Category Archives: Landscape

Kent, The English County that’s Home!

Rochester,visions of 1937,.A Sunderland flying boat makes it’s maiden flight.

Hi All

Another dreary November day, more rain and not much golf!

We seem to be having a very wet early Winter this year and as the leaves fall into ever increasing piles my mind wandered to all the lovely places that Kent has to offer all year round.

I thought I would see how many watercolour paintings I have produced over the past few years and it seems there are a lot, over 70 in fact and many have been in various posts in the past.

So here is post dedicated to Kent, our home County of England.

I hope you will enjoy seeing some of them.

Lets start in Hastings, such a famous town and still noted for its fishing fleet located on the “Stad”, or beach.

Fishing Boats at Hastings

Fishing boats at Hastings

 

 

More fishing boats at Hythe and Littestone


Towards the East are The White Cliffs, Dover and at South Foreland Lighthouse

Dover from the Cruise Ship Terminal. 15 inches by 6.5.

South Foreland Lighthouse on the Cliffs

And further to the East the traditional seaside town of Broadstairs

Broadstairs 18 inches by 14

 

Nearby on the Isle of Thanet, the most easterly point of Kent, and there we find is Margate, famous for it association with WM Turner.

Margate sunset 14 inches by 10

Towards the Swale and Thames Estuaries is Faversham, a very old town famous for Barges and its old buildings. There are many creeks in this area and boats and barges are often moored there.

Barge as Oare, near Faversham

Barges and Barge races are common around the Kent coast. Here are couple of watercolours of some barges

Barges racing in the Thames Estuary

The 2016 Medway Barge Race

Inland lies the great city of Canterbury with its magnificent Cathedral

Mist over the City of Canterbury

Sketch of Canterbury Cathedral

In spring Kent is famous for the beautiful Blue woods and the rolling countryside around Horsmonden

Bluebells

Near Horsmonden

i have posted before about the famous Oast Houses of the South of England, and Kent especially

Here is just one  watercolour

Kentish Oasts

 

And finally back to winter, no snow yet but will there be some for Christmas?

 

 

 

Oasts in the Snow

 

The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this quick visit to Kent,The Garden of England,so I will leave you with a final image of Sissinghurst castle and it’s beautiful gardens.

Come and visit Kent sometime, there is so much to see and enjoy. 

And so many more watercolours, I may venture to part 2!

Happy travelling

Brian

Occasional larger watercolours

Hi Everybody

Thanks for reading this blog post.

I like to paint my watercolours in a few regular sizes

On travel they are often 10 by 8 inch pen and ink studies that sometimes become larger paintings. Here is a recent example

In the studio or en plein air I like to paint watercolours that are 14 by 10 inches or 16 by 12. For me it a comfortable size and I quite often use Arches 300gsm watercolour paper blocks which are very nice to work with whether indoor or outside.

Again here is recent one

Varenna on Lake Como

Occasionally I will paint lager paintings in watercolour up to about 25 inches by 20. For me these take a bit more preparation and thought and naturally take longer to do.

So here is  recent example of a lager painting recently sent to a customer in the USA. It is of Durnstein on the Danube river and was based on painting and photos taken there a few years ago.

It is 24 inches by 16 inches and was painted on 600gsm Saunders watercolour paper . This thick paper is great to use as it retains the water for long periods and that helps with larger areas of washes.

 

Watercolour of Durnstein. 24 inches by 16.

Here are a few more larger watercolours painted over the last few years

Misty morning in Norfolk. Watercolour 25 inches by 20.

Portofino Watercolour 20 inches by 10

 

Watercolour of Burnham Overy Staithe. 25 inches by 20. Painted during a Herman Pekel Workshop.

I hope to be painting quite a lot more larger watercolours in the future

Happy Travelling 

Brian

 

Evenings, stormy and calm

Hi Everyone

Just a quick post with some new and old watercolours of evening skies

Lets start with a very recent watercolour of Rye and one of a scene on the Rhine also painted recently.

Evening at Rye in East Sussex. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches Rough paper.

 

Evening on the Rhine in Germany.watercolour 14 by 10 inches on Arches Rough Paper.

And some stormier skies :-

 

A Evening storm brewing At Antibes

Fishing boat at Littlestone beach as the storm approaches.

 

Blustery evening at Kinderdijk.

And some calmer Evening to end this post

Evening in Provence

The sun setting on the Ile de la Cite in Paris

Sunset in Tuscany

 

Happy travelling Everybody!

