Curate’s Egg

Friday was a day off, all jobs on hold, so my husband and I went out into the wilds of Norfolk sketch hunting. The weather was glowering, although dry, and it was difficult to find a scene which pleased us both. I think that the lack of sun, and consequently shadows, played a big part in this. It’s easy to underestimate the impact a good shadow or two has on a slice of landscape.

Anyway, time was ticking on, we found this round-towered church at South Pickenham, and decided to just go for it. It’s a building which has obviously been added to and adapted over the centuries by builders of varying skill and ambition. The top of the round Norman tower is octagonal (although not convincingly so) and was added in the late mediaeval period. The main body of the church dates from at the latest the 14th Century, with the porch a positively modern Victorian addition.

Pickenham Church watercolour

As you can tell, we camped between the residents, who hopefully didn’t mind. There were a lot of perspective challenges here, and it was hard to believe my eyes as to the angles of slope on the rooflines, hence some inconsistencies. The foliage gave me a lot of trouble, but I’m quite pleased with the results on the yew to the left of the church. At home I employed a flat brush to introduce some further darks and changes of texture into the very large, dense tree on the right, and to sharpen up the lines on the church and grasses. As always, it was a battle to achieve sufficient contrast in the picture, especially given the dull conditions of the day. I’d have liked the outcome to have been fresher than it is.

This was the last page in my A4 watercolour sketchbook, so now I can archive this and move on to the delights of a new pad. Hurray!

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16 thoughts on “Curate’s Egg

  1. Yay for a new pad! Another beautiful piece, Rebecca. Is the yew the tree directly behind the church? That one is my favorite. Love the great “turret” facing us. It does look like the perspective would have been challenging, but everything looks true from my POV. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Laura! Actually the yew is the darker one second to the left, in front of the yellowy tree I suspect you like. 😉 It was a challenge as yew is so very dark and doesn’t obey the usual leaf rules… Glad you think that the perspective is acceptable! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your scenes are always so peaceful! The sky is very Norfolk, too. 😉 I agree with Laura; the perspective looks fine to me – those differing rooflines just play to the interesting hodge-podge nature of the architecture. (It very much reminds me of the nearby Burgh Castle church in that regard, also for the round tower, and the cushion of trees. Fascinating structures!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jacob – Norfolk = mostly peaceful and cloudy, as you know! 🙂 I haven’t visited Burgh Castle, but it sounds like it’s worth a look sometime. I do like a bit of Frankenstein architecture, I must admit. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful and quiet scene Rebecca – wonderful work on the variety of tree and shrub. I think you choice in touches blue in the sky and the brighter yellows for highlights on the trees helped bring a bit of contrast to the scene – giving it life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your thoughts Mary, as I often find it difficult to be sufficiently bold with colour in watercolour. Putting a yellow base on for trees is a new discovery, and I’m so glad you agree that it really helps. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love painting in graveyards, there is something so cool about the experience. Your painting came out so wonderful and I can see that you connected with it. Even though you say that the foliage was giving you fits, I still see that it feels “right”. Love the angles and the perspective….nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much Charlie, I’m trying to get away from the fineliner as much as I can, which means being a little bit bolder with colour. It’s all a learning experience! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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