Friday, 30 August 2013

Cadeques Spain 4

Landscape Watercolour of Cadeques Spain, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 140 lbs

The bay in the pretty seaside town of Cadeques, Spain, looking up to the misty tops of the Peni Mountain. Cadeques is extremely well sheltered with a range of mountains (the Cap de Creus) protecting it form the North and the West, but makes for an interesting and twisty drive into town. One thing that sets Cadaques apart from so many other towns along the Costa Brava is that its natural setting and rustic buildings have been untouched by mass tourism.

Road to Uludag, Turkey

Landscape Watercolour of Uludag, Turkey, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Paper 140 lbs

Uludag a very popular ski resort in the winter, but in the summer it's a wonderful drive up the windy road from nearby Bursa to the summit.   Along the way you pass traditional villages and many road-side vendors selling local produce of Olive Oil and Nuts.

Mevagissey Harbour, Cornwall

Landscape Watercolour of Cornwall, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 140 lbs

Mevagissey is a traditional Cornish fishing village  on the South Coast of Cornwall about 5 miles south of St Austell. The picturesque narrow streets leading down to the harbour still retain some of the charm of an age when the horse and cart were the main method of transport, but nowadays the streets are filled with tourists and cars each competing for space.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Playa de las Canteras, Gran Canaria

Landscape Watercolour of Gran Canaria, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 140 lbs

Playa de las Canteras - a lovely curved stretch of golden sands along the bay at Las Palmas, with at the eastern end, pretty striped huts looking very nautical and views over to La Isleta to the north.  Typical days here are characterised by bright sun and strong winds.  Even though there's a break water off the beach by 100 metres or so, the waves can be pretty fierce.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Cadeques Spain 2

Landscape Watercolour of Cadeques, Spain, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 140 lbs

I definitely like my move to Saunders Waterford paper from previous use of Bockingford.  The washes behave themselves and the colours seem to be more vibrant on Saunders.  The only slight drawback is the paper takes longer to dry than Bockingford so you have to be a little more patient or have a hair dryer handy.

Cadeques - Sunlit roofs

Landscape Watercolour of Cadeques, Spain, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Cadeques in Costa Brava, Spain, is a pretty village with white washed buildings and a popular place for tourists with it's association with Salvador Dali.  In this sketch I tried to capture the sulight on the roof of some large villas across the bay and the glistening sea as it reflects the mid afternoon sun.  Definitely best to attempt this sparkling of the water with rough watercolour paper and not NOT as I did!

Monday, 26 August 2013

A Cotswold Valley

Landscape Watercolour of the Cotswolds, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 140 lbs

An imaginary scene of a Cotswold Valley, practicing the JZ technique of the sense of space, the distance and a landscape that may go on for ever and ever.  The steps were initial wash laid down from top to bottom, increasing the values as you get to the bottom.  Then after drying, a second wash goes in starting with clear water at the top, changing to a light blue for the horizon and again as you come down, increasing the values and forming trees, hedges and going around the houses.  Last steps were the foreground branches and smoke from the chimneys.

Pont de Pedra, Girona, 3

Landscape Watercolour of Girona, Spain, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

The first grand arch of the Pont de Pedra built of local stone in 1850.  My visit in the late summer months saw the river bed dry, but the sturdy buttresses of the arch supports I am sure could stand up to any Winter floods.

Steps in the old town, Girona

Landscape Watercolour, Girona, Spain, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Some grand steps in the old part of central Girona leading up to an ice cream parlour and a sunny little corner.  The old part of town has many narrow streets, many too narrow for vehicles, but there's no danger of getting lost as it's not too large an area.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Road to Old Sodbury, Winter

Landscape Watercolour of South Glos, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

An anonymous country road to Old Sodbury, a little village near me.  I don't often do winter scenes and often prefer to do paintings of a summer location with bright light and lots of shadow.  But it's interesting how with a snowy scene it's not just all white, but on closer observation many other colours appear - yellows, blues, violets and so on and provide contrasts of their own with the trees and branches.

