I saw this amazing view when out for a walk at the world famous Crown Mines at Botallack in Cornwall. These have been even more famous now as they were recently used in the BBC's adaptation of Poldark, although on the particular day we visited there was no sign of Aiden Turner, sigh!
I started off by under-painting the whole canvas a deep yellow to give the painting that warm glow of looking into the sunlight
I then drew my outline roughly in pencil and started to block in the colours thinly in watered down acrylic paint. It really helps to lay those colours down roughly and quickly at the beginning to give a sense of how the picture will feel at the end.
A close up of my roughly laid down colours of the sea...
It is usually best when working on an acrylic land/sea scape to work from background forwards so I always start with the sky. This sky was particularly tricky as I wanted the viewer to be looking directly into the sun. I had to make sure that the sun looked dazzling and build up the fair weather clouds over the blue of the sky
Next I needed to concentrate on the cliffs right in the background, making sure that they were light enough to convey distance...
I tried to make them as light as I thought they would be but i knew I could go back later if I needed to with a very thin wash of white and water if they were still too dark in comparison to the foreground.
I then worked on the greenery of the nearest cliffs. I tried to show the sunlight catching certain areas and throwing others into shade...
I really enjoyed painting the tiny silhouettes of the tin mine ruins on the horizon! I used ultra small brushes for painting miniatures to do this.
Next I started working on the cliffs and rocks in the foreground. I was looking particularly at painting the contrasting deep shade and the light glistening on the top of the wet stone
It was now time to turn my attention to the sea. Here is a detail of the waves breaking onto the rocks....
Once again, whilst painting the sea I really had to concentrate on getting the contrasting light and shade just right. I used thin washes of darker blue to indicate the waves in the distance, and thicker mixes of white and yellow to show that low sunlight reflecting on the water.
Finally I built up the detail of the Crown Mines right in the foreground. I love panting textured, stone walls, its a real pleasure of mine!
The finished painting.
The original has sold but prints are available from my website, click here
This acrylic ink on paper drawing was created using just one colour, Payne's Grey. I really like drawing tonally sometimes. It gives a completely different look to an artwork and can turn it into a very different image than if it had been in colour.
I wanted this view to really draw the viewer in, to make them feel that they were right in the picture, so a good strong drawing with accurate perspective was essential. I sketched with pencil first.
I made sure I knew where my vanishing points were and kept checking my photo reference to get my proportions and angles right. Often when drawing a street scene which it doesn't quite look right, it's the perspective that needs working on. It's really important to learn how to draw perspective to make believable street scenes and there are many books and you tube videos to help with this.
Once I felt like the pencil drawing was right, I started to ink in the outline using a dipping pen and nibs in various thicknesses
It used only Daler Rowney FW Acrylic ink in Payne's grey on Fabriano Artistico HP paper. This hot press paper is my favourite to use as it is so smooth and also absorbant and is great for detailed drawings and paintings alike!
I used the dipping pen just to do the outline and some of the textures, but none of the shading. The drawing looks fairly flat at this point.
Once the outline was completed and the pencil marks erased, I started to use brushes to build up the shading and really bring the drawing to life. as i was only using one colour, I got the various shades by thinning down with water. For the sky I used the 'wet on wet' technique.
I had to be very careful to make the tones in the background not too strong. The only disadvantage to using acrylic in is that if your colour is too strong, it cannot be removed! It is best to be cautious and build up the tones very slowly to avoid making mistakes.
With the addition of light and shade, the drawing really starts to come to life!
Finally I was finished. I was pleased with the dramatic clouds and the way that the composition drew the viewer in.
This drawing is in the Lander Gallery, Truro's Open Exhibition, 17/03/16 - 16/04/16
Prints or the original are available from this website.
Whilst out exploring near where we live one March day, we found a lovely view of a lane with the trees in bud. There are many views like this one in Cornwall, and what made me want to paint this one was the promise of spring just ready to burst out. Also the I loved the composition of the lane curving through the painting, leading to who knows where, the rickety gate with glimpses of the rolling Cornish countryside beyond.
To start with I drew out the scene very accurately. I like to use photographs and any sketches I may have drawn as well as my memory when painting. I use a grid to help me scale up the drawing. It is so difficult to do this accurately by eye however experienced you are! In this case I just used 2 centre lines.
A detail of some of the intricate branches. You can see I've drawn the buds of the new leaves on the tips of the branches.
I started to lay down some colours at this stage. I worked on the sky first, then the hills in the background and then the path. It is important to work from the background forwards when painting in acrylics. I needed to work the sky first so that I could paint the branches of the trees over the top. It would have been a nightmare to paint it the other way around and paint the sky in between all those tiny branches!
As you can see, I was using thin layers of paint so that the background drawing could still be seen. I use Winsor and Newton Professional Acrylics which I prefer as they can be nice and translucent when thinned down and therefore lots of layers can be built up.
You can see here how I have built up the layers in the bush and the fields.
Next I started to work on the foreground on the left hand side. This needed to be quite a lot darker than the background to give the impression of being so much nearer. I also had to tackle all those intricate, little branches!
I started to build up the ivy on the tree trunks, again using lots of layering...
Although the foreground was dark, the foliage; ferns, lichen etc was still visible
Then I worked on the texture of the path. It was nice and gravelly which was rather satisfying to paint! I tried to put subtle shadows under the rocks to make them look 3 dimensional.
Then I started work on the right hand foreground, once again making sure that it was dark enough and building up the foliage layer by layer.
Finally I added the clumps of wild daffodils and the painting was done.
This is the professional photograph of it from which prints can be made...
This is a video of the progress of a peaceful autumnal painting based on a walk around Loe Pool on the Penrose Estate near Helston, Cornwall. I loved walking underneath the canopy of trees with their leaves just starting to fall on this late September day. I wanted to capture the feeling of calmness and serenity under these vast and majestic trees with the sunlight breaking through the leafy roof.
I found this stunning view that I really wanted to recreate, whilst walking in Truro in Cornwall. I really loved all the different textures in the scene; from the rough, decaying walls, the rusting handrail, to shiny, rippling water flowing over the rocks. I also loved the way that nature was slowly taking over all the man made structures, It was a very calm and serene scene and I hoped to capture that atmosphere.
I started by using a grid to scale up from the photograph I was using, to the piece of paper that I had pre-stretched. I knew it was very important to get the curve of the railing correct in order for the drawing to work.
Here is a detail of the buildings in the background which you can glimpse through the foliage and give a real sense of depth to the picture…
There were lots of leaves to draw!
I then started to ink in the outline using a dip pen with various nibs and sepia coloured acrylic ink…
I love the slightly random quality that a dip pen creates…
The finished ink outline…
I started to build up the colours in layers using the coloured acrylic inks. This was my first time using them in this way, and it was quite tricky to make the washes in the background pale enough, as the inks are very intense. I needed to create a sense of depth.
It took some time to build up the layers of colour…
The background and middleground was taking shape, but I needed to make sure that the foreground was nice and strong in colour and detail..
I really enjoyed creating the rusty texture on the handrail! I wanted people to be able to know what it felt like…
I left the water until last as I was quite scared to tackle it! In the end I was quite pleased with the result. I built up thin translucent washes of colour and then used the slightly opaque white acrylic ink in the foreground to create bubbles and ripples..
The finished drawing…