This original watercolour painting has been inspired by my many painting trips to the picturesque city of Durham. The walk up Saddler Street takes you to Durham Cathedral.
The wintery sky is reflected in the cobbled street where shoppers bring life and activity to the scene.
This watercolour painting depicts Scarinish Harbour, Tiree, one of the Inner Hebrides which we visited in 2017.
Within an hour or so of landing in a Sea Otter flown in from Glasgow Airport I painted a quick watercolour of the harbour in one of my hand made, leather bound sketchbooks.
The little red boat is apparently the most painted vessel on the island.
Earlier this summer I painted a small sketchbook watercolour painting of Seaton Sluice, a picturesque harbour on the North East Coast.
As well as being a family day out, it was a typical summers day in the north east, patches of blue sky with sunlight bursting through dark threatening clouds.
I decided to work the sketch up into a larger 14” x 10” studio painting on an Arches Watercolour Block which I made a video of showing the different stages. You can watch the video here on YouTube.
Grey Street in Newcastle has been described by the architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as the finest curved street in Europe.
I never tire of sitting down to capture its fine sweeping curve and Georgian columns in all seasons.
Painting Grey Street outdoors is a real challenge and not for the faint hearted. As I’m writing this, I’m getting tempted to get out there again!
Watch detailed video of this watercolour painting
A lively watercolour showing the magnificent Cathedral under a burst of sunlight.
The figures have been loosely rendered to suggest movement and busyness and also to provide a sense of scale and heightened drama to the scene.
A limited palette helps to retain simplicity to what could easily become an overly cluttered composition because of the detail in the architecture.
Not for Sale
I recall painting a watercolour of this tree in snow as a Christmas Card for the Marie Curie Cancer fund over 10 years ago. This stretch of Hadrian’s Wall is bleak but spectacular in its barreness and stark beauty.
Sycamore Gap is also known as Robin Hood’s Tree for its appearance in the film Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner.
I’ve since painted the famous tree of the year again in winter sunlight. My viewpoint is taken from the Military Road which shows the tree of the year nestling in the famous gap in the wall. Sunlight is catching the clouds behind and creating an overall feeling of warmth to the painting.
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One of my favourite artists is Edward Seago who died in 1974. His simple yet effective watercolours are a delight to behold.
Sometimes when teaching a watercolour class I demonstrate Seago's techniques for the pupils to try and emulate. His methods are not as simple as they look, however it's still worth attempting to copy a Seago to try and learn from the master.
I've been to Venice on numerous occasions and painted scenes like this working directly onto hand made paper with my brush loaded with colour.
“The Response” is a very moving World War One Grade II memorial commissioned by Sir George Renwick, a local ship owner who gave the memorial to the city to commemorate the raising of the World War I Commercial Battalions of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers by the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce and also to celebrate the safe return of his five sons from the Great War.
The more personal aspect of my painting of “The Response” is the group of figures on the right. I’ve painted myself, my daughter Louise and her children Ewan and Anya.
The last soldier behind Louise is my Great Grandfather Thomas Reed who served in the conflict. He was shot in the chest but miraculously survived the Great War.
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