Alexandria Street 11, Egypt

Landscape Watercolour of Alexandria, Egypt, on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

An anonymous back street in Alexandria near the bay area, with street vendors selling various fruit and veg.  For the smoke I used the JZ technique of first ensuring where you want the smoke the paper is very dry.  Then wet in the area the smoke will cover, and drop in some watered down white gouache or watercolour in the top portion and make the mix as you go down stronger to the source ending up with almost pure pigment.

Dockside Cranes, Prince’s Wharf, Bristol Waterfront

Landscape Watercolour of Bristol Docks, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

A popular place on Bristol's Waterfront with its majestic old cranes, retired now, in front of the M-Shed or Museum of Bristol.  The museum houses exhibits from Concorde, Wallace and Gromit, and Bristol Car.  There's also a nice old steam locomotive that travels up and down along the quayside - but only on a short length of track.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Goose Green, Yate, Autumn, 2

Landscape Watercolour of Yate nr Bristol, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Close to where I live and an interesting composition I thought with the curve in the road and hopefully taking your eyes into the sketch.  It started to come better when the road markings and the darks of the middle-ground went in.  Goose Green is a popular place for locals to take their dog/s for a walk (surprising how many people have more than one dog).

Ponte dei Penini, Venice

Landscape Watercolour of Venice, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

The Ponte dei Penini in Venice (that's it on the left hand side) and another quiet little backwater in the city.  The colours of the buildings are quite striking, even on a dull day, with their rich reds and ochres.  A very pretty spot away from the hustle and bustle of the busy tourist areas.

Birmingham New Street Shops

Landscape Watercolour of Birmingham, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Close to the Birmingham New Street Railway Station and the shops and street vendors on New Street are experiencing another busy trading day. New Street is now mostly pedestrianised.  Birmingham, the second biggest city in the UK is a vibrant city, offering visitors a fabulous array of shopping, attractions, culture, entertainment and dining within the fairly compact city centre.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Capri Harbour looking towards the Ferry Station

Landscape Watercolour Painting of Capri, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

The charming seaside Port of Marina Grande, encompassed by two narrow arms or quays, borders the picturesque town of Capri.  The port sees many types of watercraft from the old fishing boats to ferries coming over from Naples and Sorrento (bringing over thousands of day trippers each day in the summer), and of course up market yachts.  A small square overlooks the port surrounded by the characteristic houses of Capri, close to the water and having great views over the bay from their open galleries.

Pisces Fish and Chip shop Yate near Bristol

Landscape Watercolour of Yate nr Bristol, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Not too far away from where I live and one of the oldest Fish and Chip shops in the Bristol area, serving the greatest British take away dish.  I had to make up the couple sat on the wall of the car park of course tucking into their meal served on paper.  It gets busy here on a Friday!

This painting is sold.

Pont de Pedra, Girona

Landscape Watercolour of Girona, Spain, on Saunders Waterford Rough paper 140 lbs

The Pont de Pedra (translated as Bridge of Stone) over the Onyar River, just down from the Placa Catalunya in central Girona.

Constructed in 1850 of solid granite with 3 majestic arches and a main pedestrian walkway from one half of the city to the other. The bridges over the river Onyar are a nice way to walk from one side of Girona (Barri Vell) to the other (Eixample) and gives you great opportunities for views of the lovely colourful houses along the water's edge.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Autumn on Goose Green Yate

Landscape Watercolour of Yate nr Bristol, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Goose Green in the town of Yate and a welcome bit of small parkland in amongst the housing estates.  Goose Green (nothing to do with the Falklands) is so named because of the Goose Fairs they held here several hundred years ago when Yate was just a small village in the Cotswolds.  Interesting challenge with this painting was getting the feeling of sunlight coming in from the right and getting the perspective correct on the shadows from the rows of trees.

San Antonio, Ibiza, 3

Landscape Watercolour of Ibiza, 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 140 lbs

Looking up Carrer del Far, in San Antonio, Ibiza.  San Antonio is located in the west part of the island and has the largest natural harbour on the island (which is just on the left of painting) and the main tourist center.  This is near the popular 'West End' area of San Antonio where all the night clubs are.  Palm trees are quite easy to paint - dark pigment on the brush and loads of dry brush strokes from the centre outwards and trying not to be too symmetrical.

