Siden Hill Wood and Marsh Lane Nature Reserve: June and July

I rarely meet another person in the small woodland behind the flooded quarry works.  It is a perfect place to practice my skills painting the light filtering through foliage.

201307 Sidden Wood 01

Wheeling my bike, I stumbled across a man  camouflaged by the path, crouching with tripod and camera.  He was setting up a shot of a fox “that always crosses here late afternoon” as it moves out into the open fields bordering the wood. I quickly moved on, out of his way.  I came back by another path, outside the wood, to avoid disturbing him. But to no avail, I glimpsed him through the trees, packing up and leaving disappointed.  Then I realised my pad had fallen from my bike.  I  retraced my steps.  When I finally got back, there was the fox, walking through the woods, across my path and disappearing into the crops in the field.

201307 Sidden Wood 02

These two sketches were done within a couple of weeks of each other at the end of June, early July, with bright sun making shining yellow greens contrast with deep shadows. After advice on the course in June, I had abandoned phthalo blue and was mixing greens mainly with cobalt blue. Phthalo plus aurolean makes a viridian which while interesting, overwhelms the picture. Aurolean and cobalt blue makes a range of interesting tones that merge into rich or subdued neutrals with burnt sienna or rose madder.  What I am missing is the contrasting darks.

15 responses to “Siden Hill Wood and Marsh Lane Nature Reserve: June and July

  1. Special moments! Makes me think of Loren Eiseley’s story about his encounter with a fox. Thank you for sharing the story behind your pictures.

    • Thanks. Its been a journey. I used to pack a range of greens, sap green, viridian, oxide of chromium and terre verte. Sap green is an especial trap – the obvious colour to reach for in the field, always flat and unexciting washes. Last year the same tutor persuaded me to abandon any pre-mixed greens within my field kit and mix my own, and now this year to leave my phthalo blue behind. Its a journey of discovery for me. I use ultramarine also – it makes nice neutrals rather than greens with yellows and earth colours.

  2. Exciting to hear about your experiments with green – enjoying these posts a lot, thanks Kes. Also the story about the fox at the wood edge – that was new to me, but of interest because I painted my own fox at the edge of the wood last year.

  3. Every time out there is always something noteworthy. One late afternoon in a wood I came across several jays making a lot of noise surrounding a sparrowhawk that had one of them under its talons on the ground. Suddenly one of the jays noticed there were acorns nearby and gave up scolding the sparrowhawk to investigate…!
    it was as if there was nothing they could do for their mate so why not stock up on acorns!
    keep up the great work.

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