Brian

Lake Como and a week cruising the Rhine. Kinderdijk Update



Hi everyone

We have just retuned from a great 10 days with some very good friends from a Viking cruise of the Rhine that started with 3 days at Lake Como in Italy.

We enjoyed really great weather and mostly blue skies and nice white clouds.

It was a trip that we had been looking forward to for quite a while and it was very good with the most spectacular views at Lake Come and on the Rhine.

Many photos were taken and each day I managed to find time to paint some watercolours of scenes we had seen as we travelled on the Viking Longship and on a smaller boat around Lake Como.

Most of these watercolours were sketch book size pen and ink studies which I hope will prove to be subjects for larger studio paintings in the future.

3 were larger 14 inch by 10 watercolours more traditionally painted with a few ink highlights. I have titled each one with their details.

The sparking water of Lake Como and the Rhine made the scenes really great and the Rhine Gorge area was spectacular with it’s many Castles and lovely towns by the river. Our lake  trip around Lake Como was wonderful too with time at Bellagio and stops  at many interesting vistas around the lake.

So here are my Watercolours of the trip, I do hope you like them as they were all fun to paint.

LAKE COMO

In Como itself we ascended the funicular to Brunate for Great Lake views but Como Town itself is a very nice and ancient place.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, better know as Como Cathedral, caught my eye and so this is the first watercolour.

The Cathedral in Como, Italy. Watercolour ,Pen and wash. 10 inches by 7.5, on Arches Rough Paper.

A view of a lakeside residence from the Como to Cernobbio ferry is the subject of this next painting with a water fountain being enjoyed by some local boys.

From the Ferry. Watercolour sketch in Pen and Wash.10 by 7.5 inches.

On our way to Bellagio we paused at some great vistas. This very tiny town of Nesso with a waterfall cascading through it to the lake was just one of many.

Here is my interpretation of the scene

Nesso  by the lake. Pen and Wash, 9 by 7.5 inches.

Bellagio is very nice lakeside town to wander around ,enjoy  a coffee and the stunning views. From there you can see and visit Varenna

Varenna from Bellagio

i have also painted these two larger watercolours of Varenna

They are both 14 by 10 inches on Arches NOT watercolour paper.

Here they are

Varenna, Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT paper

Varenna,Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT paper

Lastly while on Lake Como I painted this watercolour of a lovely town as seen from our tour boat. It is called San Giovanni. Really a lovely looking town but so far only seen from the water. Maybe on the next visit….

San Giovanni on Lake Como. Pen and wash sketch 10 by 7.5 inches

We eventually left Lake Como and were driven across the Alps to Lucerne. A truly spectacular drive over the passes and not through the tunnels.

THE RHINE

We boarded the ship at Basel, itself a very lovely town but no paintings from there as yet

We  traversed 600 miles of the Rhine to Amsterdam and the passage through the Rhine Gorge was terrific with many castles and towns to see.

These two painting are of Kaub Castle, Pfalz. This was once a tollgate on the Rhine and dates back many hundreds of years.

Kaub Castle sketch 10 by 7.5

Kaub  Castle PFalz on the Rhine. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches on Arches NOT paper

On the way to the Rhine Gorge we stopped at Strasbourg and took a detour to Heidelberg on the River Neckar. I managed a quick sketch of the impressive bridge at Heidelberg with its towers.

The Bridge at Heidelberg.Pen and Wash sketch 10 by 7.5 inches.

From the Rhine Gorge we travelled to Amsterdam and stopped at Kinderdijk to see the lovely windmills there. That painting and some others are now awaiting action in the studio so another Rhine post should be coming soon.There were so many wonderful scenes to paint that I may be busy for while!

And so here is an update. This watercolour was painted today. October 1st.

This is Kinderdijk in The Netherlands. Our final stop before Amsterdam

This watercolour is 14 by 10 inches on Rough watercolour paper.

Title : “Kinderdijk Windmills on a blustery evening”

Kinderdijk Windmills on a Blustery evening.

Happy Travelling

Brian

A short trip to Northern Ireland

We have just been over to Northern Ireland for two Celebrations.

The first a couple of days at the Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh to celebrate a couple of notable Birthdays and then to Carrickfergus for a great family Wedding

Both events were really good and the weather was very kind to us too, with sun and warmth as we travelled about.

Just time for a few watercolours and a couple painted before we went as gifts for the Bride and Groom.

