The house on the hill watercolour painting

I had a wonderful weekend camping with my daughter recently at a lovely site around 40 minutes from Brighton. It’s a secluded woodland site, set amongst some beautiful scenery.

While we were exploring the site, I spied through the woods a golden field dotted with rolled hay bales. It was obviously private property so I didn’t feel comfortable straying as far into the field as I would have liked, but I did manage to grab a few photos.

This painting is based on one of photos I took.:

The house on the hill

It was one of those paintings that came together pretty straightforwardly – even if it didn’t all turn out quite as I expected it to.

The main focal point for me was the strong shadow across the middle of the view, with the perfect silhouette of the hay bale. As strong as this was, I may have gone in a little too strong with this shadow.

The foreground area was supposed to indicate where the edge of the hay field finished and turned into a mix of green grass and scrubby earth. I struggled to achieve this and it all feels a little non-descript to be honest.

I may try this view again, perhaps rejigging the composition a little as I think this still has some untapped potential.

Thoughts on The house on the hill watercolour painting

10 thoughts on “The house on the hill watercolour painting”

    1. Very evocative of this summer, John, and I think the shadow across the field is just about right; there’s enough information (in the original as I imagine it) to make me want to delve in there to see what’s there – just as it is in reality with shadows under a blinding sun. On first look the foreground did suggest exactly what you meant it to suggest though I of course, being of the Pre-Raphaelite persuasion if not Brotherhood, would prefer to have seen botanically accurate detail in there – oh, and maybe a few characters from a Midsummer Night’s Dream frolicking about.

      1. Thanks so much for this Rob. I’m pleased that even without the botanical detailing you got the gist of what I was trying to represent! (On reflection, if I do this again, it’ll just get a shadow from another tree that’s out of sight!) As for the Shakespearean touch – just so I get it right, where you envisaging traditional costume or something more contemporary? Thanks so much Rob

        1. I had in mind something along the lines of Hunt’s “Valentine Rescuing Sylvia from Proteus”. That’s the sort of thing we grew up on when I was a boy in Birmingham.

  1. As usual, the scenery and your interpretation looks attractive.

    Instead of being “honest”, one might become “creative” and leave out the foreground grass.
    Also another one or two of these hay-bales could have been added somewhere in the foreground to interrupt the long continuos shadow line, which tends to cut the picture in two sections.

    1. Many thanks for this John – really helpful and constructive. I did wonder about omitting that foreground, but felt it needed something. Maybe I’d have been better off just going for another shadow of a tree out of the picture? I agree that the dark shadow does rather cut the painting in half. Another composition I have in mind is to do a portrait version of this so that the line of the shadow isn’t as long! Being creative with my compositions rather than trying to true to a source image is an area that I definitely need to practice on! Thanks so much John

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