Rob Adams a Painter's Blog painter's progress

April 24, 2011

Unseasonal Weather

Filed under: Kent,London,Painting,Watercolour — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Rob Adams @ 2:50 pm

Well, Spring is racing towards Summer an an astonishing pace, at this rate Christmas will be in July. Painting wise it has brought some unusual sights. Apple and other fruit blossom in full bloom with the trees so advanced that they are almost in full leaf. Usually the trees would just have a first flush of green, but not this year. Not altogether happy with my painting at present, I seem to be in a transitional stage with my oil painting, not quite sure of my direction. What I want to do is add boldness without losing clarity and good drawing, but alas as with any gain something has to be sacrificed and I just can’t decide what. On the plus side these times of being becalmed in the doldrums some times herald a step forward but I will have to keep bashing away for that to happen. Anyway, here are some of the battles fought to a standstill in the last week or so!


Spitalfields, London, watercolour, plein air

This was almost the last of the grey days. Michael Richardson and I traipsed the streets trying to find a good subject on a record breakingly flat day. The cloud cover was quite this but entirely uniform which it made it very hard to find anything with much tonal interest. On the plus side we spotted several potential painting spots on our travels. This is the doorway of  Christchurch Spitalfields by architect Nicholas Hawksmoor. The area Spitalfields was originaly named Hospital fields as it was the site of a large early hospital founded in 1197AD. This was a tricky one to draw as it would have been nice to sit further back but the size of the portico made that impossible. One advantage of the flat light was that I had plenty of time to get the drawing as good as I could.


St Pauls, London, watercolour, plein air, Millennium, bridge

Back across London to paint this at the end of the day, the steps lead up from the riverside to the new Millennium Bridge. This was a very quick sketch. I might return though as the subject might be good with better light.


penshurst, place, kent, oil painting, plein air, garden

Here you can see the weather has burst out into an early summer, but seen under an April sun that gave the whole scene an almost other worldly cast. I tried to catch the feeling but a lot to do in a complex scene like this. 14 in by 10 in. I still have to put some movement in the sky but that will have to wait ’til it’s dry.


Penshurst place, kent, oil painting, plein air

After all that architecture I needed some respite so I settled on this. Great fun to paint with it’s subtle greens and deep shadows. I dab in the blossoms with white which dries a little as I paint the rest, then a put a touch of fresh colour on top, this keeps the colour clean and brilliant in hue.


Penshurst Place, blossom, oil painting, plein air, kent, garden

A final one, this was a wee 10in by 7 in done very quickly, but I just couldn’t resist another before going home!


The Shard, London, thames, oils, plein air, river, bridge

Another Brass Monkey expedition, the weather again was fantastic. The challenge here was to get the hazy tones right which I did OK but the drawing and composition slightly suffered in my haste.


Michael Richardson, London, Thames, Wapping Group

Here is our vantage point. The tide was unusually low which brings great possibilities for unusual views. Michael Richardson, immune to distraction, paints away while I flit about taking photos. The terrain means backing away to take stock of your progress could be hazardous!


Telegraph Hill, london, newcross, watercolour

This was done from a sketch gone wrong. The view is from Telegraph Hill in South London where a large Semaphore tower stood in Napoleonic times. The light was gorgeous but due to rushing I messed up the first wash, so I re-did it as soon as I was home while it was still fresh in my memory. Off to Dorset next so I hope for some good subjects, but as I am visiting good friends I will I suspect be lured from painting duties by pleasant society.


  1. Another very fine set of paintings. This is rapidly becoming one of my favourite places to spend some time. Makes me think about my own practice. Thanks.

    Comment by Mick Carney — April 26, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  2. This view is very dear to my heart, please email me as I’d love to have a copy. Thanks so much. Darren

    Comment by Darren Nelson — January 27, 2014 @ 10:53 pm

  3. Hi Darren not sure which picture you are referring to!

    Comment by Rob Adams — January 28, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

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