Painting at Shadbolt Park


I managed to make the bike journey with my fully loaded panniers, MDF board tied on top, easel/folding chair strapped to my back. I’m surprised that I didn’t do a wheelie.  This park is a haven for dog walkers. I had one dog jump up and put his paws on my sketchpad. Many of them sniffed around my belongings for treats. It took me some time to set up. Then I dropped some watercolour paints onto the ground, grass sticking to the pans. The board for my painting then fell and cracked me on the head. I lost my rubber amongst the leaves. Pigeons fought in the tree above me and were delivering gifts of white paint on my new panniers. Bag of Doo-doo!

I settled after a luke warm coffee (flask broken?). I started to sketch out the house and trees. At this point I was being to finickity with tiny details on the house – counting sash windows, measuring lengths of door, width of wall, height of gutter, angle of roof……

I looked at the roof and bricks and stopped sketching. Was it worth putting in all that detail? I started to paint but It felt like I was rushing things. I put a blue down for the sky then realised that the yellow for the leaves was just going to be absorbed by the blue and turn green. This is when I realised it had all gone pair shaped – and decided to start a new study.

After a much needed break consisting of  ham sandwich avec crisps, I  moved position into the sunshine for want of a better angle/compostion. I paced around, taking photos here and there, saying hello to the various dogs and their walkers going past. I settled for a view where the tree was more dominant than the house, which is now a doctors surgery. I’m not sure that anyone local  who is registered there would want a painting of the surgery. Maybe I should approach the doctors to see if they would want it hanging in the waiting room. Much nicer than posters about getting rid of head lice.

Once in the sun I really got going again, blocking in the tree first then the house. Not the traditional background method but I’ve found this alternative useful in keeping colours stronger.  As I was painting this a fox cub was constantly whining behind me in the hedges somewhere.

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I ran out of water so I decided to call it a day. I’m going to work on the tree trunk/branches and work into the yellow leaves a bit more.

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