Overview of walking Dovedale to Milldale in Derbyshire Part 1

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I think this walk is a classic! This is the one that me and my partner always go to when we want to get out into the fresh air, it’s ridiculously popular at certain points of the year and almost everyone I know in Derbyshire has done it.

Part 1 : Facilities

Let’s talk the basics guys, with regards to car parking we got there early at about 10am and the car park was pretty empty, by the time we had made it back at 2pm it was completely full with cars backed up all the way to the main road, about a quarter of a mile back. Brutal if you have a car full of kids and really need to pee….

There is a small cabin in the car park that sells ice creams and some drinks but no proper food. The toilets are well looked after and your standard public toilets to be honest, nothing fancy but exactly what you want when your desperate for a pee!

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The walk is relatively flat with a couple of hills half way through, although there’s always a path to follow and steps to help you climb them. I will say that initially the walk on the left hand side of the river can get muddy and a bit awkward with loose stones and on the right hand side there is a proper path. You can cross the river at the stepping stones later on and the path stays clear from there but if you have a buggy or wheelchair I don’t recommend trying to cross the stones. The rivers not that deep but it’s fast and not worth the risk!

Once you get to Milldale there is a small village there that has a small tuckshop that sells hot food and snacks, i don’t think it’s open all year, thought it was open in February when we went.

I’ve created some sketches from my photos of the day, i’m still pretty new to landscape painting so have much to learn but i’m hoping with this practice i’ll get to a stage I can be proud of. All pictures were done with watercolours on cartridge paper. I hope you like them and if you have any sketches of your own, please share a link in the comment section below!

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Derby Museums Exhibition: EVERYONE

Derby Museum and Gallery did a call out for artworks responding to the theme EVERYONE – Your place in the world. I have never responded to an artist call out before and I felt that this would be a lovely starter exhibition to enter.

As I want to develop my place to be outside painting, I chose an area of Derbyshire that I particularly liked, Dovedale in Ilam and created a design from a photo I recently took there. Obviously lots of deep thought going on for the idea behind this piece! Sometimes it’s nice just to paint your view of a place, which is what I set out to do here.

I sketched two designs first to give myself some practice and generate how I wanted the scene to look. The top once was too cold but quite cold to the actual colours, and the bottom one was a tad too psychadelic but I liked the idea of addng characters to the composition to give the view someone to connect to.  I then sketched the design onto canvas! I’ve included below my rouch sketchbook pages to see the process i went through. Nothing very complicated but it helped to get my thoughts in order and I could figure out what colours mixed well with others and how I could eliminate other colour options that would ruin the balance of the piece.

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I used Gouache as my medium as i’m used to watercolours but I want to learn more about how to layer opaque paints, making Gouache the perfect middle ground. They were very easy to wipe off though at the beginning when I was adding new layers but eventually I got my under painting to how I wanted the colour structure to go.

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From there I just kept on refining the detail! I wish I had a good reference for a person in this kind of light but ended up having to work from memory and imagination ( dangerous combo when trying to get things looking realistic! ) and the final piece didn’t look too odd thankfully. I used some interactive acrylics for some colours I couldn’t make with my Gouache and for some of the whites.

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