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The joy of Pen and Wash watercolours!

 

San Gimignano in Tuscany from one of my sketchbooks

Hi Everybody

I love to paint watercolours, and I have always been fascinated by this medium.

Whilst I get great pleasure  trying to paint big and bold watercolours I often find myself returning to where I started , using a pen and wash technique.

The sheer pleasure of the pen marks casually laid on the paper which may or may not be important later on is such fun and then applying washes of watercolour over it in a not too rigorous edgy manner is very exhilarating.

Maybe I am easily pleased but this process, which has to be pretty speedy, has been the backbone of my watercolours for many years and I hope will continue to be so.

Pen and wash can be in my sketch books, or slightly more formally on  Watercolour paper, I particularly like Arches watercolour blocks which are so great for use when travelling!

Let’s hope we can travel again soon though!

So here are some older and more recent Pen and Wash watercolours which I hope you will enjoy.

These first three were painted just this week from photos of previous visits and that is often how they happen.  When I can in love to sketch on the spot but that is a luxury which I can’t do at present of course.

Two scenes for Yorkshire first

Staithes on the Yorkshire Coast

The village of Robin Hood’s Bay

And now a recent painting of Mousehole in Cornall and one of the River dart in Devon

Mosehole in Cornwall

Greenway Quay on the River Dart in Devon

A few on place in Provence

In St Paul de Vence

At The heart of Vence

Fayence

 

Seillans

And a quick trip into Spain and Portugal

 

Sintra

The Hotel Courtyard in Sevilla

Sevilla Cathedral

 

Salamanca

 

An finally , for now at least, a few of both Canterbury and York

 

Canterbury Cathedral from Mercery Lane

York Minster from the City Wall

The Shambles in York

I hope from these you can see the reason why I enjoy Pen and Wash so much. Immediate , Colourfull and fun to do!

Stay safe and well and maybe this year we may all get to travel again.

Brian

 

Mountains from our Travels. – Part 1

Hi Everybody

Happy New Year to Everyone, and thanks for reading my Blog!

Let us hope that 2021 turns out better for us all than 2020. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Alas I doesn’t seem that we will be travelling soon so some virtual travel will have to be the way forward for now.

I painted 116 watercolours during 2020 and I am not planning on stopping this trend for this year.

For many years when I was working I travelled extensively on business and went to Seattle many, many times working with Boeing of various  airplanes programmes, most notably the 777.  I usually stayed at Bellevue but whenever there was some free weekends I took the opportunity to travel to the coast and the islands or into the Cascade Mountains. The scenery of the Cascades is amazing but the one site that dominates all is that of Mount Rainier. Although 60 miles from Seattle it looms large and is a spectacular site even from a distance.

And so painted from some of  the many photos that I took in those days ( I rarely had a sketch book with me) I have any last painted a view of Mount Rainier. This painting shows haw due to it height Mount Rainier keeps a snow covered top all year. It is possible to drive right up to 6000 feet there but this watercolour is from one of the approach roads.

 

Mount Rainier in the Spring. Watercolour 18 inches by 11 on Arches 300gsm paper.          I hope those little people give it some scale! Mount Rainer is 14411 feet tall and is a very large and active Volcano!

 We have visited many mountains over the years and way back in 2003 I painted this sketch of Table Mountain at Capetown in South Africa.

This mountain dominates Capetown even more that Mount Rainier does in Seattle but it is a very amazing site from across the bay.

Table Mountain in South Africa. Watercolour sketch.

Also near  Capetown are the 12 Apostles Mountain range and here is a painting again from some years ago of these spectacular  mountains above Camps Bay in the evening.

The Twelve Apostle Mountains at Camps Bay in South Africa. Watercolour 14 by 10

Even further away from the UK is New Zealand with some of the most amazing scenery we have ever

Here are just three watercolours, the first of Mount Tongaringo in the North Island and the others from the South Island.

Mount Tongagingo in New Zealand Noth island. A massive dormant Volcano. Sketch 9 inches by 8

Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Sketch 10 by 8 inches.

 

The Amazing Milford Sound at Dawn in New Zealand. Watercolour 18 inches by 12.

I hope that you have enjoyed this first part of my Mountain Travel Post. I will be adding more on Part 2 

Stay safe and well

Brian

Places I would like to be – Norfolk in the UK

Sunset at Hunstanton

Hi Everybody

This will be my last post of 2020 and it will be a year I am sure we will not look back on happily.

There have been many lows but some wonderful highs such as the achievement to create new vaccines so quickly and the care so many have shown to others in such troubled times.

