Month: January 2018

Surrey Hills Plein Air trips

I’ve been attending the Surrey Hills Plein Air sessions most Fridays now and have been really enjoying them. Its good to have the discipline of going out, regardless of how cold it is and getting a sketch or painting completed. Also meeting other artists with the same interest is fun.

It’s really difficult drawing outdoors as your brain sucks you in to thinking sizes, shapes and colours are one thing – when you look again and they are quite different. There is a pressure to complete a picture but in truth I rarely do as I normally take on a subject too complicated for a 2 hour session.

Below are two pictures from recent trips;

Farncombe Wey

River Wey @ Farncombe 


The Dolphin, Betchworth



Molly and I decided to try a local National Trust property for the first time – Hatchlands. It has a dog friendly walk of about 4km and as it was a beautiful day it was a great opportunity to take pictures for art inspiration.

I’m trying out new techniques with my watercolours and also looking closer at composition. So the scene I chose needed to have distance, colour range and if possible water. Molly discovered this pond and it was an ideal subject to test these ideas out.


River Mole, Leatherhead, Common Meadow

I’ve been concentrating on using watercolours recently and have been working on some landscapes, concentrating on getting trees and water looking balanced.

This scene is where I walk Molly regularly, following the Mole to a flood plain known locally as the Common Meadow. The walk is a large loop round the meadow and is a great place for Molly as she can swim in the river, roll around in the grass and meet other dogs. I also take a few seconds to look out for any bird life on the river and can normally see Kingfishers, Herons, Cormorants, Little Egrets and Little Grebes plus the usual ducks, swans, moorhens and coots. Even a Goosander if I’m lucky.


Molesy Lock

I’ve been working on a couple of oil paintings of Molesy Lock. They are designed to work together as companion pieces (A4)

The first painting is of a Dutch barge entering the lock from down stream. Its a winter scene but with an opening in the clouds producing sunlight on the water.

Molesy Lock

The other painting is looking upstream with the lock gates open. Its a Spring day and the sky is clear. The water is still but it was raining earlier in the day. (hence the puddles)

Molesy lock