Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Marlow and Henley

The weather's been good recently and I spent a nice couple of days with David Bachmann and Tim King down in the Marlow/Henley area. Although sunny, the conditions were quite testing with a biting wind whipping up along the river. The rather civilized subject matter is a marked contrast the painting battles that took place! Fortunately my tripod has a built in hook which I hang my backpack from to weigh it firmly down.

The first was done in front of the boat house of the famous Henley rowing club, looking across the river. I wiped this twice before finally getting something worth taking home. The wind was high, full 'sun on board' and the light/water kept changing every time we looked up. I plumped for the darker water effect when it went a deeper blue/purple with brownish ripples. Nice the way the wind creates those ripples on the surface although it means there isn't much reflected in the water.

 'Boathouses and rowers, Henley on Thames' - 8x14in, oil on board

Below is a small 'colour sketch' where I wanted to try and focus on the colours/tones, working quickly and avoiding unnecessary detail. This sort of study can make useful reference material to work from. I also wanted to experiment with a composition where the pathway on the left create a different angle.

'Sunshine and breeze, Marlow' , 6x10in

This next piece was done from almost the same spot as the above but I'd stood much closer to the water's edge. I wanted to try and get the whole of the spire in and make use of the sweeping line from the river bank up to the bridge.

'Sunshine and breeze, Marlow' , 8x16in

The piece below was done later in the afternoon when the light was quite rich/warm. Admittedly, it's a bit twee for my liking with the swans but they were part of the scene and provided a bit of tonal contrast (that's my excuse anyway).

'Sunshine and breeze, Marlow' , 12x16in

Whilst in the area I also dropped eight paintings off at the Hawker Gallery in Amersham and they will be shown over two exhibitions running from May 9-23rd (including work from ROI members) and June 13th-27th (Artfest in aid of local charities).