My watercolours have been a wonderful visual journey to get me through these lockdown days and during the year I have painted well over one hundred watercolours of many places around the world as real travel has had to be replaced with fantasy journeys to places that we love or would like to go to.

To all of you who have taken the time to look at these posts, my grateful thanks,  and I hope that as 2021 arrives we can all look forward with more optimism to a better world.

And so it was that over the holidays I was talking to a friend about Norfolk and it spurred me into action to do one of these  “Places I would like to be” posts. I do plan to go there in 2021!!!

With travel a distant memory it would be good to be in Norfolk for it’s lovely countryside, coast, big skies and amazing sunsets. Not to mention the food and yes, Norfolk wine too!

So here are some watercolours painted over the past few years of Norfolk and they will help me and I hope you to reminisce  about or if you don’t know the area to get on to your list!

One of those big Norfolk Skies and  the shore

Let’s start on the coast where the lovely beaches meet the sky

On the North coast lies the picturesque town of Balakeney  famous as one the best places to try crab rolls and sandwiches. Blakeney is apopular harbour town with many boats and yachts moored there ready for the incoming tide.

Here is my watercolour of the harbour, a great place to sit and watch the world go by!

The quay at Blakeney

And one of some boats waiting for the tide

Waiting for the tide

To the east of Blakeney is the pretty little town of Cley Next The Sea, with is equally famous windmill which has been the subject of paintings for over two hundred years.

Here is one of my watercolour but in the style of the very famous watercolourist, Edward Seago whose paintings of the British coast and Europe too are all really wonderful. I really admire his work done in the 20th Century.

Cley windmill in the style of Edward Seago.

And here is another of the Cley Windmill but in my more usual style

Cley windmill pen and wash sketch painted on site.

In 2019 I was lucky to go to a watercolour workshop held at The White House Hotel at Sussex farm, with Herman Pekel, a fantastic Australian watercolour painter and we painted around the Burnham Market area , a very pretty town and with great places to eat and drink too!

These are some of the watercolours I produced during that week with his help and guidance.

Burnham Overy Staithes

Local houses near Burnham Overy Staithes, right opposite the Hero pub with it great food and drink!

The pond at Sussex farm Hotel, The White House, a great place to stay.

Across the Norfolk fields

A Tidal inlet near Thornham

Near Burnham Overy Staithes

Thornham Old Harbour

Boats moored at Wells next The Sea painted on a bench by the coast.

And lastly a dawn seascape at Sctby on the East coast of Norfolk

Dawn at Scratby beach

I am sorry this has been a long post but anyway I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of Norfolk and that you have a Very Happy 2021.

Best wishes

Brian

Around Broadstairs in Kent in Watercolour

                            Around Broadstairs in Watercolours

Dawn breaks at Broadstairs. Watercolour 13 inches by 9 on Arches paper.

A couple of years ago a venue for the Sky Arts Landscape painter of the Year competition was Broadstairs in Kent, and I was lucky enough to be selected to paint there on that day.(I didn’t get selected for the final alas though!)

Although we had been to Broadstairs before that from then on I have enjoyed visting this  picturesque seaside town,  and painting watercolours from various photos  and some sketches.

So I have collected a few in this post which I hope will encourage you visit to our sandy beached resorts on the Kent coast.

The watercolour I painted during the Sky Arts completion. Painted over a 4 hour period on the sandy beach, and it was 28c temperature! 17 inches by 12.

On that competition day I had some spare time , especially as it was so hot for painting watercolours. So I did this second monochrome version, which one of the passing judges said he liked, result! 17 inches by 12.

 

A more recent watercolour of Viking bay, trying to capture the incoming tide. 16 by 12 inches

Around the headland is Dumpton Gap bay, where the beach is strewn with large chalk rocks and at times the sea has a milky appearance. 16 inches by 12.

Just North of Broadstairs is Botany Bay and  these next two painting are the views , south and north at the Bay.

Kites flying Botany bay looking South 14 inches by 10

Botany bay looking North. 14 inches by 10.

So there you have a few views of this rather quaint Kentish seaside town with strong associations with Charles Dickens too.

In the mean time Best Wishes for Christmas and let us all hope that 2021 will turn out to be a better year that 2020.

Stay well and safe

Brian

PS. If you would like to buy any of these watercolours of any other from my blog please just contact me at  brian@brianswatercolours.com and I will respond with availability and price very quickly. A good many paintings have already found nice walls to hang on around the world so please check with me. However if already sold I am always happy to paint a new, original and unique version just for you. I don’t sell copies but I can provide Canvas style prints of most of my watercolours.

