As I so enjoyed the painting I did last week, I thought I’d stay with familiar hay bales territory for my next watercolour. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how I could have stayed any closer without painting exactly the same view again. The view for this new painting was from exactly the same spot from which last week’s painting was based, but about 90 degrees to my left.

What I particularly liked about the view – aside from only having to turn very slightly to see it – was the variety of tree forms, and especially three tall ones. Here’s the sketch that I did some time ago, next to my latest painting:

And just so you can see it a little more clearly, here’s the full size version:

Watercolour painting of a Sussex field with hay bales and trees in the background by artist John Haywood

As these views were so closely related in time, location and subject, I thought that these two recent paintings might be nice company for each other:

I was quite pleased with how this turned out, particularly as I did encounter the odd dicey moment with it! Also, I wasn’t really seeking to show these two side by side, but looking at them together, I think that there’s a degree of consistency with the weather and light conditions across the pair.

I think with these two paintings, I may well have exhausted my hay bales references so I’ll need to be a little more adventurous next week!

7 thoughts on “Sussex hay bales (II) watercolour painting

  1. I wonder how you achieved the stubble straw field texture? And the way the yellow straw just seeps through the grass on the left. I’m painting a similar subject but put it aside as it’s not looking textured how I want but too much brush work may muddy. Needed to let it dry thoroughly too. I am a regular follower. Your technique of unfussed impression has improved enormously recently.

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    1. Many thanks for your kind comments Janet, they’re much appreciated! Looking back, I’m not entirely sure how I achieved any of this! (which I think means it was more by luck than judgement!) The field was pretty much done in one take with a base of yellow ochre with some diluted burnt sienna brushed and splashed on to create some subtle changes and a bit of texture. While this was still wet, I applied the green, which in this case was a touch of viridian and, much to my surprise – it worked out! I think it’s really one those examples when less is more – and that the more you can let the paints mix on the paper rather than me keep fiddling, the better! Thanks again for your kind and encouraging comments!

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  2. I didn’t see this post till late last night and felt I couldn’t do justice to it with a tired brain so I’d wait till morning. I’ve still got a tired brain this morning but here goes.
    This painting really works for me – probably because of the crisp contrasty edge between the field horizon and the hedgerow. It’s almost as if you let one lot of paint dry before you added the other! The trees have come up nice, too; you’ve used the rough texture to perfection and the pinholes of sky light peeping through work well here and even better in the hedgerow. (Obviously I’m not so keen on the right-hand tree but that’s just me). The choice of pigment for the field itself is spot on; both the green and the gold totally appropriate and their texture is really convincing. The tractor tracks are not the normal “brush-strokes representing tractor tracks”, either. They’ve got real depth and perfectly emphasise the perspective of the scene. I’m so used to your mastery of the sky that I almost forgot to mention how good it is in this painting; unobtrusive but totally “right”. Your spray gun seems to have got slightly out of control (in the sky?) but I’m not bothered by these little speckles; it’s the big blobby wet-in-wet ones that I don’t like and there’s no evidence of these here. A really neat piece of work – and you know I like neat. All it’s lacking is a nice detailed piece of farm machinery in the foreground. Nine and a half out of ten!

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    1. Thanks so much for this Rob – probably one of the best school reports that I’ve ever had (will have it printed off and framed soon!) It’s funny because you had much more to do with this painting that you might be aware. Had it not been for your stern words last week about my ‘splatters of grey’ in the foreground – I would surely have repeated them on this painting. I actually thought they worked well in that last painting, and helped to lead the eye in but, out of respect for your opinion and in the interest of balance and curiosity, I thought I’d try to keep the foreground even more ‘plain and simple’ and I think it worked (even if I was still tempted to put a darker glaze over the foreground at the end!) – Many thanks Rob!

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