Category Archives: Watercolours

An Extraordinary Wine Experience in the Jura.

Hi Everybody

A good many years ago we spent a few days in the delightful Jura region of France. Good food and beautiful countryside everywhere. One evening, we met by chance, a wine merchant from Belgium and with him were able to visit the world famous Domaine of Jean Macle and family at Château-Chalon.

It was a really wonderful experience tasting the very unusual “Vin Jaune” of the Domaine and seeing their beautiful, but small Domaine. The wine was, I seem to recall, tasted with small pieces of the local Comté cheese, another delicious food from the Jura region.

The Macle family have been making wine in Château-Chalon since 1850 and it is a very unusual wine as the  10 year ageing process gives  the wine a very distinctive taste and bouquet. Their small Domaine is around 19 hectares and stretches across the beautiful hills of the Côte de Jura region.

Jean Macle is acknowledged as a true Master of Château Chalon.

After recently watching a television programme by Rick Stein on French cuisine, I was looking back through my photos of our visit to the Jura, when I found a number of photos which have led me to paint this watercolour of the Château Chalon  with the vines growing down the hillsides.

It reminds us that this is one of the many beautiful regions of France that we really must try and visit in the next few years.

Our visit there was quite extraordinary experience for which  I am most grateful to Jean Macle and his family. I am sure that their wine production will continue for many more generations of their Family.

I hope you like this watercolour, 37 by 28 cms and painted on Arches Cold Pressed watercolour paper.

If you ever get the chance to spend sometime in the Jura, it is really wonderful part of France.

Happy travelling

Brian

The Town of Château-Chalon in the Jura region of France. Watercolour 37 by 28 cms on Arches paper.

Memories – Watercolours of Amsterdam – UPDATE

Hi Everbody

So here we are stuck indoors and wishing we were somewhere else!

I thought today a short post of some watercolours, two painted this week, of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a great weekend vacation spot, with lots to see and do and it’s iconic Canals and Buildings are very attractive to the watercolour painter.

So here are four watercolours which try to capture the scenes there.

More to follow I think too as I look back through my photos from vista there a few years ago.

I hope you are staying well and finding lots of things to do.

Yours

Brian

Amsterdam, The Canal with Seven Bridges. Watercolour 12 by 9 inches

 

Amsterdam, Pen and Wash 10 inches by 6.6

Amsterdam, Pen and Wash 10 inches by 6.6

Amsterdam, Pen and Wash 9 inches by 7

“Sunlight on the Pond”

Sunlight on the pond. Watercolour 21.5 inches by 14.5 Version 1. The Original

With windy weather keeping me at home I thought I might paint a larger watercolour of trees and a pond

I woke up with this image whizzing round my head so that seemed a good excuse to have ago.

I do find painting at larger sizes quite challenging and this sheet of Arches paper is 22 inches by 15, and very nice to work with as it holds the water very well for long periods of time.

So here it is and I have added below two more versions of it cropped to different sizes below.

I can’t decide which version I prefer but if you have any thoughts on this I would be delighted to hear them

Just don’t ask where the pond is though!

Happy travelling!

Brian

Version2 cropped to square 13 inches by 13

Version 3. Cropped to 18 inches by 12

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

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.

An afternoon of Pen and Wash.

We spent a delightful afternoon with Alan Colledge, a fine watercolour artist from Kent in England.

We occasionally visit his studio for some tuition on techniques and ideas and it is alway fun and rewarding.

This time was no exception and his information on Pen and Wash was excellent and so with his guidance we produced some watercolours.

Here is the main one that we all did after watching his demonstration. It is of Scotney Castle in Kent. This is a lovely National Trust castle and grounds and in the spring the Azaleas and Rhododendrons are splendid.

pan and Wash study of Scotney Castle in Kent. 7 by 8 inches.