Placa Catalunya, Girona

Landscape Watercolour of Girona, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 140 lbs

Placa Catalunya - a great central point in Girona and stradles the River Onyar that runs through the medieval city. The River was all dried up when I was there, but I guess the water levels rise in the Winter. Anyway, all the sightseeing areas are within easy walking distance of this point.

Zeytinbagi Turkey 2

Landscape Watercolour of Turkey, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs

On the Marmara Sea, on the North West coast of Turkey and the quaint fishing village/town of Zeytinbagi.  The town is well known for it's antique timber houses, most of which have not had their exteriors maintained too well, but this gives them a lovely shabby chic appearance which adds to their charm, as does their ochre hues.  A great place to paint, especially when the suns out, and they sell Efes beer!

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Archway near the Citadel, Alexandria

Landscape Watercolour, Alexandria Egypt, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs

An archway very close to the old Citadel in Alexandria and a glimpse through to the bay beyond.  I am sure this archway had some great significance - there were two large plaques either side of the entrance with arabic script on them, and a guard sat on a blue plastic chair with his worry beads. 

Newquay Town Centre, Cornwall

Landscape Watercolour Newquay Cornwall, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs

The bottom end of the town centre in Newquay, Cornwall, and by day it's a popular seaside resort, especially in the summer months, but especially busy on Friday and Saturday nights as this is the main bar and nightclub area.  But you would hardly notice that during the day.

Newquay Harbour 3

Landscape Watercolour of Newquay Harbour, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs

Tranquility at low tide in Newquay Harbour on the North Cornish coast.  I thought this made a nice composition with the three different boats together, and their connected chains leading you into the picture. Also for me what pulled it together was the shadow coming across the picture adding another dimension.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Via Dolorosa Jerusalem

Landscape Watercolour of Via Dolorosa, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs

Via Dolorosa ("Way of Grief" in Latin) is a road in the old city of Jerusalem, a path where Jesus was lead in agony, carrying the crucifixion cross. Via Dolorosa is located within the beautiful old city of Jerusalem and this is the view up to the Ecce Homo Arch (“Behold the man” in Latin). According to the New Testament, these were the words uttered by the Roman prosecutor when he presented Jesus to the people before being sentenced.

Sunny Street in Staithes, North Yorkshire

Landscape Watercolour, Staithes, Yorkshire, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Paper 140 lbs.

One of my favourites sketches of Staithes and capturing a rare sunny afternoon (well rare for the summer of 2012 in the UK anyway!).  It's a fantastic location to paint and this was picture/composition was adapted from a holiday photo of mine.  I think if I had painted from this viewpoint, I would have been blocking the main street running down to the sea.

Alexandria Street 9, Egypt

Landscape Watercolour, Alexandria, Egypt, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs.

Another street market view in the central area of Alexandria fairly close to the port.  Yes the parasol covers are really low in places, and maybe they all started off life in different colours but the strong sun has bleached them all to a neutral shade.  And just above the parasol level are a spaghetti like conglomeration of wires going backwards and forwards between the buildings.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Weston Super Mare Harbour at low tide

Landscape Watercolour of Weston Harbour, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs.

Two local ferries that operate in the Bristol Channel, the Westward Ho Ferry and the smaller Bristol Queen, moored up at low tide in the tiny Weston-Super-Mare Harbour.  The harbour here is at the end of the grand sweeping bay of Weston and protected from the north by 'Knightstone Island'.  Probably just big enough for these two boats, it makes a nice scene on a sunny day looking across the expanse of the muddy beach at low tide towards the headland of Brean Down in the distance.

Lower Town, Staithes

Landscape Watercolour of Staithes, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs.

Known to the locals as Steers, Staithes is a popular destination for those looking for a break in a picturesque North Yorkshire village. Steeped in history, the town is the former home of Captain James Cook who moved to Staithes in 1744, and who soon fell in love with the sea.  If you come to the town by car, be prepared for a fairly steep walk down from the car parks above town (unless you can be dropped off of course).  

