Tag Archives: Plein Air Sketching

Landscape Artist of the Year, 4 hours to do a painting. Eek!

Big news from an urban Landscape Artist!

Back in April I submitted an application to a company called StoryVault Films for a landscape artist competition. I saw an advert and thought,”That looks interesting!”. The deadline was close but I wasn’t sure, especially as the first part was due to be filmed during Bucks Open studios when I was already going to be very busy. After talking it through with Andrew, my other half, I decided to go for it! After all, what did I have to lose?

Well, I went and got through and now

I’m a contestant in Sky Arts

“Landscape Artist of the Year Competition”!

I’m one of the eight in the weird pod things. Which look pretty cool, if I may say so. Although they are not as weather resistant as they would have you believe.
It’s been something of a whirlwind between getting the news in May that I was taking part and the actual filming. Plus all the secrecy. I was allowed to tell family and friends but not publicise it on Social media. Hence the mystery.

This is one of my submission pieces, but not the one that’s in the show.

©2015-Cathy-Read-Pilgrims-A-Journey-of-a-Thousand-Miles-Begins-with-One-Step-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-61x46-cm
©2015-Cathy-Read-Pilgrims-A-Journey-of-a-Thousand-Miles-Begins-with-One-Step-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-61×46-cm £610

One of the biggest concerns I had beforehand was would I be able to complete a painting in the 4 hour time frame.

Especially when I rarely take less than a few days.

4hours, I mean, that’s not possible surely? Naturally, I decided to do some practice pieces to get my hand in.

This is the first one.

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church - finished painting
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church – finished painting

Beaconsfield Church. (See the picture being created here.)
It seemed to take forever, and much longer than the required 4 hours.

Did I tell you I was nervous?

No?
Well I was, very.

My second practice was during Open Studios in June. It occurred to me, more than once, that I needed to get some rural landscape practice in. Well, this is the one I did of some pylons by the Green Dragon Eco Centre. That’s rural enough, surely? (See the picture being created)

©2016-Cathy-Read-Country-Power-Watercolour-and-acrylic-ink-50x40cm-
©2016-Cathy-Read-Country-Power-Watercolour-and-acrylic-ink-50x40cm-

Painting time for this one was just within the required time,

so I went to the filming on 14th June for the first episode feeling a little more confident, but still very nervous.
And you can see how I got on when

The Landscape Artist of the Year airs on 11th October.

At 8pm GMT to be precise.

I’ll be there, in one of the pods. In Heat 1 at Scotney Castle and…

I can’t say any more than that at the moment.

To keep you going, here’s one of my photos from the day

I am allowed to share, as I could have taken it at any another time.

©2016-Cathy-Read- Scotney Castle -digital image
©2016-Cathy-Read- Scotney Castle -digital image

Obviously, after the programme airs on the 11th, I’ll fill you in on the details, and share some of my photos and behind the scenes stuff.

So, remember the date 11th October at 8pm on Sky Arts!

My TV Debut!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Plein Air Sketching in Dragon Country

Plein Air Sketching #2

We’re already a week into Bucks open Studios and it’s been busy. On the first day I was at Green Dragon and decided to do some Plein Air Sketching outside our venue. The weather was perfect, a bit dull but warm with the sun making the odd appearance.

This is the view.

©2016 - Cathy Read - Getting ready to paint at Green Dragon - the view- digital image
©2016 – Cathy Read – Getting ready to paint at Green Dragon – the view- digital image

Inspiring isn’t it!

*sarcastic look*

Not quite my choice, fairly flat but with a lovely trail of pylons. The cars might have been interesting, if I had limitless time. I decided to simplify, as who knows how long they would remain.

This is the sketch taking shape, aided by a few coffees.

It’s interesting to hear people’s reactions to pylons, with many feeling they spoiled the view. Sketching was slow going with several corrections before I was happy with the layout.

©2016 - Cathy Read - Pencil drawing for plein air painting at Green Dragon- digital image
©2016 – Cathy Read – Pencil drawing for plein air painting at Green Dragon- digital image

Then the paints came out.

