Category Archives: Travels with a Brush

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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Last weekend at the Master Golf

The 12th green at Augusta National Golf Club

Last weekend we enjoyed watching the amazing Master’s Golf on the TV from Augusta. As ever it was fantastic spectacle, and made even more so by Tiger Woods once again winning the Trophy.

While watching I sketched these three small watercolours as the scene of the course with the Azealeas is as always so wonderful to see. 

These are simple line and wash watercolours, each one about 9 inches by 8 and on Khadi watercolour paper in the sketchbook.

It could have been one of my ” Places I would like to be” posts and maybe one day we will visit there to see the beauty of this golf course at first hand.

I hope you like them , and if you play golf that the quality of the play from the Professionals will inspire your game too.

Happy travelling

Brian

The 16th Hole at Augusta national, known as “Red Bud”

The 12th Green at Augusta National Golf Course, viewed from the Tee.

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

 

10 Days on Paradise Island!

Mount Bambous from The East Coast of Mauritius

Hi All

We have just returned from 10 days in Mauritius, we think of it as a paradise island, especially in January when the UK is cold and the weather is so fabulous in Mauritius.

We returned again to the Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort , on the East coast at Trou D’Eau Douce, which we really like, and where as well as great facilities and beaches there is the very challenging Ile au Cerfs Golf Course to play.

I have never played golf anywhere except there that requires a lovely 15 minute boat trip to get to the course, it is really a great experience.

There is something very special about painting watercolours whilst sitting on a sun bed on the beach, but some of these watercolours were done like that from photos or memory as well as painting the scene right there on the beach.

They are all quick works, about 9 inches by 8, (they have to be with such hot sun!) and are in my Khadi Papers travel sketch book. They will provide the basis for larger watercolours to be painted here in the studio now that we are home.

Wherever you look in Mauritius there are little boats moored or sailing out fishing. They provide endless opportunities for sketches even if they were just a fleeting scene viewed as you drive by.

Anyway they were all fun to do and I hope you like them.

Mauritius is such a lovely island with delightful people who are all very friendly and helpful. They have a great multicultural population and although the locals all speak Creole to each other almost everybody speaks both French and English as they are the languages taught in the schools there.

With it’s large rainfall but beautiful sunny weather too it is a very green and lush island where the main crop is sugar cane, which you see everywhere you go and as well as exporting sugar  the rum made from it is very good too!

So here are the watercolours from this trip.

Grand Baie on the North Coast

 

Boats at the beach

 

Big Mauritian Skies!

A farm by the road

 

The Ilot Mangenie at Le Touessrok. Secluded and only a boat ride away!

Two boats on the beach

 

Fisherman on the jetty

Now we are back in the cold of the UK, but with great memories of yet another wonderful trip to Mauritius.

Happy travelling!

Brian

Season’s Greetings

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Winter at Horsmonden in Kent Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches 300 gsm watercolour paper.

If you are regular viewer of this site then my thanks for your continued visits, comments and likes.

If you are new here then you are most welcome and I hope you will find some watercolours that interest you.

It has been a busy year with a fair amount of travel to many lovely places and I hope that the Posts that have resulted from these travels have been of interest to you all.

Our visits to South Africa, Tenerife, France, Portugal, Devon and around our lovely County of Kent have given me many opportunities to paint and sketch, and to meet other artists too.

We hope to travel quite widely in the New Year and especially our planned Rhine river cruise at the end of the summer will take us to many new places in Europe and the opportunity to paint some watercolours as I go.

To end the Year I have included above this winter scene of Horsmonden in Kent, which I have just finished painting today. Although we haven’t had any snow as yet, it seems seasonal to paint a winters scene and to use it to wish everyone my Best Wishes for the Christmas holidays and the New Year.

I have a few ideas for posts in the New Year and so I hope before long to be posting again.

In the mean time, Happy Travelling!

