Evening at Porth Nanven, 9th July 2020, 9.00pm

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 24 x 15cm

A sudden break in the weather after four days of continuous fog and drizzle.  I had intended to paint a different subject a little higher up the  valley but by the time the sky had cleared the Sun was too low and everything was in shadow. Setting myself up on the rocks at Porth Nanven I was treated to a marvelous sunset after painting this small sketch of the warm evening light on the cape.

A short walk around Higher Botallack Farm

While I usually go straight into a painting when I’m outside, I sometimes make a few preliminary pencil sketches of a particular motif before moving on to a painting. It helps me become familiar with the motif if the subject is fairly complex, and allows me to work out problems in composition and lighting in a simple drawing before moving on to the more involved process of painting. This farm on the exposed high moorland is one of the more picturesque being surrounded by very characterful trees which provide a much needed wind break in the winter.


Graphite on paper, approx 120 x 190 cm


Graphite on paper, approx 120 x 190 cm


Graphite on paper, approx 150 x 190 cm

Pond by Nine Maidens Common, 21st June 2020, 3.00pm

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 30x20cm

Despite some rain having fallen over the past few weeks the water level in the pond up on the moors remains exceptionally low. I started this sketch earlier in the week during a spell of fine warm weather but as the clear blue skies lacked some interest I decided to wait for a more interesting sky. Going up on the moors again today to scout out a few locations I got thoroughly soaked in the intermittent rain showers blowing in the from the ocean ( a couple of hours in the sun and wind though soon dries one out! ) and took the opportunity to add a few well chosen clouds to complete the sketch in a gap between showers

Sunrise at the Cape, 6th June, 2020, 6.00am

plein air, oil on board apprx. 20x15cm

For a short period around sunrise beautiful early morning light bathed the Cape and scudding clouds being driven by a very cool, blustery, northerly wind. Quite a turnaround from the fine weather recently experienced. It felt more like February or March than early June and the start of meteorological summer. The glorious light was all too brief as the sky was completely occluded less than an hour later and remained so for the rest of the day.

Fog at the Cape, 26th May, 2020

Sea fog at the Cape, 6.45am, plein air, oil on board apprx. 20x15cm

Sometimes taking a gamble pays off. This coast generally doesn’t enjoy delicate foggy and misty effects and when fog is present it’s usually dense enough to completely obscure any views, sometimes persisting for days or even weeks.  This morning the winds were in the right direction to blow overnight fog out to sea after sunrise. It was fascinating to watch the fog advancing and retreating over the ocean. Coming into shore the fog would collide with the cape, the breeze  driving it in scrolling waves up over the south face to cascade down the north facing slopes.  In the ten years I have lived here this is only the second time I have been fortunate enough to see this  happen.


Sky fog at the Cape, 6.30pm, plein air, oil on board apprx. 20x15cm

After another glorious, sunny day, I returned to the same spot again in the late afternoon. At this time of year the sun is high enough and in the right position to back light the trees making interesting patterns of deep shadow and strong, glancing lights. No sooner had I got 10 to 15 minutes into this sketch though, when sky fog came in from the north and killed the light. Less than an hour later and the coast was enveloped in dense fog once again.