Brighton Painting Group, July meet up in Hove Park

Brighton Painting Group July meeting

Other commitments have meant that I’ve missed the past few gatherings of the Brighton Painting Group so it was a real treat to be able to join them on Saturday.

The location was Hove Park, which is one of Brighton and Hove’s largest parks. I know it well from many family visits and from cycling around it’s perimeter with my daughter.

Although it’s a beautiful park, it’s not one I could say particularly excites me from a painting perspective. But this is why I so enjoy the Brighton Painting Group. It’s about just turning up, finding a subject and getting on with it!

It was another beautiful day, but still cooler that my last visit to the Park, which I now know was officially the 2nd hottest day in the UK’s history.

After meeting the group at the cafe in the park, we all dispersed to find a suitable location to paint from.

My main criteria in selected a view was to find somewhere that I could be confident of remaining in the shade throughout! I found a tree that offered excellent shady coverage, from which I could look out across this view of the park:

Hove Park (aka, the Serengeti!)

I thought that I might be able to make something of this. I liked that it had some strong contrasts and even some silhouettes that I thought I could make good use of!

Ahead of the day, I’d already deciding that I would try to paint two paintings, whereas in the past I’ve only managed one and usually overworked it!. I also committed myself to painting larger than usual, mainly thanks to recently finding some lightweight corex that I’ve been able to make a half sheet board from that’s easy to carry.

Painting No. 1

Here’s how I got on with my first effort:

My first Hove Park effort

I painted this in the shade and, when I thought I’d finished it, I took in out into the sunlight and was both shocked and dismayed by what I saw!

The colours, especially of the tree on the left, were so crazily vibrant. The dry grass also looked more like a view of the Serengeti than a parched park! I could have dropped in a couple of cheetahs, and maybe an elephant or two and they wouldn’t have looked out of place!

I did what I could to tone down the tree on the left but in my mind, I’d already had enough of this painting and had moved on!

And perhaps a more interesting crop…

Painting No. 2

Halfway through this first painting I went for a little stroll while the paint dried and to try to resist the temptation of my constant fiddling.

Ironically, as I stepped back from my painting spot, I actually saw much nicer view, that included my easel:

A much more interesting scene

As soon as I’d seen this view, I couldn’t wait to paint it! I finished up my larger painting and, as I was largely dissatisfied with how it had turned out, I was keen to try and make amends with another painting!

By this time I only had about an hour left so opted for a smaller quarter sheet painting.

Here’s how that one turned out:

Painters in the park

This one came together quite quickly and I was much more pleased with it than my first painting. I think the composition is much better and the whole painting has a looser and more vibrant feel to it.

All in all – and regardless of my efforts, it was a great day of painting and, once again, so nice to be painting in the company of others!

To finish, here are a couple of photos of me at my easel – I’m the one with check shorts!

Painters at play…
Artists at work…
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