Payment can then be easily made by PayPal and courier delivery, usually only taking a few days, will follow. Prices will include the shipping to anywhere in the world.

Thanks

Brian

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

A new painting for December 2020.  “A cold walk on a Winters Day” Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

A walk in the snow

Hi Everybody

I am always most amused when the weather forecasters give us long term predictions and this year is no exception. Apparently we will always get less snow in the future. Aha! I think they said that in 1987 when we had the Great Storm in England followed by 3 feet of snow that lasted weeks and weeks, closed schools and businesses and was a lot of fun for some!

So I am not holding my breath, but as I look out on a dreary, foggy December day here in Kent I do wonder if a bit of snow might liven things up a bit, at least that would be a better reason for huddling round the fire than Covid!

Thus I am thinking that I will preempt the now inevitable snow ( now that the forecasters say we might not have any!!) by putting some of some Kent and Sussex winter scenes that I have painted watercolours of in the past and maybe then I can settle down at the easel to paint a couple of new wintry scenes as well for a follow up Christmas time blog.

Here then are a selection from what turns out to be about 23 watercolours to chose from.

Horsmonden in Kent

Leeds Castle in Kent in the snow

Kentish Oasts in the snow

The Mill pond at Wateringbury

 

Rye from the marshes on a cold winters day.

West Malling in Kent

 

Horsmonden again!

So there you are ,will we get any snow this year? Might be fun!

Best regards ‘to everyone

Brian

Three New Watercolours – Cornwall, County Down and Northumberland

Hi Everybody

I am always on the lookout for interesting scenes to paint as watercolours and although most of my watercolours use photos that I have taken , occasionally I see a photo that I would like to have a go at painting too.

This has happened twice this week and with time available due to the lock down  I was lucky enough to get the permission’s of the two photographers to paint these watercolours. I am indebted for their permissions.

The first one is of a small town in Cornwall, called St Clements, which is near Falmouth.

I saw the image on a blog that I always enjoy reading called  Cornishbirdblog.

http://www.cornishbirdblog.com

Even if you don’t live in Cornwall, and I don’t, I would recommend it as it is always interesting to read.

So here is my version of a photo of St Clements and I do hope to visit there one day.

Watercolour of St Clements in Cornwall. 15 inches by 11 on Arches 300 gsm watercolour paper

The second one is of a place I do know well, The Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland.
I have painted quite a few watercolours of the area before but an evening photo taken by Gerry Judge really caught my eye and so here is my watercolour interpretation of it.

You can see Gerry’s excellent photos at Gerry Judge Photography and I am very grateful for his permission to use the photo as a basic reference for  this watercolour

 

 

The Mountains of Mourne from Murlough Bay at evening.                                       Watercolour 22 inches by 14 on Saunders 300gsm watercolour paper

And lastly a watercolour from one of my own photographs, this time of Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland where we enjoyed a short break a couple of years ago. I have tried again to capture that early evening scene of calm waters and an interesting sky.

Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland. Watercolour 22 inches by 14 on Arches 300 gsm watercolour paper.

With several more weeks of this current Lockdown still to go I hope to paint quite a few more watercolours

I hope you will enjoy these two anyway.

 

Stay well and safe

Regards

Brian

 

PS If you have a photo of a favourite place that you would like a watercolour of, please email me at

brian@brianwaterecolours.com

and send me the photo for an immediate quotation. Turnaround times are very quick, prices include shipping, and many people have been pleased with their new watercolour.

 

 

 

 

Kent – The Garden of England 3, and a quick trip into East Sussex

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series of Posts about Kent we explored the countryside of Kent and some great places visit.

In Part 3 , the final one of this series we will return to some of the coast that we didn’t see in Part 1.

As an artist I am much drawn, excuse the pun, to Faversham and the marshes around that area ,especially Oare and the Creeks there.

So let us start in Faversham at Standard Quay with its sheds, shops, boats and barges.

 

A threatening storm at high tide.Faversham,Standard Quay. Watercolor 16 by 12inches

The rejuvenation of the old town of Faversham has made this very old port an attractive place to visit too.

Here is sketch of the Town centre on market day

Faversham, Market Day. Watercolour pen and wash 10 by 9 inches

From Faversham its is quite nearby to go to Oare and then take the road out to Harty Ferry on the Saxon Shore Way.

A ferry used to go from there across to the Isle of Sheppey, but alas no more. A walk East  along the Saxon Shore way will bring you to the entrance to Oare creek with it boats ,barges and boatyard.

The boatyard at Oare Creek. Watercolour 16 by 12 inches.

If you had travelled to the opposite bank from Faversham the scene is a little different and there, at Hollowshore there is a great pub for a drink and good food, “The Shipwrights Arms”.

