Derwentwater plein air – First attempts

I've mentioned before that I recently moved to Cumbria in England. This has given my spirit an excellence burst of inspiration and energy and has allowed some of my creativity to come out. I'm still making lots of colour charts ( I'll show you my most recent one in another post shortly!) but I'm also getting outdoors while the weather permits and doing some sketching with watercolours.
I visited Derwentwater recently ( home to the Derwent sketching pencils, I did visit the museum and their shop but I didn't buy more pencils…I have to use the ones I've got already before I allow myself to buy even more!) and here are some of the sketches I managed on the day. I'm really pleased with the day's outcome and felt that I've taken a solid step forward to where I want to be as an artist with this.


This is the palette I put together for my outing

  • Lemon yellow
  • Cadmium yellow
  • Yellow ochre
  • Burnt sienna
  • Van Dyke Brown
  • French Ultramarine
  • Cerulean
  • Quinacridone magenta
  • Cadmium red
  • Sap green
  • Hookers green light
  • Payne grey
  • Ivory black

I felt that I mainly ended up using lemon yellow and yellow ochre mixed with all the combinations of the blues and greens to figure out the greens. Payne grey was my favourite for the clouds and water with cerulean for the sky. Having the readymade brown was handy to have, since I was using a very small mixing tray. I tested the colbalt turquoise but felt that cerulean and the Ultramarine were enough of a range for the palette

This is the colour range that I got from the set, I wanted a big range of greens from earthy to lush but not too many blue-greens as I know that I would mainly be trying to capture the forests and shrub land on the mountains. Very limited purples too which was fine as the heather isn't out yet. I also totally stopped round say greens name when I was labelling, oops!

On to the sketches! I warmed up with some pencil sketches before just sloshing paint about for the rest of the day.

I feel that I need more practice with my tonal values and compositions as I set up my sketches but I'm still really pleased with these ones and happy to share them with you all. If you've visited Derwentwater and did any sketches, post a like in the comments so I can see your stuff!

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