Last Lake District visit...

A bit of catching up with this post, as this was from a few weeks ago and ranks as one of the top five trips to the Lake District - sadly at this time of year the number of daylight hours is small but rewarded by the better angle of sun, more colour (not just the light but on the landscape as well).

It wasn't the warmest either, heavy frost and some snow on the tops of the mountains, sketching was hard work at times with gloves etc needed in between drawing... more so at the beginning and end of the each day when the temperature was at it's lowest.

Just after sunrise beside Ullswater. As the sun climbed it cast light over the distant mountains, thankfully the cloud stayed above the mountains although it's shape changed.

Walking up into Deepdale, as can be seen, some snow around Fairfield and the Step. I've visited this dale on a number of times, usually very quite apart from one day when there was a hunt but on the day there were a number of photographers looking for the best spots... sadly due to the heavy rainfall over the last few weeks the stream wasn't cross able to the better spots.

Beside Derwentwater, with part of Skiddaw on the right hand side.

Looking towards Haystacks (darker mid section) with Pillar behind and High Crag, High Style and Red Pike to the right.

Views from this route are superb, here looking over Buttermere and Crummock Water and in the distant Solway Firth and Dumfries. It was late afternoon with about an hour of good sunlight left...

Turning around views of Great Gable, here seen with Blackbeck Tarn.

Lots more to explore and more trips to this location...

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2013 at the Mall Galleries, London

New Art by New English Art Club

 29 November to 8 December, 10am to 5pm (closes 1pm on final day)

This year's New English Art Club annual exhibition boasts over 400 paintings, prints and drawings by some of the country's finest contemporary figurative artists.

Works are available to Browse & Buy online now.

Held at the Mall Galleries, London, the exhibition features everything from landscapes and seascapes, to still life and portraiture. Even better still, with Christmas just around the corner, all works are for sale at prices to suit every pocket.

Founded in 1885, the New English Art Club has been widely recognised for well over a century as a center of excellence for painting and drawing.

The New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2013
Mall Galleries,
The Mall (near Trafalgar Square),
London SW1

Admission £3, £2.50 concessions, Free to Mall Galleries Friends, National Art Pass holders and under 18s

Last light on the Langdale Pikes...

Detail from "Last rays of sun", Blea Tarn, Cumbria.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021370
A somewhat classic view of the Langdale Pikes seen from Blea Tarn. Usually, a great spot, much depends on the British weather plus depending on your view it's nice to have the reflection on the tarn.

I'd just finished working in Great Langdale itself as the shadow began to fill that valley, for those that don't know the area the narrow road climbs steeply out of Great Langdale, appearing just to the right of the cap 'A' then winds it's way to the right around the tarn. Stunning views can be had from the top of the climb, but as can be seen the shadow was fast climbing the Pikes but thankfully I'd enough time to gather more than I needed. A perfect end, on a still be cold day.

Oil painting - Morston on the North Norfolk coast

Detail from "Rising Water", Morston, Norfolk.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021368

Having waited for the incoming tide, thankfully it was a lovely warm summers day, it was then work as fast as I could to gather the required information. One of the sketches I did for this painting can be seen below (as shown on an previous post).

The rising water helped greatly with this view, remove what had been, up until then, an creek of mud, which itself can be interesting with the correct light and some wetness. It also added some reflections... the downside is that all the boats start moving as soon as they are lifted from the mud and will turn around (if they can) to face the incoming or outgoing tide which means in minutes the view has changed.

The boats hadn't started to move before I finished the above sketch, but a few minutes later the foreground one did and within 10minutes all were afloat. It was a case of working up the background/boats and then waiting for the right time for the water...

Finished oil painting from the Mall Galleries demonstration

Detail from "Dawn on the Norfolk coast", Thornham, Norfolk.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021371
As per the title, here is the finished oil painting that I was working on while demonstrating at this years Royal Society of Marine Artist exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

Most of the work since that day was adding the details to the landing stage, foreground boat, some areas of the water and the creek bank.

Calling all Watercolour Painters - Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours - Call for enties

Seeking the best in contemporary watercolour painting

Since its foundation in 1831, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) has promoted the essentially English art of watercolour.

The RI was formed to exhibit the best of modern and traditional watercolours and to show non-members’ works alongside those of members, a policy still followed today.

Submit online now

Acceptable media: Watercolour or  water soluble colour (excluding water soluble oils), any use of non-watercolour media must be handled as watercolour (e.g. no heavy impasto, no varnish, etc.).
Work must be painted on a paper based support (no hardboard, textiles, etc.) and mounted under glass.
We cannot receive pictures taller than 2.4m (8ft).

Conditions: Work must have been completed within the last two years. All works must be for sale. Maximum of six works submitted. Maximum of four works selected. Minimum price: £300

Submission Fee: £12 per artwork, £6 per artwork for artists aged 35 or under.

Deadline: Thursday 30 January, 12 noon.