You can find Alan Colledge at Art fairs and Craft and Farmers markets across the South of England where he sells his watercolours and greetings cards. This weekend he will be at the Midsummer Fair in Lenham in Kent. It is held at The Tithe Barn, Lenham, Kent ME17 2QD

Alan Colledge’s website is http://www.alancolledge.com

This was  a very nice day and quite different from my usual watercolours so thanks to Alan for showing us his approach to this interesting technique.

Happy travelling

Brian

A few days in sunny Sevilla!

It has been a poor start to the summer in England and so it was great to escape the rain and spend a few days with good friends in a very sunny Sevilla.

Just about 2 1/4 hours from London Sevilla is in the heart of Andalusia in Southern Spain and gets very hot indeed in the height of summer.in June it was around 28 so very pleasant indeed.

We stayed in a very old collection of buildings now a nice hotel called Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia on Calle Santa Maria la Blanca, about 10 minutes  walk from the main square where the Alcazar and the huge Cathedral of Seville are. This is one of the Hotel’s many inner courtyards which are open to the sky, but cool on a hot day.

A courtyard in the Casa de la Juderia Watercolour 9 inches by 7

The little streets are interesting in Seville with shops, houses and restaurants and of course Tapas bars. They get very busy late in the evening as eating out is a common thing obviously for the local population.

The main attraction of Seville is the Alcazar some of which is well over a thousand years old.

Evidence of the Romans in aqueducts and the layout of the city are also to be seen.

In between the touring around and eating and drinking there was time for a few quick sketches of some things that we visited and saw. These were all very quick sketches with watercolour that might become the basis for larger watercolours back in the studio.

A guide for the Alcazar is in my mind essential and our’s, Maria, was very knowledgeable and interesting.

The entrance to the Alcazar

The entrance to The Alcazar

Here is the front to the Alcazar where the queue to get in can be found.

Do buy tickets in advance for the Alcazar and the Cathedral as this will avoid the long queues.

Inside the Palace  the decoration , much in the Moorish style, is truly fantastic and very well worth seeing and the gardens are extremely beautiful too. After the guided tour we were able to retrace our steps to some of the rooms and to linger in the gardens and have some lunch there.

Just inside the entrance to the Alcazar, the first Courtyard

When you have finished and seen everything inside the Alcazar this is the view as you  emerge of The Giralda and the Cathedral.

The Giralda ,once a Moorish tower is adjacent to the enormous Cathedral of Seville and can be part of the entrance ticket. We didn’t climb to the top but even seeing it from below is very impressive.

The view from the Alcazar exit of the Cathedral and The Giralda.

Of course there are many other sights to see and visit in Seville, the Bullring, the River and the various old quarters of the City.

Also there is the Place d’Espagna built for the 1929 exhibition and it is surrounded by the lovely María Luisa Park.

By the substantial river is the famous tower, Cruceros Torre del Ore, built in the 13th Century.

A nice subject for another small watercolour!

Cruceros Torre del Ore by the river in Seville. Watercolour and ink. 9 inches by 7.

 

visiting Sevilla involves quite a lot of walking but most things are easily reachable on foot. Taxis are plentiful and reasonable and the trip back to the airport easy to.

Alas now back in the UK where it still seems to be rather changeable weather, maybe the sun will shine soon.

Happy travelling

Brian

 

 

Burnham Market

“In Burnham Market” A Watercolour 15 inches by 11.

Following on from the Workshop with Herman Pekel I have painted  this watercolour of a little row of shops and houses in Burnham Market in West Norfolk that caught my eye when I visited there.

It is a very pretty town with lots of shops and cafes and very nice to stroll about.

This watercolour attempts to incorporate some of the ideas that Herman showed us and is the first that I have done back here in my studio using only  hake brushes and some Chinese calighraphy brushes. They are fun to use and help with the dry brush techniques.

I plan to continue to paint in this somewhat bolder style and hope that you will like these results too.

The watercolour is painted on Saunders NOT paper and is 15 inches by 11.

if you are in West Norfolk do vist Burnham Market and Burnham Overy Staithes, and I would highly recommend a stay at the White House Hotel at Sussex Farm too.

Happy travelling

Brian

 

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