Siden Hill Wood: “watercolourist”

20130916 Siden Hill Wood

Last weekend I had a short time to walk in the woods and produce this quick sketch.

This is my current challenge as a water-colourist: paint fast; record the light filtering through the foliage; display the glow of reflected and transmitted light from the variously opaque and translucent undergrowth; place right the edges of washes and allow shapes to emerge from loose strokes and pools of pigment; construct greens with a widening palette.

Comments and advice are helpful.

By the way, I have scraped back paint and redrawn this earlier piece to better define the leaves in the midground compared to the earlier post.

20130828 Baggy point pond (4)

Bizarrely, as I wrote this, the arcane word “water-colourist” brought back an odd association from my adolescence: a cartoon by John Glashan in the satirical rag, Private Eye.  A gathering of people express casual, dinner party-acceptable, bigotry.  “I am as liberal as the next man,” says one “but let’s face it, there has never been a good Negro water-colourist”.  Glashan’s target was commonly People Like Us, self-identifying white liberal middle class, living in material, intellectual and racial comfort on the inheritance built by our recent forbears, who escaped pogroms, fronted trades unions or rose quietly through education and merit in the teeth of privilege and prejudice.  His messy cartoons and watercolours were an early influence.  If I had a fraction of his skill and wit, I would be a happy man.

6 responses to “Siden Hill Wood: “watercolourist”

    • Thanks. But your sketches have been an inspiration to me in trying to capture foliage. My editing usually starts with a knife to scrape back the paint, sometimes to the white paper, rather than adding more layers. Here all I did was define better the dominant grasses and obliterate the detail in between.

  1. I’m especially impressed by the top one, scenes like that are very difficult to portray with just the right amount of detail. Looks like you have hit a rich vein of work this summer. Are you feeling good?

    • HI
      Thanks for asking – yes. I have found a good place to paint. Tough going to work last Monday with the smell of autumn rain on the air. I have never really grasped painting foliage and this weakens by bird sketches. I have been trying to address this and by chance have a series of sketches of the changing light through these same woods as the year proceeds from spring to now.

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