As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I have always enjoyed painting gardens. The contrast between the loose lush profusion of the plants and the lines of structure in the buildings suits my style very well. The two watercolours here are a good example of that. It is the structure of the buildings that holds the paintings together, the plants are just mere suggestions, the brain fills in the bits that are missing. The painting above (The Balustrade) was painted in Ireland at Altamount House and gardens. The house is in a state of neglect and is crumbling which adds to its charm as a painting.
The Orangery at Castle Ashby was painted on a recent trip to England. It is one of my favourite places to paint for the reasons mentioned above but it had been over twenty years since I had painted there. It was a delight to return and happy to see that nothing had changed - long may it stay so.
Post published by Tomas King 24th Aug 2014 


I have not posted anything for a long time for the simple reason that the summer is the time when I take full advantage of the good weather and get outside as much as possible to paint en plein air. It has been a wonderful summer so had no excuse and in due course much of the work produced will be featured on this blog. The three paintings shown here were all done as part of a Plein Air Festival. 'Billowed Sails' above, a 12" x 16" canvas board, required all my skills and speed to get it down in paint before my subject sailed away out to sea. The sky was as you see and the combination of that and the brightly coloured sails turned a simple image into something dramatic.
'Hidden in the Reeds' was another test in speed painting. I knew the ducks would move so I quickly put in a splash of green for the reeds to get my bearings and then painted the ducks. I then built the painting up around them. As expected, they moved away in time but the need to get them down quickly gives a lovely sense of movement to the painting. Once they had gone I was a able to focus on the rest of the background.

'Wild Flower Bank' was more a test of endurance than speed. Despite the colour of the sky, it was a very hot day and I was standing in a very exposed position. By the time I finished this 16" x 22" canvas I was exhausted but its all part of the pleasure and pain of painting en plein air! 
Post published by Tomas King 16 - 8 - 2014