Category Archives: Travels with a Brush
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.
I hope you have enjoyed these watercolours of the Faversham area and that you will find the time to visit this very interesting town.
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 .
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.
Here are two of my watercolour sketches of Robin Hood’s Bay.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Wherever you are stay safe and if you are now able to travel again do enjoy it!
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.
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
This next watercolour is an impressionistic watercolour of Buttermere, a beautiful Lake in the area.
Next the sold watercolour of Scafell Pike, quite impressionistic too.
In Ambleside the House on the Bridge is one of the famous sights of the Lake District.
Here as a studio watercolour.
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.
And now Ullswater as the evening sets in
This next watercolour is again of Derwentwater but now in full summer, just as we saw it.
And lastly Stockley Packhorse Bridge
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!
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!
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.
The road there is very narrow but there is a National Trust car park thank goodness!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The Lake District of England is very spectacular and so here is recent watercolour of Derwentwater there.
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.
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
PS Don’t forget if you see a watercolour here you would like to buy or commission a similar version just email me at –
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
Here are three watercolours with a common theme.
The Pond,1,2 and 3 All about 50 by 20 cms.
This watercolour was inspired by a painting session with a local friend who had photographed this spot whilst in Scotland.
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.
This last watercolour is purely from the imagination and an exercise in a bright focal point in a watercolour.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing these watercolours in a somewhat different aspect ration to my normal landscape mode.
Stay safe and well
At last , The Masters Golf Championship returns at it’s normal time of the year!
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.
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.
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
Many many years ago when I lived in Northern Ireland a visit to County Down and the Mourne Mountains was always a treat, whether it was to go to the beautiful beaches, or to play golf at Royal County Down Golf Course or to wander down the Ards Peninsula and see Strangford Lough, no matter where the scenery was alway superb.
The gentle rolling hills, known as Drumlins are a characteristic of the soft and gentle countryside but with the promise in the distance of the Mourne Mountains rising above the busting seaside town of Newcastle.
If you have followed this blog you will have seen my watercolours that try to capture the amazing beauty of the wilder Antrim Coast but County Down is a greener, if that is possible, part of Northern Ireland
I have painted this area quite a lot over the years and so here are some of these watercolours that try to capture the Mourne Mountains.
From as far away as Belfast the mountains are visible even though they are over 30 miles away.
As you approach Dundrum the mountains become even clearer and view from near to Dundrum shows the broad extent of the landscape.
As you approach the mountains a visit to Murlough bay will give you fine views of the coast and the mountains
This famous nature reserve is a really great place to visit.
Here are a couple of watercolours painted from photos taken at that beach
I am indebted to Gerry Judge for allowing me to use two of his fine photos as the basis for the next two watercolours
Firstly the same general scene as above but now at sunset
And secondly an old derelict cottage in the heart of the Mountains
This next watercolour, painted many years ago, is the scene from near Hilltown and was used as a background by a well know Belfast Chef, Alex Greene, in the series on TV “The Great British Menu”. It was exciting to see my watercolour being used by him.
At the foot of the Mourne Mountains lies the town of Newcastle , a busting seaside resort and where the Simna river reaches the sea. Nearby is Tollymore Forest park a marvellous place to visit and to enjoy the woods and forest of the mountain. A walk there will take you to Foley’s Bridge , one of the many Game of Thrones ;coalitions in Northern Ireland.
Lastly here is another watercolour of the Mourne Mountains views painted quite a while ago.
I hope you have enjoyed this quick trip to the Mourners Mountains. If you have never been then do go there to enjoy the great hospitality and scenery of this ;lovely part of the UK.
Stay well and safe
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 email@example.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