Happy New Year, and happy new painting!

Happy New Year to all my subscribers, I hope your festive season was joyous and healthy, and that the transition back to normality isn’t too distressing!

After a few months unable to paint due to health and time restrictions, I was really hoping to start 2015 off with a painting, and I have. I didn’t have to venture far from home for my subject matter – this scene is just at the end of my street. I like how the stairs are framed by the trees, and how the lawn catches the light on the lower level.

I stood in the street with my sketchbook and sketched this scene several times to work out the composition, values, and what to leave out or change. This is a first for me – in the past I’ve worked from photographs and started drawing directly onto the paper I intend to paint. I have to say, I’m a convert to sketching first already – it was amazing to me how many problems I was able to solve and decisions I was able to make at this stage, without messing up my “good” paper.

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When I was happy with the sketch, I came inside and did the drawing and painting from my sketch. I used my new Lamy Safari fountain pen (thanks, Santa!) and really enjoyed getting to know it and the marks it can make. Once the drawing was done, I added colour with gouache, although very much diluted, so it could just as easily have been watercolour.

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This painting will go off to a member of the Postcard Art Group, and I’ll start thinking about the next one!

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