Watercolour Painting - Herdwick Sheep and Great Langdale, Cumbria

"Looking up the Slopes", Great Langdale, Cumbria.
Watercolour. Alistair Butt © 2008.

While walking along the valley of Great Langdale, in the Lake District, a break in the cloud lit up part of this view. The small stream running down the hill, the Herdwick sheep grazing in the sunlit field while the background hills, Side Pike being the main one, were still in shadow.

The Herdwick Sheep are one of my favourite sheep with there range of fleece colours. Ranging from pale creams, through light grey, dark or blue grey to others with russet to dark browns while the head and legs are pale cream.

The 'steep' route out of Great Langdale is over the pass which is between the two main hills shown and leads via Bleatarn into Little Langdale. It might not look that much from this view but this view is about half way up.

The more tradition view is about 90 degrees to the right and looking towards the Langdale Pikes and the associated mountains.

Watercolour Painting of street in York looking towards York Minster

"Looking towards the Minster", York, Yorkshire.
Watercolour. Alistair Butt © 2008.

Apart from the superb view looking towards York Minster, what really attracted me to this view was all the interaction of light and therefore also shadow.

The 'direct' sun light on the right hand building and those at the bend in the street, the 'reflected' light on the left hand buildings and the 'bounced' patches of light on the road from the windows above on the right. The people walking up and down the street were catching both reflected and bounced light and broke up what would have been boring patch of tarmac. Although, thinking about it, it could or would make an interesting subject if the road was wet and lots of reflections.

Watercolour Painting... Snow at Linton, North Yorkshire

"Mid Winter Snow", Linton-in-Craven, North Yorkshire.
Watercolour. Alistair Butt © 2008.
The snow adding something special to what is already a delightful view of village of Linton-in-Craven or Linton, located in the North Yorkshire Dales. The village has many possible subjects for painting and also throughout the year, though it's not so open in the summer with all the large trees in leaf. Autumn time is stunning with the trees that line the stream changing colour and if timed correct the sun back lighting them - almost a reverse view of the above watercolour painting. Also at that time and through winter/spring the stone cottages scattered around the village green and stream come more into view and add an additional dimension.

Winter Landscape Watercolour Paintings...

"Across the Snow Fields", near Hill End, North Yorkshire.
Watercolour. Alistair Butt © 2008.

To help speed up the painting of the foreground, I first painted all the dry grass/vegetation. Then using Winsor & Newton Colourless Masking Fluid I masked each and every bit of dry grass/vegetation. Then the North Yorkshire stone wall and shadows on the snow could be painted. It should be noted that some colour is or can be lifted when removing the masking fluid therefore it's not something I'd normally do. The alternative would be to mask the areas of dry grass/vegetation and then paint them in, after having painted the shadows and wall, a technique that works better when there's some colour behind for example: grass or masking leaves on trees
"Last of the Evening Sunlight", Yockenthwaite, North Yorkshire.
Watercolour. Alistair Butt © 2008.

A late afternoon patch of sun bathes one of the collection of farms at Yockenthwaite, Upper Whafedale, North Yorkshire. If there's one 'minor' drawback to the North Yorkshire Dales in mid winter, it's that the sun drops down behind the hills an hour or so before sunset. This place one valley side into shadow which then quickly climbs the other.

Watercolour Painting - North Yorkshire village with snow...

"Winter Snow at Thorpe", Thorpe, North Yorkshire.
Watercolour. Alistair Butt © 2008.
Thorpe is a delightful collection of stone farms and cottages a short distance from the main road though Whafedale in North Yorkshire. A regular spot for many art groups, though not that easy to get to when the small lanes to the village are covered in snow. It does have the added bonus of the equally stunning village of Linton and Linton Falls (waterfall on the River Whafe) a couple of miles up the road, which makes for a superb day's sketching or painting.

Watercolour painting - boats in the harbour at Mousehole, Cornwall

"Early Morning Shadows", Mousehole, Cornwall.
Watercolour. Alistair Butt © 2008.