Sussex hay bales watercolour painting

After what seems like an age, I finally managed to tear myself away from my sketchbook and return to something a little larger. I had on a shelf a piece of paper I’d already stretched. It had been there since well before my back went – so a good six weeks or so. When I inspected it I saw that it was covered in a thick layer of dust. I wasn’t sure whether to paint on it or take the hoover to it!

I can’t deny that I felt a little nervous about the prospect of ‘upsizing’ so took a little bit of time deciding what to paint. I settled on this landscape view which I had recently done a sketch of:

Sussex hay bales sketch

And how the sketch looked with a mount thrown on it:

So amazing what a simple mount can do!

I’d come across this view while driving back home to Brighton from a weekend’s camping and recall screeching to a halt (safely of course!) as I came over the crest of a hill to be greeted by this wonderful view. It was a quiet country road so I just had time to jump out of the car and take a few photos before any other traffic came and before my daughter’s cries of ‘Can we just go now Dad!?’ from the back of the car completely shattered the tranquility of the moment!

I must admit that one of the appeals of the view was how quickly it was to sketch out! I was also a little concerned that the paper may not be in the best possible condition and didn’t want to risk investing too much time and effort if the paper might be damaged in any way. I needn’t have worried about the paper, it was absolutely fine, which is more than can be said about my painting ability, which felt as rusty as my paper was dusty! (Apologies for my shockingly poor nod to National Poetry Day tomorrow – think I’d best stick to painting, or even the day job for that matter!)

Sussex hay bales

I had hoped for the sky to have a nice free and easy feel to it, but I ended up having a bit of a wrestle with it to be honest and almost gave up at one point!

I’m pleased that I persevered though. Once the other elements were all in place, which happened with relative ease compared to the sky, I quite like how this turned out.

I’ve already stretched up some more quarter sheets in anticipation of more painting to come – though this may not be in the immediate future as I’m away this weekend.

Although I’ll be separated from my paints, brushes and paper, I’ll have my camera to hand and, weather permitting, hope I may be able to get some new references to work from!

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Thoughts on Sussex hay bales watercolour painting

13 thoughts on “Sussex hay bales watercolour painting”

  1. A lovely bit of painting, John. Not a shaky hand in sight – the sign of a true master – and back to a great level of mastery. I much prefer these to your urban scenes. All excellent (except for the stray blobs of water and grey splashed randomly in the foreground, which I know some people like but look like stray blobs of water and grey splashed in the foreground to me).

    1. Thansk so much for this Rob, so pleased that you like the top half of it! It’s funny because as I was randomly splashing my blobs of grey, I was slightly cursing my waywardness as some of the stray blobs went exactly where i didn’t want them to go! I should know better than to try to pull the wool over the eyes of a master of surface texture such as yourself!

  2. John, this is simply beautiful! Today we were getting our first real fall (autumn) storm, and the sky looked quite like yours. It’s just beautiful! I love it. You nailed it perfectly. Thanks!

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