Painting ‘the’ landscape
Words can only hint at the magic of this region; paintings can do a little more, but it is a lifelong battle to do justice to somewhere so unique, so magnificent, and to moments so fleeting that often there is no time even to take out a camera. I use sketches and digital photos along with my intimate knowledge of the area, to work up finished pieces in the studio. I use 4 main types of medium, each one quite distinct: Coloured pencils Probably my favourite medium, although also the most time-consuming. I use Caran d’Ache pencils and use many layers to build up a detailed, sharp and yet delicate image. Pastels I use soft (chalk) pastels on special ‘pastel card’ which is like a very fine sandpaper. I prefer very soft pastels, with Sennelier being my current favourite. I find pastels ideal for the colours and textures of the area, and especially for the big, dramatic skies which have become my trademark. My pastels are bold and tend to work best on a larger scale. For smaller paintings I often use pastel pencils, with the result falling somewhere between my soft pastels and my coloured pencil drawings. Occasionally I also use oil pastels on rough paper. Scraper board A black board which reveals white underneath when scraped with a special sharp tool, the end result can resemble a woodcut, although the scraper boards I produce are originals and not prints. These pictures are usually quite small, even miniature and are very collectible! Inks My ink paintings are executed in a completely different style to my other work being looser, freer and with more emphasis on emotion than representation. These are often painted quickly on location, sometimes worked up later with the addition of other media. Whenever possible I use handmade paper as I find the irregular texture can add interest to a fairly simple image. Watercolour Recently I have begun working in watercolour. I love the versatilty of this medium as well as the challenge as it ‘does its own thing’. I tend to use it in a similar way to my inks: very wet, letting the colours run together and create their own beauty on the paper. Sometimes – though not always – I’ll then tighten things up with a pen or a drier brush. With watercolours I work quickly, on the spot and find they are perfect for expressing misty mountain light.