pen and Wash Watercolour. 13 inches by 9.5 on Arches Rough watercolour paper. Available for purchase on Artfinder.com/Brianswatercolours

Other bridge scene in the Lake District, this time of Stockley Bridge in Borrowdale. This very old packhorse bridge is one of many in the Lkae District.

Stockley Pack Horse Bridge . 18th Century. Watercolour 14 inches by 10

My last watercolour, for now anyway, (there will be more when I can actually go there), is the view across Buttermere which is another popular watercolour artist’s view.

My inspiration here comes from photos and also a wonderful watercolour painting by Edward Wesson, an amazing 20th century English watercolorist who is an inspiration to myself and  many artists.

Across Buttermere. Watercolour 9.5 by 13 inches on Arches Rough watercolour paper. Also available for sale  on Artfinder

Lockdown has reminded us of how many beautiful places we have to visit in the UK and with International travel some way off, even though we have now had the Covid Vaccine, there will be many places to plan visits to over the next year.

Wherever you are stay safe and well and like us please look forward to travel in the future.

Best regards

Brian

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