I spent a relaxing couple of days at my brothers in Comberton, a village close to Cambridge in June 2014. I visited the beautiful city and some idyllic villages and spent some time sketching there.
I first visited Houghton Mill , which is an impressive building in a lovely setting, on the Great Ouse. Run by the National Trust I bought a sandwich and piece of cake in the cafe before starting. I sat by the mill pond and spent an hour sketching before finding the location became too popular by other visitors.
This is the sketch I produced in that hour.
When I was home I added colour washes using some fan brushes a good friend gave me for Christmas
(Addition – I’ve painted this scene again but allowed for more sky and mill pond. I’m unhappy with the result but I feel I should show you this version as it provides a view of the ups and downs of painting. I want to have another go soon and will publish this as well)
In Houghton village centre is a pump house with a seat looking down several roads, each with a delightful view of old cottages and pubs. I worked up a quick sketch and painted on location in my small sketchbook.
I then went on to St Ives, with it’s fascinating bridge and lovely setting.
The next day I cycled into Cambridge (about 5 miles) searching for inspiration. There are so many great views but many limited in scope by no place to sit. I eventually found the edge of a small bridge over the Cam looking over the water to the Clare College bridge. The water was teaming with punts, taking Chinese tourists for trips around the Backs. The sun was out the gardens looked stunning.
I felt a little rushed as I was on a wharf used by the punts for bringing their charges on and off the boats. So the resulting sketch is not great – something to work up when i have more time.
Following a particularly busy period of passenger transfer i cycled off to find a place where I was not in the way and where I had more time. However, I was hungry and tired from the cycle ride and when I did find a place I was not in the best frame of mind for concentrating on a drawing. But I gave it a go.
I plan to add colour washes and I’ve since corrected the lean to the left hand tower.
There are a couple of paintings I plan to work on from this visit and will add them to this post later.
In the evening I danced at CamTango, where I had a lovely time with some beautiful dancers.