Thursday, 30 October 2014

Another walk round the corner - August, September, October

So . . . having finished the photo diary of our walks across local fields, I find we are still taking the walks and I'm still taking photos.  Seems a shame not to share them!

the first field - August
© Teresa Newham
The August walk took us through fields of ripened wheat bordered by lush hedgerows.

the old oak - August
© Teresa Newham
Everything was waiting for harvest and the summer skies were full of fluffy white clouds:

the second field - August
© Teresa Newham
While the blackberries faded in the hedgerows, new berries were to be seen - heralding the Autumn soon to come.

first of the berries - August
© Teresa Newham
By September, everything in the first field had been cut down to stubble!

the first field - September
© Teresa Newham
The oak tree was still in full leaf at the far side of the field.

the old oak - September
© Teresa Newham
They were ploughing the second field; we could hear the tractor going back and forth as we took our walk, and the driver gave us a cheery wave!

the second field - September
© Teresa Newham
We spotted this tiny snail basking in the early Autumn sunshine - it was still quite warm:

snail on a fern - September
© Teresa Newham
October, and the first field is looking somewhat unkempt.  I wonder what the farmer will be doing with it next?

the first field - October
© Teresa Newham
The leaves on the old oak are thinning out - earlier than last year, I think.

the old oak - October
© Teresa Newham
The second field, all ploughed, with ferns and bracken collapsing at the entrance:

the second field - October
© Teresa Newham
And finally, deep in the ancient woodland at the far point of our walk, we found some fungi pushing up through the leaves:

fungi - October
© Teresa Newham

Thursday, 2 October 2014

pen & wash: Asters

So, #HertsOpenStudios 2014 is finally over! The feedback I've received this year has been "you really should make more pen & wash pieces", and my final demo piece was exactly that.

no asters were harmed in the making of this drawing!
© Teresa Newham
I brought some asters in from home and tried various ways of drawing them in pencil, until I was satisfied I had the right approach - quite graphic and not too detailed.  The essence of the aster, you might say!

adding more and more colour to the drawing
© Teresa Newham
I went over the drawing in pen, then coloured in the flowers, using a thinner wash to portray the lighter areas. I did the same with the stems in sap green, then added some of the pink to the stems, referring back to the original flowers all the time (I popped the flowers back into water as soon as I could, and they made it safely back to their vase at home with no ill effects).

asters - plain background
© Teresa Newham
One visitor, peering over my shoulder just after I'd painted the flowers, reckoned I could have finished the picture right then, and although I felt that was too early, I was tempted to leave well alone once the stems were completed.  But there was still one Open Studios session to go . . .

adding colour to the background
© Teresa Newham
In the end I decided to add a background, just to see what the effect would be, and after laying down a yellow wash with lots of water sloshing everywhere, I dropped in some of the original pink and green to add more interest and tie the various elements of the painting together.  I rather like the result, and have found a mount for it already!

the finished piece, as it will be mounted
© Teresa Newham

A huge thank you  to the two hundred or so visitors who came to see our exhibition at Artscape and to meet us during our #HertsOpenStudios sessions - and to Gurmeet and his staff at Artscape in Harpenden for making it possible!