Pumpkin patch watercolour painting

Here’s a painting of a view that I had in mind after our recent visit to Poyning’s pumpkin field to pick up our annual Halloween pumpkin:

When I first painted this, I was sort of okay with it, but also a tad underwhelmed by it too! When I came back to it the following day, I felt that it was missing one of the key elements that attracted me to the view in the first place; the vibrant lush green of the field.

I tried to rectify this by glazing over the foreground area with a wash of French ultramarine and transparent yellow that combine to give an intense deep dark emerald green. I think that this did help to lift this painting and give it a little extra ‘oomph’ (that’s a technical watercolour term that some of you may be familiar with).

The view towards the Downs from the edge of Poynings Pumpkin Field

The main benefit of this final wash however was that it helped me decide on the correct colour combinations for my next painting.

This was the watercolour sketch that I shared last week and, after painting the view above, I was keen to return to this A5 sketch again and to base a larger painting on it.

Sketch, from the edge of Poyning’s pumpkin field

Here’s how I got on with the larger painting. The greens in the sketch were mainly based on a viridan green that I have in my Frazer Price Palette for convenience. In the painting below, I did use a little bit of viridian, but the lush vibrant green of the field was based on the French ultramarine and transparent yellow combination.

watercolour painting by artist John Haywood of the landscape from Poyning's pumpkin field lookng towards the South Downs.
Watercolour painting, from the edge of Poyning’s Pumpkin Field

I was quite pleased with how this turned out and certainly prefer it to the first painting. The sky is much stronger and more dramatic. I was also pleased with the foreground too and the indication of the pumpkins scattered in amongst the bracken. I think the background hills would have been more successful if they were more grey/blue rather than green, which would help them to recede into the distance more, but I didn’t feel sufficiently compelled to do any more work on this one, mainly perhaps for fear of spoiling what I already had!

1 Pumpkin field. 2 Years. 4 watercolour paintings.

Now if any of these views look at all familiar… then it could be because we visited the exact same pumpkin field last year. And, totally coincidentally, that visit also lead to two watercolour paintings. You can read more about last year’s paintings in the blogpost Halloween watercolours.

One of the unexpected pleasures of maintaining this blog is that it enables me to reach back into the archives to find past works and dust them off for a little comparison. Below are the four paintings that I’ve done from the same pumpkin field from our visits over the past two years:

I’m pleased to be able to say that I much prefer this year’s watercolour paintings to last years! But perhaps the last word should be left to the pumpkins (and again, I think my 2021 pumpkin is also an improvement on last year’s efforts!)

#anonartproject for Heart Research UK

Below are details from the four paintings that I submitted to this year’s charity auction that I was allowed to share with people in advance:

The auction came to a thrilling close at 8pm on Sunday 31st October. As with previous years, I’ve been asked to allow a little time for the artworks to be sent out before revealing my paintings in full, however, I’m pleased to be able to share some headlines with you.

The four images that I submitted this year raised a total of £487.56 – which is the most my donations have ever attracted in a single year, and brings the total that my works have raised since 2018 to £1,652.21.

I hope to share some more information on this next week but, on a purely personal level, I’m delighted with this outcome, and even more delighted that Heart Research UK also had a record-breaking year, raising more than £70,000 to support their vital work.

Thoughts on Pumpkin patch watercolour painting

2 thoughts on “Pumpkin patch watercolour painting”

  1. Yes, indeed. This year’s look much more competent than last year’s, don’t they? That hard skyline doesn’t help the 2020 ones and there’s far more interest in the foregrounds, too. Raising the horizon has almost forced you to include something in the foreground area, which has now become a much more important part of the compositions. Progress! That’s what we like to see!! And well done on your charitable efforts, too.

    1. Thanks for this positive feedback Rob, I really appreciate it! It’s good in a way that I only looked back at last year’s paintings after I’d finished these most recent ones so I wasn’t unduly influenced by them. I also think the weather (and sky) was a little more dramatic this year which I think really helped with whole subject. Great to see some progress though! As I know you’re probably all too aware, it can feel like a real slog sometimes!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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