The boys in my life wanted to go mountain biking; I didn’t. So I went with them to Shouldham Woods and made a picture instead. I had 45 minutes in which to find a location and actually do the painting. The time limit meant that I didn’t take as much care as I might have liked when finding a spot, but nevertheless I liked this view because it offered a pretty picture of a variety of trees, with some beautiful newly-golden-leaved silver birches in the distance. In this case I opted to use some masking fluid to preserve the white trunks; the time it took to dry was time well spent, as I quite like the unevenness of line this has produced. There was a lot of variation in greens, and I made a conscious effort to mix greens rather than use what I had in my paintbox, which I think has probably given a better result. As always, achieving the depth of colour for the Scots pine and the shaded areas took several goes as I’m never brave enough first off.
I wasn’t very happy with this picture when I’d first completed it, but a few weeks on I feel rather differently about it and am now quite pleased to have it in my sketchbook.