Lough Erne is a huge Lough with countless islands and lovely views. We were able to take a boat trip on the Lough and visit Devenish Island with is now ruined and very old Church and Monastery. 

The ruined Monastery on Devenish Island on Lugh Erne. Water colour 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT paper

At the southerly end  of Lower Lough Erne lies  the very old and historic town of Enniskillen.

The “Watergate” there is a focal point of the town and this watercolour was painted from photos taken from our boat trip on the Lough.

The Watergate at Enniskillen. 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT watercolour paper.

Around the shores of Lough Erne there are many sights to see and this cottage scene is typical of the scenery.

A Cottage in Fermanagh. Watercolour 12 inches by 9 on Arches Rough watercolour paper.

The Wedding  was held in the lovely statley home called Magheramorne House, quite close to Larne and not far from Carrickfergus.

This sketch of Magheramorne House will remind the Bride and Groom of there Wedding day there as they start their new life together in Carrickfergus.

Magheramorne House. Watercolour pen and Ink sketch 10 by 8 inches.

Everybody wishes them All the Best for the Future.

Carrickfergus on the Causeway Coastal Route. Watercolour on Arches NOT paper 12 by 8 inches.

 

So a very enjoyable week on this beautiful part of the UK, and many more photos to paint in the future

Happy travelling

Brian

UPDATE! Shane Lowry wins The Open at Royal Portrush!

Hi Everybody

Readers of this post will have seen images of my watercolours of the North Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland before.

Shane Lowry the brilliant Irish Golfer has just won The Open Golf on the  Dunluce Links of Royal Portrush Golf Course on that beautiful coast.

Congatulations to Shane and all his team!

The Open was last held there in 1951 and for it to be there  once again is a great achievement of many people over many years.

I could not  help wanting to post some watercolours of the coast of Antrim and to start with a new painting of the 5th Green on the Dunluce links which is right next to the shore. This hole is  next to White Rocks bay and is often called that. It is challenging like the whole course and this weekend I am sure we will all see much excitement on the course from all the world class golfers assembled there.

The 5th Hole on the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Watercolour 16 inches by 11.

 

But Portrush is only a part of the wonderful coast line that starts in Carrickfergus and stretches all the way to Donegal. Here are selection from the many watercolours that I have painted over the past years. The whole coast is such a delight to visit due to it’s proximity to the sea, the wonder of the Antrim Glens and amazing places like the Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and its many excellent golf courses.

Carrickfergus Castle

Sailing off the Antrim Coast near Ballygally

The Antrim Coast near Carnlough

The Antrim Coast at Ballintoy

Fair Head near Ballycastle on the Antrim Coast

The coast from above Cushendun

The Giant’s Causeway at sunset

The Bushmill’s Inn

And when you have seen all the sights you can happily retreat to the Bushmills Inn for great food and drink and good company.

Enjoy watching The Open, I will!

Happy travelling

Brian

The Heat and Beauty of the Cote d’Azur

Fayence ,the view from Le Moulin de la Camandoule

When the sea sparkles on the Côte d’Azur you can tell somehow before you go out that it is HOT. And it certainly was on our recent visit to La Napoule, 37 Celsius in fact most days. Nice to be in a air conditioned hotel and have great air conditioned car too!

However it was a lovely as ever and although just a short trip, there was time in the late afternoons for a few quick Pen and Wash watercolours.

This style works for me on travel and provides some ideas for large watercolours when home in the studio. In fact the next post will be one of these as a larger artwork.

La Napoule is a very nice place to stay and the large Pullman Hotel was very comfortable with a delightful beach to cool off at with a dip in the warm Mediterranean waters.

During our stay there we visited our two most favourite restaurants, both in Fayence; “Le Moulin de la Camandoule” and “Le Table d’Yves”. These are exceptional places to eat at, and both have lovely views of Fayence. Great dinner too with friends at “Freres de la Baie” in Theoule and “Le Brocherie” in La Napoule

So here are the Pen and Ink watercolours, all about 11 by 8 inches but this time painted on Fabriano 300gsm Hot Pressed watercolour paper, as this paper is very nice to use for pen and wash.

I hope you will enjoy them and also that you will be able to spend some time one day on the beautiful Esterel Coast and around the Côte d’Azur

Happy Travelling

Brian

The Castle at La Napoule

The Market in the Centre of old Antibes

 

Iles St Marguerite. Yachts sailing ,seen through the zoom lens!

 

A beach at La Napoule.

