Wednesday, July 28, 2010

close up of the undergrowth

close up of the left hand section of undergrowth in the previous painting of a moorland lane

I've been asked how I did the grass and leaves in that last painting - which isn't a simple answer!

I first scribbled the leaves and blades in loosely in pale colours, used a bit of candle wax as a resist to save some of the whites and then worked on the negative spaces, creating further fragments of leaf or grass within them.

I then scribbled loose lines of coloured pencil and white pen to try to describe the tangle of leaves and the depth and overlapping of elements.

This is a section that's about 2.5 inches so you are seeing it larger than life here - and looking very scruffy :>) reduced back down to size it sort of works.

Because I like drawing, I very very rarely do a 'pure' watercolour. I just like to go back in with those final drawn marks and scumbles of colour.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Watercolour: Single track road leading down to Pendeen from the moor

Lane leading down to Pendeen, watercolour/mixed media, in 12x9inch Canson sketchbook, Vivien Blackburn

I love the lanes leading down off the moor, seeing the sea ahead, the horizon often indistinct - a blur of blueness.

Hedges, stone walls covered with banked earth, stones show through in places, bushes and hundreds of wild flowers, towering above your head; quick glimpses of fields or sea through gateways, small stone farmhouses and ruined mine engine houses - the view changes with every twist in the road.

On the hillside to the left you can just see Pendeen lighthouse, the one I sketched close up.

I've kept this Canson sketchbook just for sketching in Cornwall and it's like revisiting when I flip through.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Porth Nanven, watercolour and mixed media

detail from Porth Nanven sketch, the road down, watercolour, mixed media


detail of the cliff, Porth Nanven, watercolour, mixed media


detail of raised beach from the ice age, smooth boulders, watercolour, mixed media


Whole sketch, Porth Nanven, watercolour and mixed media, 24 x 9 inches, Vivien Blackburn

This is a double page watercolour sketch of one of my favourite places - the graphite sketch of the previous post was done from slightly further down the hill, closer to the little beach.

The sea was vivid greeny blues, the grass full of wild flowers, the wind was blowing, it was warm.

The rounded boulders are from a raised beach from the ice age and it's illegal to remove stones as it's a site of archeological interest.

The lane down is single track and steep, running alongside and above the little stream, the Cot, on it's steep, tumbling way to the sea down at the cove. Further up the hill where it is sheltered there are trees and lush growth. Here where the winds come straight off the Atlantic, no trees.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Porth Nanven, graphite drawing in moleskine A4 sketchbook


Light on the sea at Porth Nanven, graphite in A4 moleskine

This one is a simple pencil sketch, looking at the light on the sea and the little stream that tumbles down the valley and comes out onto the beach here.

The rocks offshore are The Brisons.

I rarely do a landscape in pencil alone so it was an interesting challenge.

Next I'll show you a watercolour of the same beach but from slightly higher up the valley and a panoramic view.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pendeen Lighthouse in watercolour/mixed media

I sketched the lighthouse at Pendeen 2 days running in very different light and weather conditions.

Detail of sketch of Pendeen Lighthouse in watercolour/mixed media. Vivien Blackburn

This detail shows the single track lane leading along the clifftop to the lighthouse.


The sea at the foot of the cliff was this beautiful colour, while out at sea areas were intensely dark.

The cliffs fall steeply away, covered with wildflowers.


and the whole double page, 24x9 ins

.... and one done the previous day in very different light, from slightly nearer - pearly colours, with the sky and sea merging

I do love our changing light :>)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gwenver, next to Sennen Cove

Gwenver (White Sand Bay) from the cliff top, watercolour/mixed media, 24 x 10 ins, Vivien Blackburn

Sorry for the absence - life got in the way.

This sketch of Gwenver (Whitesand Bay), next to Sennen Cove, was done in the Canson watercolour sketchbook that I like. The paper isn't so good if you want to do an even wash over a large area as it soaks up the paint - but English skies aren't often a plain colour so I find it no problem. It was a wild and windy day, though warm, and there was a lot of foam and wild white breakers.

Details:





It really is a beautiful place.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Jenny Cook, Woodcarving, Open Studio

Today I went to the Open Studio of a very very talented local woodcarver, Jenny Cook, who is in one of the groups I belong to.

These 2 are details of one I would have dearly loved to have bought - but can't afford :(




And below is the whole piece.

It brings back vivid memories of Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta. I lived in Malta in my teens and Grand Harbour holds special memories - it's a spectacular harbour with fortifications by the Knights of St John from 16C

There were also a lovely series of local cottages ....


lighthouses ....

gorgeous little cupboards, painted beautifully ....

flowers ..... I nearly bought one that I really couldn't afford but was saved from myself when someone else bought it :>( ......


The work is mainly made from reclaimed wood, carved and painted.

Jenny's studio is a converted stable in the garden of her cottage and I am very very deeply seriously envious! it looks out onto beautiful cottage garden flowers and is light and spacious and far far tidier than I could ever manage!



You can visit Jenny's website here

What do you think?

Friday, July 02, 2010

Thistles, Digital images: Variations


Life has been very hectic with lots too much work just lately so painting has been on the back burner along with my blog.

This is a series of experiments with adding colour to the thistle sketch in the previous post.









Back to painting very soon I hope :>)