David Bellamy – Travelling the World during Coronavirus

 I’ve just returned from wonderful times in Egypt and Yemen this week, immersing myself in fabulous scenery, although I’m afraid it’s all in the mind, as they are places that I’ve been painting, not actually visiting! That’s one of the marvellous advantages of being an artist – you can transport yourself to anywhere for a while, and I’m especially glad that at the moment I’m working on a book on the Middle East, and enjoying every moment, with so many memories flooding back.

    Given our unremitting lockdown I thought you might like a little exercise to do over the Easter holiday. This is where I show you a photograph of a landscape scene and invite you to paint it. In about a week’s time I will then show you how I tackled it. Don’t worry, you’re not expected to get the result like mine as we all have different ways of working and even hundreds of ways of producing a different painting of the scene can still all be right. The idea is to stimulate innovation and inspire you to put your own slant on the composition.

    The scene is Carn Llidi in North Pembrokeshire with the foreground in strong sunshine, but with a dull band behind the buildings to two-thirds up the peak. That dark band is extremely useful as it highlights the buildings. It covers a slope covered mainly in bracken, with some grass showing in places. In summer it is very green and in autumn the bracken becomes a definite light red colour. Move elements around to suit yourself, and for this it would be good to start with a small thumbnail sketch to ascertain where you want to place these elements. Then think about the sky treatment and the sort of mood you wish to convey: sunny, stormy, tranquil, warm evening light, or whatever appeals. Will you leave out some of the features? What will you do with the foreground hedgerow? Most importantly what will be your centre of interest? I’m afraid the small scale of this photo will not show much detail, but this can be an advantage, stopping any fiddling.

    Have a go at this composition if you wish and I’ll show my version in a week’s time. In the meantime I wish you a happy and peaceful Easter. Stay safe and enjoy any worldwide travels you do in the next few days……….in your paintings, of course!

11 thoughts on “David Bellamy – Travelling the World during Coronavirus

  1. Happy Easter David & Jenny. Remember Carn Llidi well from the great trip you led in 2017.

    Look forward to your book coming out!

    Look after yourselves.


  2. Happy Easter to you and Jenny too, David. I remember Carn Llidi well from the great trip you led in 2017.

    Look forward to your book being published

    Look after yourselves.


  3. Happy Easter David and Jenny. I also did a course with you in St. David’s and know this area well from holidays. Last met you David at Sandpiper Studio on the Wirral in October.

  4. Thanks for posting this picture David – this is my favourite place in Pembrokeshire – I visit it every year – I call it my “annual pilgrimage”! In fact, I should have been there right now – but I’ll just have to visit it in my imagination! Happy Easter to you all and stay safe


  5. Hi David
    Interested to hear about your new book.
    When do you think it might be coming out?
    Will it include pictures of the Temple of Philae
    and feluccas on the Nile?

    • Hi Philip,

      Good to hear from you again. Yes, the book will indeed have pictures of the Temple of Philae and feluccas on the Nile. It will be in the same style as the Arctic book. For several years I would spend the summers in the Arctic and the winters in the Middle East, which was a great combination. The book won’t be out till at least the middle of 2021 though.
      Keep safe!

      • Thanks you for your email David.
        I would be very interested in some of the original watercolours when you have finished
        the book.
        My first trip abroad on my own after leaving
        University was to Egypt, and although this was over fifty years ago it left a lasting impression on me.
        Do you have any images of the subjects that
        I mentioned that you could send me.
        Please keep me in touch.
        Thank you and best regards.

        • Hello Philip,

          I have still a lot to do on the Egyptian images – these will include some of the major tourist sites such as Luxor, Philae and Abu Simbel, but also deep penetration into the desert as far as the Sudanese and Libyan borders and the Great Sand Sea. I should have most of them done by late summer I would think, so that would probably be the best time to see images. I can get in touch with you when I have several done, if you wish.

          Kind regards,

  6. Hi David and Jenny thank you for this great idea starting with Carn Llidi, which was the first place we joined you, on a painting holiday 2012 . I have been working on pastel portraiture over the last year but this challenge has inspired me to get the watercolours out.
    Best wishes Rosemarie and David

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