Barge at Hollowshore. 14 by 10 inches

Back in Oare the view along the Creek across the marshes offers yet another view of the area.

Oare Creek. Watercolour 20 by 16 inches

So lets move on along the coast to Whitstable and a sketch of the harbour there. Again lots of interesting shops and walks along the shore at Whitstable, nowadays a very popular town to visit , especially for its Beer Festival and abundant seafood, in particular the famous Whitstable Oysters.

Sketch of Whitstable harbour and Fishermens sheds. 10 by 9 inches.

Across Kent to East Sussex finds you able to visit  The Seven Sisters chalk cliffs and this well known view is captured on a cold winters day in this watercolour.

The Seven Sisters Cliff in East Sussex. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

Hastings is nearby with the fishing boats of on the “Stad”

Fishing Boats at Hastings. Watercolour 16 by 12 inches

Back towards Kent but still in East Sussex is the wonderfully quaint town of Rye

Rye skyline from Romney marsh. Watercolour 14 by 8 inches

In Rye the Landgate entrance to the Town. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

As we come to the end of this series of views of Kent and East Sussex it would be an omission to not include some Bluebells, probably the flower of Kent,  and beautiful in the spring.

Here are two watercolours of them

Bluebell woods. 16 by 12 inches

Bluebells near Hawkhurst. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

Returning nearer to our home town these two watercolours of Barming’s St Margaret’s Church are somehow very typical of Kent scenes in summer and in the snow.

Poppies in the fields near St Margaret’s Church Watercolour 11 by 7 inches

Evening snow at St Margarets Church. Watercolour 11 by 7 inches

A finally home to West Malling

Two quick sketches of our home town with it many pubs, restaurants and shops.

In West Malling high Street Sketch 9 by 7 inches

West Malling High Street and St Mary the Virgin Church. 9 by 7 inch sketch.

 

I hope you have enjoyed these views of Kent through my watercolours. They have all been great fun to create.

I have recently published on iBooks a Book contains many of these watercolours and it is FREE as a download.

Look for it on Apple iBooks. It can be purchased also from Peecho as a hardback book . You can also download 

a pdf version of the new book here.

Travels with a Brush Kent Vol 3 V2 1

Be safe and happy wherever you are.

Brian

 

Kent – The Garden of England. Part 2

Hi Everybody

I part 1 of this series of 3 posts we explored Canterbury and the East and South Coasts of Kent

In Part 2 I am going to start with some famous visitor attractions in Kent and then delve into the Kent countryside.

Leeds castle in Kent

We are vary lucky that there are a number of very famous Places to visit in the County, maybe one of the most famous is Leeds Castle , fairly near to Maidstone . Often described as “The most beautiful Castle in the World” it is undoubtedly a great place to visit and to wander around its extensive grounds. Leeds Castle was probably established in the 9th Century but after being bought by Edward 1st Queen,Eleanor of Castile in 1278 the castle began its long journey to become the Castle we see today. Part of this transformation was done by Henry VIII in 1519, and again extensive changes were made in 1823.

Snow at Leeds Castle

 

 

Leeds Castle can be visitedted throughout the year and is very beautiful in winter when a Christmas Fair is held.

A winter evening at Leeds Castle

 

 

 

 

 

At Bodiam there is another medieval Castle, built when the River Rother was a trading route into the heart of the County. Although mostly a ruin it is a great castle to visit.

Bodiam Castle

Not very far away is Sissinghurst Castle, more of a walled garden that a Castle, it has the most wonderful gardens to see and enjoy. A favourite place for me to sketch and paint at too.

Sissinghurst

In Sissinghusrt Garden

The Ice House at Sissinghurst

As Kent is not a huge County it is a pleasant journey through the Kent Villages and Towns to also visit another wonderful location, Scotney Castle. With its old and new Castles there is lots to see and the Azalea and Rhododenron displays in early Summer are spectacular.

The old ruined castle at Scotney

Scotney Castle in Winter

As you travel around Kent there are many great views and places to see. many may include Oast Houses which I am very fond of as they are quite common in Kent but much less so in other Counties. Originally used to dry hops for beer making today they are mostly residential and often the main farm building around the County.

Here are just a few views of the Kent countyside

Oasts in the Kent countryside

The view towards Horsmonden

Farms in Kent

Across the North Down near Harrietsham

The winter views can be delightful too as being in the East of the UK we do get occasional  snow spells in Winter.

Oasts in the snow in Kent

Horsmonden Church in Winter

As you travel about there are other great places to visit, Ightham Mote is one of them as is Rochester.

