I have always liked the calligraphic tangle of the hedges when they are sihouetted against the sky. Recent snowfall meant even more opportunities with amazing light and the landscape simplified and hidden by the snow, throwing hedges into relief.
Above is a detail of a double page sketch in the lovely Stillman and Birn Beta A4 hardback sketchbook. This paper is so forgiving and the watercolour works beautifully with it. It allowed me to work through wet washes with charcoal pencil - something that tears many papers, leaving holes. Some of the hedge is paint, some tinted charcoal.
First snow, more on the way, winter light: silhouetted hedges in watercolour and Derwent tinted charcoal in a Stillman and Birn A4 beta hardback sketchbook
The earlier warm golden glow of the low sun is covered by clouds, threatening more snow to come. The spiky calligraphic marks of the hedge and the underlying form of the bank, with some of the taller dried grasses showing through, interested me. Colours are more muted. The mix of watercolour and Derwent tinted pastel pencils were ideal to get the subtle colours that now showed. Most of the white is the paper but there is a little white gouache to regain some of the negative spaces in the hedge - I'm a messy worker so of course smudged my charcoal a bit.
I used the ochre, black and brown tinted charcoal pencils by Derwent - I absolutely love these for this sort of scene and light, the colours are just perfect. They combine well with watercolour too, allowing me to add drawn marks that gel with the paint because charcoal is an innately painterly medium. Sometimes I drew through a wet wash, making a darker mark, sometimes over dry paper and sometimes brushed the charcoal out a little with water to make a wash.
This may be done as a large canvas in mixed media.
One friend asked 'are you going to do any more to it?' - and I'm not. Would you?