Brian

 

 

September sun on the Cote d’Azur

It was a fairly quick trip this time but the weather was fantastic

Mid 30s so in between sorting out a few things we were able to relax and enjoy the sun,the wine and some great meals out with friends and ourselves

I can’t recommend The Camandoule and Table D’Yves highly enough if you are in the Fayence area, they are both great restaurants and always worth the visit.

As always when we are away there was some time for quick sketches in my sketch book, now at volume 3!

Here they are and I do hope you like them

This really quick painting of watercolours appeals to me a lot as I can travel light and paint quickly even in the hot sun.

Plenty of time in the studio for larger artworks for the web sites too, when we are back home.

Near Cannes is the little town of  Mandelieu La Napoule with it’s Castle reconstructed by Henry Clews a US philanthropist.. This 10 by 7 inch watercolour shows the lovely little beach next to the quay.

If you have flooded this blog for any time you will know we like St Tropez,not for it Glitz but the back streets and it history. This Port de apache only A short stroll from the busy Quay and still quite like it must have been many years ago.

Off the St Tropez Coast yachts are alway whizzing about with the backdrop of the town behind. This is my interpretation of that scene.

When we are in StTropez I am alway transported to the town as it was in the early part of the 20th Century. Here I have tried to recreate that scene,so different from today, but it must have been an amazing sight to early 20th Century painters when they went there for the first time.

St Tropez as it may have been in 1910.

Lastly a scene in;the heart of St Paul de Vence,  the little but very famous hill village on the Cote d’Azur. Full of art studios and galleries there is a lovely view at every corner,and this is just one of them.

Another one of those”At the heart of St Paul de Vence” watercolours

So a busy week but a few watercolours too.

Do go to the Cote d’Azur, it is one of the really special places in the world and always rewarding to visit.

Happy Travelling

Brian

if you have enjoyed seeing these sketches do go to my site on Artfinder

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours 

 

We didn’t just go there to eat! – A week on the Cote d’Azur

You know that you have chosen the right restaurant when the food is delicious and the view terrific.

So it was last Sunday at the Restaurant of Le Moulin de la Camandoule , L’Escourtin.

The weather was lovely and our table on their beautiful patio had a stunning view of the old town of Fayence high above us.

A great meal in a restaurant that I would highly recommend if you are in that area of Provence. So naturally I took some photos and here is the watercolour painted later that afternoon of the view of Fayence.

Fayence from Le Moulin de la Canandoule. Watercolour 12 inches by 9.

Our week, based in Mandelieu, gave us other opportunities for some good meals in restaurants, especially also La Table D’Yves, also near Fayence, and some time to meet friends and enjoy the beautiful coast to Agay along the Esterel coastal road. It is a really spectacular drive and in Agay lunch at La Belle Vie is always good. The now disused lighthouse at Agay can be seen for the beach there and this watercolour is from a close up taken with the camera of the little harbour near the lighthouse.

The little harbour near the old Agay lighthouse. Watercolour sketch 9.5 inches by 7.5

We didn’t visit St Paul de Vence on this holiday but the scene from the approach to the town is one I love to paint. So here is a new version painted this week.

St paul de pence as you approach it from Cagnes. A watercolour 12 inches by 9.

Some years ago we bought some lovely watercolour prints by an artist called Padia. Here is my interpretation of one of those watercolours. With another painter called Cybele they had a shop called Les Deux Ateliers in St Paul. Cybele still sells mainly beautiful oil paintings from her Gallery there today and  it is well with a visit.

Here is my interpretation, painting  this small watercolour has also helped me learn some new techniques too.

My version of a “Padia” watercolour of Provence

 

The hills of Provence and the back streets of St Tropez are always favourite themes for me and so here two more watercolours painted during this visit.

Lastly we nearly always visit Antibes. With a lovely Old Town and a big busting port there is always lots to see.

Here is a watercolour of the view from the walls of the old Town  across the bay toward the mountains.

 

“The Clouds roll in”. – . A watercolour of the view from the Walls of Old Antibes.  12 inches by 9.