©2016 - Cathy Read - Painting begins en plein air painting at Green Dragon- digital image
©2016 – Cathy Read – Painting begins en plein air painting at Green Dragon- digital image

Before leaving it to dry.

Instead of leaving it overnight, I used kitchen towel to blot away the excess ink and speed up the drying time.

Here’s the masking fluid being taken off

©2016 - Cathy Read - Removing the masking en plein air painting at Green Dragon- digital image
©2016 – Cathy Read – Removing the masking en plein air painting at Green Dragon- digital image

 

And finally the finished painting.

©2016 - Cathy Read - Green Dragon Pylons - Painting finished- watercolour and acrylic ink
©2016 – Cathy Read – Green Dragon Pylons – Painting finished- watercolour and acrylic ink


The Green Dragon exhibition will be finishing on Sunday 19th June (Today) but the rest of the open studios venues are open until 26th June.
I’ve work at Chafor Wine, Claydon House, Vitreus Art and the Woolpack.

I will be demonstrating at Green Dragon again today (Sunday 19th June), Painting a Citroen H van. I’d love to see you if you’re able to make it.

Details are in the Art Trail.

These are the times and places I’ll be present and demonstrating. The venues are open at other times. Full venue details and opening times are in the Art Trail Leaflet.

Sunday 19th June 10am-5pm – Green Dragon
Monday 20th June 2-5pm – Woolpack
Tuesday 21st June 11am 2:30pm – Claydon House
Wednesday 22nd June 11am-5pm – Chafor Vinyard
Thursday 23rd – June no demos
Friday 24th June 11am-2pm – The Woolpack
3- 5pm – Chafor Vinyard
Saturday 25th 10am-5pm – Claydon House
Sunday 26th 11am-5pm – Chafor Vinyard

Hope to see you somewhere over the next week,

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Plein Air Painting at Beaconsfield Church – the Results

Plein air painting requires a degree of endurance.

Which was certainly required when I set up my easel here, by Beaconsfield church on a chilly Sunday lunchtime

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church Plein Air WIP 1- 50x40cm-600
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church Plein Air – beginning of the sketching.

This was a test run. I’m aiming to finish a painting over a 6 hour period with a 4 hour time limit on the actual painting activity. One day I will explain why, but not today, you’ll have to be patient. I only had 3 hours to work in. I knew it wasn’t going to be a complete test but I have to start somewhere.

After 1 hour 45 minutes, including a break to thaw out my fingers, I had the pencil sketch.

I simplified the drawing as much as I could to fit the time frame. This was what I’d done by the time I stopped for the day.

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church Plein Air finished drawing- 50x40cm -600
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church Plein Air finished drawing phase with the subject in the background

Back in the studio, I spent another 1 hour and 30 minutes masking it up.

I had a workshop the following day so took it along to use in the demonstration. Timings get a bit fuzzy now but I spent about 20 minutes on the first painting stage.

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church WIP- 50x40cm - Watercolour and Acrylic ink -600
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church first painting done

I then went in with more inks to define the windows and foreground features. 10-15 minutes perhaps then I did the windows after some drying time.. That was all I was able to do at the workshop.

After a hairy drive back to the studio with a wet painting, I was relieved to see nothing had shifted in transit.

The next day I finished the painting and left it to dry. I’d promised the workshop participants I’d bring it the following week so they could see the grand reveal.
Tuesday last, I was able to finish.

Here are the detail shots after the clean up. Some of the graves…

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church WIP detail graves- 50x40cm - Watercolour and Acrylic ink
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church – detail graves- 50x40cm – Watercolour and Acrylic ink

Then the lovely porch…

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church WIP porch detail- 50x40cm - Watercolour and Acrylic ink
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church WIP porch detail- 50x40cm – Watercolour and Acrylic ink

And, after the clean up, this is the overall result…

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church WIP 2- 50x40cm - Watercolour and Acrylic ink
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church

I ended up needing to add some white so the finished painting looks like this..

©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church - finished painting
©2016-Cathy Read- Beaconsfield Church – finished painting

So, what do you think?

Did I do it in the 4 hours?
Not quite, but I think I should be quicker next time.

Next time I’ll show you how my experiment with gold leaf went on a painting of Big Ben.

Save