Here are a few watercolours of these places.

 

 

Rochester.A watercolour taking us back to 1938 with a Shorts Flying Boat just having taken off.

Igtham Mote

I hope you have enjoyed this second Part about kent

In Part 3 we will return to the coast and to the areas nearer to my home

Stay well and Safe

Brian

Kent – The Garden of England Part 1

Hi Everybody wherever you may be.

All this extra time at home this year has made me realise how fortunate we are to live in the very beautiful County of Kent in the South East of England

So I thought maybe a few posts of some old and new Kentish scenes would hopefully be interesting to my readers.

It isn’t a tour exactly but a rather haphazard wandering of our very fine piece of England. Due to the large number of places(and watercolours!) I would like to include this post will come in Three parts and this is thus Part 1

I was born In Kent rather a long time ago and more by luck than judgement we can back to live in Kent in the 1970’s. It’s a decision that has worked out well for us as a family and it has given us all the benefits of this lovely part of the UK and it’s proximity to Europe too.

Historically Kent has had a big part to play in the development of the UK and this is very true of our first stopping place, Canterbury.

Canterbury is dominated by the magnificent Cathedral and it’s history, especially that of Thomas a Beckett and the Canterbury tales by Chaucer.

It can be seen from all around the City and here are two watercolour sketches, one of the Cathedral and one of St Augustines Abbey.

Canterbury Cathedral from Mercery Lane. Watercolour sketch

It is only a few miles to travel to the North Coast of Kent from Canterbury and from Whitstable there is a long range view toward Reculver,a ruin today but once Roman fort and then an Abbey.

Reculer on the North Kent Coast Water 12 by 10 anches

As you travel further East you come to the seaside town of Margate with sandy beaches.  Here is a watercolour of  a sunset at Margate . Margate was a favourite place to paint for W M Turner. My sunset isn’t quite up to his standard though!. In Margate today there is the excellent Turner Gallery, which is well worth a visit.

 

Sunset at Margate. Watercolour 14 inches by 10

 

Continuing round the Isle of Thanet brings you to Broadstairs and  the white cliffs coast that stretches all to way to Sussex. Here the beaches are sand but as you travel further west the sand changes to shingle.

Broadstairs – Viking Bay. Watercolour 16 inches by 12

 

 

 

Kites flying at Botany Bay, near Broadstairs. Watercolour 14 anches by 10

 

Toward Dover is the North Foreland Lighthouse on top of the cliffs and in Dover itself the view of the Castle from the Harbour spit is gréât.

 

 

North Foreland Lighthouse.Watercolour 14 by 10 anches

Dover Castle from the Harbour. Watercolour

From Dover travelling west now you come to Folkestone and  Hythe and then Hastings. So here to finish Part 1 are few watercolours of Hythe and Hastings.

Fishing boats at Hythe in Kent. One of my first ever watercolours ,over 20 years ago!

Fishing boats on the Stad at Hastings

More fishing boats at Hastings

In Part 2 of this Blog Post we will visit other inland and coastal parts of Kent.
In the meantime I hope you have enjoyed this wander around our fine County of England.

Regards
Brian

More views of Venice – Update 2

Evening glow at Santa Maria Della Salute from the Academia bridge in Venice. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.


Hi

I have been asked a few times since my last Venice post where we stayed and from where I took the photos that formed the basis for the paintings.

In fact we stayed at the Locanda Vivaldi Hotel right on the Riva Schiavoni which is just a short walk from St Mark’s Square and the centre of Venice.

We really enjoyed staying there and it is a nice hotel with a lovely roof top terrace.

Many photos were taken from there, some with zoom lenses and they are the basis for a lot of my Venice watercolours.

Of  course when visiting Venice there are great scenes on every corner and there is unlimited subjects for artists. I certainly  hope to be back there painting in the future.

We arrived at the Locanda Vivaldi by water taxi from the airport. Although more expensive that the ferry boats this is such an exciting way to get to the heart of Venice from the airport. We had booked in advance.

This week, looking back again though my photos I found one taken as we arrived and so this is a new painting depicting that moment. A small traghetto  was passing by as we approached too the hotel under the bridge.
So here it this watercolour and a couple of others painted some time ago ,but again from the Riva Schiavoni or nearby

i hope you will enjoy seeing them

stay safe and well

Brian


Arriving by water taxi at the Locanda Vivaldi Hotel in Venice. Watercolour 16 inches by 12.

Arriving at San Marco by Vaporetto Watercolour 15 inches by 11.

 

Gondolas and San Georgio from the Riva Schiavoni

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