Cottage at Lynmouth, (Photo)
I know David has already blogged about this gorgeous old cottage in Lynmouth that we both sketched on our recent course for Alpha Painting Holidays but I cannot resist also featuring it in this, my first blog for some time. Circumstances have prevented me finding time to blog lately but it is time to rectify that.
Lynmouth (watercolour sketch)
Cottage at Lynmouth, Pastel by Jenny Keal
Those of you who know me are aware that old buildings in the landscape are my favourite subject and our recent trip to Exmoor gave me the perfect opportunity to seek out some of the best examples in the UK. This old cottage, perched high on the hill above Lynmouth harbour, seemed to almost grow out of the hillside giving it a timeless feeling.
The watercolour sketch I did included a number of the other cottages which descended the hill towards the harbour but for the final painting, which was done as a demonstration for the painting course, I decided to leave out the majority of the buildings and to focus on the one that interested me the most. The direction of the light in the photograph was confused by shadows cast by the trees so I decided to simplify things. The background and foreground were suggested with colour rather than detail.
I will be demonstrating a building in the landscape in pastel at the Sandpiper Studio on the Wirral on Friday 20th June, 2pm – 4.30pm, (scroll half way down the page for this event details) tickets are still available at £13 per head including refreshments from Julie McLean, booking details are here.
Well I didn’t win the competition organised by Cox & Kings, but they have done me a great favour by inviting me to take part. I hadn’t painted for over 6 months and this was just the spur I needed to get me started again. So thank you Katie Parsons of Cox and Kings for considering me as one of the competitors.
The winner was Kim Dellow whose entry was a skillfully crafted travel journal. I would love to own such a beautiful sketchbook and Kim’s success in the competition is well deserved. Congratulations Kim and well done to Concetta Perot, Alan Reed and Vandy Massey for their lovely contributions.
My entry for the Cox & Kings competition is finished.The final stage of any painting is a dangerous time. The temptation to put in every detail is great but it must be resisted. In the photograph which I posted on 28th October, (you can see this if you scroll back through my blog) there were a lot of trees and bushes so these have to be simplified. Also the hillsides were dotted with scrubby bushes but to include all of those would be spotty and distracting.
There was no obvious pathway leading the eye into the painting so I created one that led towards my focal point, the building. I had moved the building closer to the wadi so that it fell in a more pleasing location, directly below the main peak of the mountain and within the Golden Section. The strongest tonal contrast is on the building and I have added a figure, a Berber woman in bright clothing which I had found in my 1993 Morocco sketchbook.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this exercise and I want to thank Katie Parsons of Cox and Kings for inviting me to take part. It was the incentive I needed to get painting again after a long absence. I wish my fellow competitors good luck.
I have made further progress on my painting for the Cox & Kings Morocco competition: The middle distance in a landscape painting is often a tricky area to tackle. It’s important to keep in mind the relative size of features compared to the foreground such as trees and bushes; the colour temperature must be carefully controlled; and we must resist the temptation to render too much detail to features that are distant.
Stage 4 – middle distance
In the photograph there were very strong, sharply defined cloud shadows on the hills on the right and initially I painted these in as they were in the photograph but I quickly realised that they were drawing the eye too much and would compete with my focal point so I softened them considerably. The hills on the left were lighter in tone with less tonal contrast so there was no need to soften them too much.
The next stage will be the focal point, the building, and the foreground. See you in a few days.
Yesterday I made more progress on my painting for the Cox & Kings Morocco competition: Stage 2 – Sky: When painting landscapes, I generally work from the top of a painting downwards. This serves two purposes. Firstly it helps prevent the heel of your hand smudging the work where it rests on the support and secondly it helps create a sense of recession. If you think of the landscape in terms of distance, the objects farthest away are usually lighter in tone, cooler in colour and less distinct. Translating this into the painting process means that you use paler, cooler colours in the distance and less detail. By working down the support you can remember that meme in your choice of colour and tone.
Stage 2 – Sky
Stage 3 – The mountains: The sky was painted down over the drawn lines that defined the mountain tops. This is to ensure that there are no gaps between the sky and mountains and also to give the impression that the sky is, in effect, behind the mountains. Sticking to cooler colours and pale tones, the mountains are painted with sharp edges in places and softer edges in others so that there is not a hard line all the way across the painting. Soft edged cloud shadows helps define the ridges.
Stage 3 – the mountains
The next step will be coming soon.