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, 2

Landscape Watercolour of Las Palmas Gran Canaria, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough 140 lbs

Las Palmas, 'capital' of Gran Canaria, enjoys a great climate - sub tropical, not too hot, not too cold, and just enough rainfall to stop it turning into a desert.  Some days in the winter can be quite cloudy, yet still so bright.  Wandering through the quite modern city, with it's tall apartment blocks, you get glimpses inland toward the central mountain range.

Alexandria Street 8, Egypt

Landscape Watercolour, Alexandria, 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs

Another Alexandria street scene and I think there's loads more to come as I took many photos on my visit.  They lend themselves so well to watercolour with the lights and the darks. This was quite a busy scene and working to a quarter sheet which is my norm, you have to decide what to leave out and it came down to missing cars and people - so imagine many more of both. I've left in the trademark yellow-topped taxis and ladies in traditional dress.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Low tide on the Roxby Beck, Staithes, North Yorkshire

Landscape Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 140 lbs

Low tide at Staithes and the banks of the Roxby Beck, the smallish river that flows through Staithes exposing it's banks of mud and algae.  The 'coble' fishing boats are a trademark of Staithes and used to be the traditional boat of the local fishermen there, but now they're more of a static prop and feature in all of the postcards of the town.

Bodmin Taxi Rank, Cornwall

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 300 gms

Centre of Bodmin Cornwall and the late summer sun streaming down from the west, lighting the perimeter buildings. I had a bit of fun with the tree on the right - there were very large trees along the road side and I let the wash on the trees do their own thing and join up with their shadows.  It made for quite a nice effect and it was a temptation to get in there and correct the flow.

Shire Hall Bodmin, Cornwall

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 300 gms

Shire Hall, Bodmin, with it's imposing solid granite front facade, and a little square in front, was built in the 1830s to house the county assize courts (criminal courts). The courts were moved to Truro in the late 1980s and the building now houses the town Tourist information centre. Had to get the cornish flag in there with the white cross on a black background. The bunting was out I think for the Olympic celebrations.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Walk along Marina Ibiza

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford Rough Paper 300 gms

Marina Ibiza is right in the heart of Eivissa town and offers a nice walk along the promenade to admire the posh yachts, most of which never seem to go anywhere.  But deckhands are hard at work scrubbing and polishing for future guests. Overlooking the marina are many new apartment developments with their terraces angled away to give great views over the bay for their lucky owners.

Villefranche Sur Mer, Cote d’Azur

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 300 gms

This is a busy town in a busy part of the Côte d'Azur - Monaco is one side and Nice is on the other. A few of the features that make it attractive to visitors are the seaside, with long sandy beaches (the bay is supposed to be in the top 5 worldwide), terrace cafés and restaurants. Villefranche’s Old Town, with most buildings dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, is filled with wonderful provençal colours, flowers, and balconies — all cascading down the hillside to the sea and the waterfront quayside.

Eivissa Harbour, Ibiza

Watercolour on Saunders Waterford Rough paper 300 gms

The harbour in Eivissa is in the old city, and is a busy marina & ferry port with regular trips over to the island of Formenterra plus other Mediterranean destinations.  With a commanding position over the port, the 'high city' of Dalt Vila is a great backdrop, with views over the bay and beyond.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Old Town Limassol, Cyprus

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough paper 300 gms

Old Town Limassol on the Greek side of Cyprus, has a typical Greek feeling about it despite some of the Turkish in it's historical past (and the Venetians and the English have had their influence also). I think what rescued this painting for me was the shadow of the external electrical box or whatever, on the old building in the centre. Sometimes adding a little detail even though you think you might ruin the fresh look of the picture, can just pull it back, especially a little shadow or highlight.

Mudanya, Turkey, 3

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough Paper 300 gms

Mudanya's a prosperous, vibrant town siting on the southern coast of the Marmara Sea (the bit that connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean).  The wonderful old houses here in the centre of town are characterised with their upper floors being larger than the ground floor.  Not sure why, or whether it's the Greek style, but it makes an interesting subject and offers great shadows for watercolour.