A Workshop with Herman Pekel

Hi All

I have just been lucky enough to have spent four and a half days at a workshop led by the great Australian Watercolour painter, Herman Pekel.

The workshop was held at The White House Hotel (stayatthewhitehouse.co.uk) at Sussex Farm near Burnham Market in North West Norfolk. The Hotel and the organisation of the workshop were superb and I would strongly recommend the Hotel for guests whether they be painters or not. The accommodation, food and the  ambience of Sussex Farm are really fantastic and we all really enjoyed being there.

The workshop was run by Big Sky Art (bigskyartcourses.com) who are brilliant at organising the time there and the facilities at Sussex Barn are very good.

However the star was Herman Pekel who did many demonstrations indoor and out and is a complete inspiration to the watercolourist.

He is engaging , and easy to be with, and full of helpful advice and he puts enormous energy into the workshop.

His ability to see the key aspects of a scene for a watercolour are terrific and watching his demos before then attempting the same scene are very inspiring.

I wanted especially to try to paint bigger and bolder and to learn how the brush marks and tone are so important to the finished watercolour.

Can I turn it all into practice now that I am back in my studio? I hope so even if only some rubs off after this one workshop.

Big Sky Art arrange for dinners at the White House Hotel with Big Sky Art founder, Janie, and the workshop attendees ( who were all delightful) and the tutor. This is a great benefit to understanding composition, the painting process and the big issues,  as well as being great fun!I

I have tried to be brief here and so here are some of the paintings that I managed to finish during the workshop. I would like to acknowledge Herman’s help in bringing them to a conclusion.

Obviously there are no originals by Herman on my Blog, but they were all quite brilliant.

I hope you like the look of them as they are for me a small step towards being a looser, more brush stroke driven artist.

Apart from everything else just being around North  Norfolk is great, the countryside, towns and the shoreline are all very inspiring to an artist. No wonder so many great artists have been drawn to this area. Now Herman has been there too, with a band of keen followers and students!

Happy painting

Brian

Near Burnham Overy Staithes. Watercolour 18 inches by 13.

Norfolk houses. Watercolour 15 by 11 inches.

The Pond. Watercolour 19 by 13 inches.

The Inlet. Watercolour 19 by 13 inches

Hills and Sky. Watercolour 19 by 13inches.

Across the Fields. Watercolour 19 by 13inches

Another watercolour of Rye!

I find the East Sussex town of Rye a favourite location for painting my watercolours.

I have done quite a lot and many have appeared on the blog over the years.

So here is another one,Rye from the marshes looking across to the harbour and town.

I hope you like it, it was fun to paint it!

Happy travelling

Brian

Rye ,the Harbour and Town in Spring Watercolour 13 inches by 7.

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Return to the Antrim Coast

This summer we will be back in Northern Ireland for a short holiday and a family wedding. We are very much looking forward to it.

It will be great to be back to a place where so much of my early life was spent and where such great memories abound of people and places.

We will spend some time on the wonderful Antrim Coast and it’s splendid scenery.

Fair Head from Ballycastle Watercolour 16 inches by 12 on 600 gsm watercolour paper.

Recently I painted yet another watercolour of the scene from Ballycastle Strand across to Fair Head and so that triggered me into doing this post which unashamedly uses watercolours painted over the years of this stunning and very scenic part of the world.

If you haven’t downloaded my free guide with watercolours for Ulster then please do so either using the link above or via the iBook store.

This is a much shorter version of some of the paintings from that book.

The Antrim Coast road starts in Belfast but very soon you arrive in Carrickfergus with its great Norman Castle.

Carrickfergus Castle

After passing through Larne the road takes you to  Ballygally where the road is right next to the sea and Scotland seems so nearby across the water.

Yachts sailing off the Antrim Coast

The Coast near Carnlough

 

Watercolour of Ballygally, 11 by 7 inches.

A little bit inland from the coast the remarkable trees near Armoy are a good diversion and if you are a Game of Thrones fan they feature in that programme as The King’s Highway.

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim. The King's Highway in Game of Thrones

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim.
The King’s Highway in Game of Thrones

On the way visit Ballintoy, and Murlough Bay, also used in that series.

Further along the coast is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and of course the  famous Giants Causway with its incredible hexagonal basalt columns.

 

The Giant’s Causeway at sunset.

 

There is so much more to see on this great Coast so do take the time to visit there.

We will enjoy our next visit and if you can plan a visit to this delightful part of the world which you will enjoy.

Happy travelling

Brian

 

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