Monday, 16 April 2007

The Annual Dilemma

The Great Moss (watercolour, sketchbook)

I'm no great shakes at watercolour; something which I think is adequately demonstrated by this example from my sketchbook. I'm not much of a plein air painter either. I think I turned to the sky over the Great Moss in desperation. I couldn't face looking into the wood behind me, so I looked out onto the peat bog. And watercolour seemed to be the only medium to hand to deal with the dramatic sky. I have little practice with it and I don't think the result is terribly good.

But it's come to that time of year when I start going through my materials wondering what to take on the annual Compo & Clegg Painting Week.

Last year we went to Grasmere in The Lakes, but there was little to show for it when I came back The best was a drawing I posted here.

The Great Moss watercolour sketch was done in South West Scotland in 2005. I also did this:

Dead Tree, Duntrune (4B pencil, sketchbook)

I think this is a much more confident piece of work which probably benefits from having no colour. But colour isn't always a problem. A few years earlier I did this in an old quarry:

Rock Form, Ford Moss (coloured Conte, sketchbook)

I suspect what it all comes down to is the subject matter and my old enemy, Green. Difficult to get away from Green in The Lakes, though. This year it's Langdale. I expect that, at the last minute, I'll just throw my usual drawing materials in the car and do what I always do, but it would be nice to push the boundaries of what I do, just for once.


ian gordon said...

I must say I can't cope with water colour. The occasional sketch works out, but I've never managed a "final painting" with them.

And I dislike the style of water colour that dominates the gallery shops; that graphic one where everyone's work looks the same, very popular on TV programmes.

Mr Zip said...

I've never been one for the classic English school (although I may make an exception for Cotman): a bit too wishy-washy for me. I prefer somebody like John Piper, John Blockley or the mixed media approach of, say, Christine Woodside.

Not sure if I know what you mean by the style that's popular on TV programmes - if it's daytime, I don't watch.