Alexandria Street 7, Egypt

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 300 gms

My last painting of narrow Alexandrian streets for a bit and I tried to be a bit more adventurous with the initial wash and a bit of Alizarin Crimson on the right hand side to make the sense of darkness of the street yet still a bit of warmth.  Anyway hope I got the feeling of the heat of the place and the dusty ground.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Alexandria Street 5, Egypt

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 300 gms

In the myriad of streets around the port area of Alexandria, it's easy to get lost or disorientated. Stumbling on a view of a main road or the sea front allows you to get your bearings again. The area has many different types of architecture - the old juxtaposed with the new. In this scene I was struck by the earthy coloured old building with it's old turquoise shutters in the centre of a market area and a newer 70's style office block behind, looking completely out of place. Numerous old parasols cover and shade market produce up the sunny side of the street.

Alexandria Street 3, Egypt

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 300 gms

Continuing my series of streets in Alexandria (more to come from my reference photos) and may be went a bit looser on this one which I prefer.  Tried to capture the feeling of the heat of the day and that the place needs a massive makeover with all the unfinished tower blocks with multiple floors just being a shell.

Alexandria Street 2, Egypt

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 300 gms

A wander round the backstreets of downtown Alexandria and now and then you stumble across an open area offering respite from the intensity of the narrow streets.  Whilst some street vendors proudly show off their produce on the shady side of the street, those less fortunate opposite have theirs hidden from the midday sun under layers of drab tarpaulin.

Alexandria Port Gate, Egypt

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT Paper 300 gms

Alexandria Port Gate and a chaotic scene of all forms of transport, cars everywhere, taxis, local buses, horse and cart, man and cart, and pedestrians trying to avoid it all.  Many red-bricked tower blocks remain unfinished in the area, presumably waiting for the day when funds permit their completion.

Albufeira Old Town 2

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford paper NOT 140lbs

Albufeira old town is a very relaxed resort on the Algarve and has a lovely central square decorated with trees and colourful shrubs surrounded by street cafés and restaurants for a quiet meal or a cool drink. The streets leading off the square are a shoppers delight with clothes shops, leather goods (fantastic handbags!), gift shops, street stalls and of course, all the practical shops for daily necessities. There are also many more restaurants and bars in between the shops so there is never a shortage of places to eat and drink!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Backstreet Alexandria Egypt

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford paper 140lbs

A typical backstreet in Alexandria.  Dust everywhere from a recent storm coming in from the North African Desert, and just adding to the general grime of the place.  But despite the dirt, Alexandria has great charm with the ochre coloured buildings and sharp shadows caused by the strong sun. I just had to get in my painting one of the ubiquitous yellow/black Alexandria taxis - even the bright yellows of the bonnet and boot gets through that saharan dust.

Alexandria Port entrance, Egypt

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford NOT paper 140lbs

Alexandria, second largest city in Egypt and situated in the North West of the Nile Delta.  The location of the port entrance is a magnet for eager city taxi drivers and horse & carriage owners looking for fares from visiting tourists.  At the time of my visit, the whole area was being excavated with huge new sewage pipes being laid, so not looking really at its best save for the gleaming mosque with it's bright white facade and golden dome.

Courtyard of the Museo Nestor, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford paper 140lbs

The court yard of the Museo Nestor in Las Palmas Gran Canaria, just beyond the Hotel Santa Catalina. A welcoming enclosed space with places to sit, and while I was there a local folk festival was in full swing with a choir and band performing traditional songs and dances. A nice little stop before walking over to the old city.

Piazza Yenne, Cagliari, Sardinia

Watercolour 15" x 11" on Bockingford paper 140lbs

Piazza Yenne is a very busy cross road in the centre of Cagliari town. In the middle sits the proud statue of King Carlo Felice, on its own little roundabout. Beyond this, the square is a popular meeting point, especially on warm summer evenings, when the locals can stay up quite late compared with the UK!