Friday, July 14, 2017

Powerscourt on my birthday

Do you know anyone who gets up at 6am on their birthday and goes out to paint at 7 am? I am so lucky I have a friend who was happy to do the same!
We met at Powerscourt just before 7 on that beautiful sunny morning and set to work straight away. Painting is serious business! Particularly so in Ireland when the good weather is never guaranteed to last.
By 10 am, we both had two paintings done, and we went to the coffee shop for a celebration slice of banana cake and a cup of tea. I was home by 11, ready to open my presents!

Powerscourt house and gardens is a wonderful location, apparently voted Nr 3 Best Garden in the World by the National Geographic! - gorgeous mountains in the distance, lots of trees, meadows, and if you go into the gardens themselves, you could spend the rest of your life painting there: fountains, statues, Japanese garden, walled garden, pet cemetery, beautiful views over the moutains, tourists, ... It's got it all. On this occasion, we stayed outside the main garden - we didn't want to have to pay to get in. I could have painted the Sugar Loaf view in the distance - it is picture-perfect after all. But, maybe I was intimidated by it, I chose instead to paint this set of conifers in the east.

The first painting, as done on location. I was very happy with it at the time, but when I got home, I felt that there were too many busy bright shapes competing for attention.

So I reworked it - lifting quite a bit of paint and applying simpler washes to push shapes further back. I also greyed out the little house in the distance, as it was competing for attention with my centre of interest, the big conifers on the left.
Second painting of the day. I turned around and tried to paint one of the beautiful trees in the middle distance. It didn't work out quite as well as I had hoped. I applied the same treatment, but the patient didn't respond too well. What I needed to do in this case was start again, giving the leaves more fluid strokes and thinking more about the colours for the bark. Plus I should have worked wet-in-wet for my sky. Another day's work. I'll just have to go back!


After rework at home


  1. love these Powerscourt paintings...

    1. Thanks Cathy! I looked again at the tree and I really didn't like it, so I painted a sunflower on the back of the page! That's the beauty of watercolour paper, you can paint on both sides!