An Autumn Ride

I’ve been very busy in the studio lately, as I always am when ever an exhibition is on the horizon! From Friday 29th November through to Sunday 1st December five studios here in Dersingham will be open to the public as part of the Dersingham Christmas Art Trail. One of those studios will be mine, so I hope you can call in and say hello.

An Autumn Ride – Manor Road, Dersingham. Watercolour 11ins. x 15ins.

I’ll be posting some of those new paintings here in the next few days, but I thought I’d start by showing you this scene, which was featured on the cover of the Dersingham Data magazine. The Data is a little A5 handbook that contains lots of information about the village, including parish council members, groups that meet regularly, doctors surgery details, all that sort of handy information, published twice a year. It is edited by my good friend Tony Bubb, who asked me to provide something for the cover of the autumn edition.

The brief was “it must be Dersingham, but not the church or anything else that’s been done before!” One afternoon I went for a walk round the village, armed with my camera, and pausing at the Tithe Barn in Manor Rd. I had just decided that it was a rather uninteresting looking building when two cyclists came along. A composition immediately occurred to me, and I just managed to catch one cyclist with my camera as they zoomed past. A bit of artist’s license and you see the result here. Painted quite quickly to keep it feeling free, in my “traditional” watercolour palette of ultramarine blue, raw sienna, burnt sienna and light red.

Autumn Pen and Wash

The trees are turning and starting to show some nice autumn colours. Pottering in my studio the other day I was searching for painting inspiration and started flicking through my piles of photographs, when I came across one that I’d taken of Castle Rising church. The photo was snapped in early Spring, when the trees were still completely bare, but I thought that it might be nice to put some leaves on the trees and add a bit of autumn colour.

Autumn at Castle Rising church
Autumn at Castle Rising church. Pen and Wash 10ins x 12ins

You can see the result here. I did a sketch using a Faber-Castell Pitt artist pen, with black ink, and then applied some simple watercolour washes. I tried not to go too over-the-top with the autumn colours as, after all, this is Olde England not New England! Some purples made from Light Red and Ultramarine work quite well with the orange of Burnt Sienna. Greens were made from Ultramarine and Cadmium Yellow Pale.

These pen and wash studies are quick to do and I always enjoy them. Ideally, I would love to be sitting there by the church with pen and brush in hand, but that isn’t always possible. Anyway, working from a photo gives you the opportunity to change things around and not just “paint it as it is”. Why not have a go at making an autumn scene yourself, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!