David Bellamy – Painting massed trees in a landscape

 Most of the time I find there is too much action happening and not enough talking – it’s great fun, but leaves little time for communicating, and there is not enough room in this blog to cover everything. I’ll have to leave my sketching adventures in Snowdonia of last week for the next blog.    

On Sunday in Aberedw we had an event to raise money for the Ukrainian refugees. We are only a tiny village but we raised over £1,000 and will be trying to get another event organised soon in which I hope to be able to sell paintings in support of these unfortunate people. It’s hardly believable that this is happening in Europe in the 21st century, and sadly we have a pretty poor political representative locally, so I’ve been active in ruffling some political feathers as well.

As with Covid, it is amazing how art, like nature, can help us in wartime, whether to take our mind off the dangers of war, or  perhaps cooling our anger at the appalling and brutal actions of dictators like Putin. With spring about to burst upon us it’s a good time to get out into the landscape. One of the things that causes many students problems is when trees are massed together. Trying to make sense of it all can seem unsurmountable at times.

 In this section of a painting you will see the varying tones on the four blocks of conifers, the strength of tones suggesting a sense of depth in the scene, aided by a feeling of a misty day. It’s usually a good idea to include a bright colour amongst duller ones as you can see in the bottom centre. The light is coming from the left so the edges on the right-hand side of the trees have been kept soft, while those to the left are harder-edged where they are caught in the sunshine. The bright yellow foliage does not appear in the centre of the full painting as that would not be compositionally helpful.

 My watercolour course in Builth Wells from 3rd to 8th April still has a few vacancies, and anyone who would like to join us on a non-residential basis will be welcome. The Caer Beris Manor Hotel will charge a modest fee for refreshments and hotel facilities, plus a tuition fee of £215. You can check the course information on my website and book the course with the hotel on 01982 552601  We shall be using the hotel ballroom as a studio this time, so there is plenty of room for us all to work and keep apart.

4 thoughts on “David Bellamy – Painting massed trees in a landscape

  1. Hello David
    Thankyou for sorting out the problem I always have with painting massed trees.
    It’s all about ression which you demonstrate very clearly, get the tonal balance correct and you have a convincing painting which we aim to aquive
    Sorry I cannot be with you on your courses these day, you may recall me on the day at Porth Clais may years ago. Your courses are always so inspirational
    Kind Regards John & Margaret

    • Hello John and Margaret,
      It’s lovely to hear from you, and I’m glad that the massed trees items was useful. I fully understand you are not so mobile these days – we had such lovely, fun times on the courses. I’ve just finished my first course since Covid began, hence the delay.
      I tried to send this earlier but I don’t think it went, so if you have two messages that’s the reason. I get rather confused by these contrivances, especially when they are in American!!!
      Best wishes,

  2. Hi David,

    This is Roger Young – you may recall from Berol Ltd back in the 80s. I still have your lovely books and I am still painting off and on. I am 83 now so not as active and mobile as I used to be. I was impressed with your website and I am delighted to see that you have been so successful. I hope this message gets to you. Fingers crossed. I’d love to hear how you are doing. Thinking of you (and David Paris Craig) often as I get older and more reflective.

    Warmest regards

  3. Hello Roger,
    How lovely to hear from you again. I do recall those days working with you folks at Berol, and if fact only this week I was relating to students on a course how good it was to be using your products, especially the fabulous Karisma watersoluble pencils (with which I was demonstrating, as I still have many left!). I was so disappointed when you were taken over.
    It’s good to hear that you are painting – I will be demonstrating at the Patchings Art Festival in Nottinghamshhire in July, so if you happen to be around it would be lovely to see you again. We had so much fun at those Islington shows.

    All best wishes,


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