Siden Hill Wood and Marsh Lane Nature Reserve: March

201305 Sidden Wood 01

These next half dozen posts show small sketches in an Arches Carnet de Voyage pad from the nearby woods and flooded quarry works made in March, May and July. In the middle of this sequence comes some discussion on mixing greens based on advice given to me during the Seabird Painting Course.

Snow and mist

I follow many blogs.  A favourite is posted by a bloke called Jason who translates Spanish poetry and paints.  One thing I have copied is his use of the long vertical format for his images.  He achieves intense colours and a rich light that I find I cannot emulate.

Last week in the Yorkshire Dales, I found a simple subject: the snow had built in the lee of the dry stone walls on the distant fell across the valley.  Mist cloaked the heights.  In the foreground, islands of richly coloured coarse grass stood out against the snow.


After painting this, it dawned on me that the curling lines made by the walls were following the landscape.  This karst slope comprises  shelfs and drops made as hidden water eroded the rock from beneath.  I tried a quick sketch.

Buckden Out Moor looking west (24)

Jason paints “directly from nature with my arse in the mud and my hands getting cold“.  This too is how I like to paint.  Except I worked standing, drawing into paper dampened with snow, with water soluble graphite and an inktense black crayon.

I found some sketches

This evening I am starting work on a new piece, a planned painting, probably in acrylic, larger than my usual fast drawings, pulling together recent plein air sketches and ideas borrowed from “real” artists.


As I collated my material, I found some sketches not previously posted. Here is a rock formation eroding in the tidal plain in Tyninghame on the Firth or Forth, the salt marsh at Frampton on England’s east coast, the rolling hills of the southern Pennines painted sitting on my bike on the Tissington Trail. I also include a preliminary sketch for a subsequent studio painting of the Yorkshire Dales, posted previously.





By the way – I have reposted this from earlier this evening – minor editing led to all sorts of formatting problems.