I hope you will enjoy these new paintings.

Another lovely week in this really beautiful part of France.

Happy travelling

Brian

To contact me send an email to

brian@brianswatercolours.com

NB   Some other watercolours can be seen on my shop sites at

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

and at

https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/brian_tucker_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebells in Kent – Spring is here!

The sun is shining ,the warmth of the Spring has suddenly brought on the Bluebells in the woods in Kent.

Some years the cow parsley masks the Bluebells but not this year, this is a great year for them.

Recently we visited a friend’s beautiful garden near Hawkhurst in Kent and by the pond in their garden was a lovely wood full of bluebells

i couldn’t resist having a go a painting them and here is the result. Bluebells have unique colours ranging from Blue to Violet which is quite a challenge, but no matter the accuracy the memory will remain of that beautiful scene.

Bluebells in Kent

As many of you know we also live to play golf and we are lucky that our golf course has woods with bluebells too.

So here is another painting from a year or two back with a scene on the course with bluebells in the woods.

Bluebells by the 12th green

If you do have a chance to get out into the countryside to see the bluebells then do try to go at this time, if not I hope you will enjoy my attempts to capture their beauty.

Happy travelling

Brian

brian@brianswatercolours.com

NB   Some other watercolours can be seen on my shop sites at

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

and at

https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/brian_tucker_2

 

The Warmth of South Africa

Table Mountain – Watercolour 14 inches by 10

It is a long journey to Capetown from the UK, but well worth it to enjoy the warmer weather of March and to experience great food, stunning wines and wonderful hospitality.

We have been before and each time we have a lovely holiday there with very good friends.

Our primary aim is to find some sun to play golf in but the overall experience is always great.

Eating in restaurants is a delight with very, very good wines at affordable prices and super food and service too.

I would especially mention three restaurants from this recent visit which were very enjoyable.

In Constantia “95 at Parks” was very good and most accomadating.

In George the Restaurant called “Fat Fish” where the quality off the food and the service is great.

In Wilderness there is a real “Star” of a restaurant called “Serendipity”. It has to be one of the most enjoyable places to eat that I have ever experienced in South Africa. Lizette and Rudolf take delight in describing their food and they and their staff produce food of the highest possible quality in their lovely Guest House and Restaurant. I think you get the picture – Go There !

We started our holiday in the Western Cape staying at Steenberg Vineyard near Constantia. A great location for visiting Capetown and the area.

 

A sketch book watercolour of Table Mountain from Steenberg 9 inches by 7.                 Whilst there we visited Boulders beach and Camps Bay 

The Penguins at Boulders Bay near Simonstown – Watercolour 14 inches by 10

Just stopped for chat! Sketch book watercolour 9 inches by 7

 

Early light at The Twelve Apostle Mountains at Camps Bay – Watercolour 14 inches by 10. A little bit of licence with the weather in this watercolour!     One day we drove out to the beautiful Vineyard areas around Franschhoek which we love to see.

A quick watercolour sketch of Franschhoek. 9 inches by 7.

From there to Fancourt in George for golf and the lovely scenery of the Outeniqua mountains. The golf courses at Fancourt are really great and in beautiful condition.

So along with all this eating and drinking and golf I also managed to fit in time for a few watercolours. We that is what this Blog is all about after all!

Here ore my efforts, some just quick sketches in the notebooks and other larger paintings.

The Outeniqua Mountains from the Golf course at Fancourt. Sketchbok painting 11 inches by 4

Another view from the Outeniqua Golf course at Fancourt. 11 inches by 4

Yachts sailing in the Bay at Knysna on the Garden Route. Watercolour 14 inches by 10

 

Waves and yachts at Herolds Bay on the Garden route. Sketch book watercolour 9 inches by 7

I hope you will enjoy them all

Happy travelling

Brian

NB   Some of these watercolours can be seen on my shop sites at

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

and at

https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/brian_tucker_2

 

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