This morning’s walk involved a short drive to Stanford on Soar and then a walk along a footpath starting by the church car park, out across a railway line and into a large field with a view across Loughborough. Jane explored round the field with her binoculars, looking for birds, while I sat and did some artwork (since we walked longer than we drove and didn’t see another soul out and about on the walk, I think we were safely inside the lockdown guidelines).
Rather than pen, pencil or watercolour, I decided to use the Procreate app on my iPad as a convenient way to paint with colour on location but without the mess of actual paints and brushes. It has been a while since I last used it and I have never dug into it very far so there were certain frustrations to the process as I rediscovered how to work the tools but I had enough to work through the process I already had in mind.
To give me a head start, I started with a photo and used that to pick colours and as a general guide. I ended up looking down at the screen and less at the landscape than I had intended but, because I was there, it wasn’t just an exercise in painting over a photograph. I could look at the scene itself from time to time and I was immersed in the sound of birdsong and the sensation of the fresh early morning air. You can see the spot I sat at on Google Maps, from where I looked south, but much better to actually go and sit there.
I laid down several blocks on different layers, as one would in a collage with paper. Layers speed things up as you avoid accidentally damaging what you have already painted. For my final couple of layers, I picked a fine pencil tool and darker colours to create some line-based detail with a few continuous lines.
You can compare the result to the original photo. My painting is duller and flatter but I am quite pleased with the semi-representation, semi-abstract result. Both images might be used to inspire further work on the same scene back at home using actual paint. Anyway, here is the photo: