Tag Archives: landscape

Why I don’t paint cows – very often…

Yesterday evening, I spotted a picturesque field with six cows and six calves.  They were scattered around the field in a pleasing composition in front of a nice old oak tree. The ideal subject for a painting – or so I thought. But, as soon as I started to set up, they all wandered over to see what the fuss was about. They stood around looking at me for a while and then got bored and wandered off – over the hill!


So, with no cows in sight, I got on with the painting and, after an hour or so, they wandered back and I thought I would be able to paint them. But – no – they just stood in a line with their backs too me.  Still no good for painting.


Eventually, they composed themselves in to small groups and I was able to quickly add them to the otherwise empty field I had painted. In a few short minutes, they had wandered off again but the picture was finished.

Suffolk cow paintingCows near Poslingford, Suffolk. Oil on board, 8x12inches, 20x30cm.

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A day by the coast

Rye Harbour, oil painting by Roy ConnellyRye Harbour, oil on board, 8×10 inches.

Rye Harbour summer afternoon, oil painting by Roy ConnellyRye Harbour – Summer Afternoon, oil on board, 6 x 10 inches

painters at Rye Harbourpainters at work

Five minute sketch at Rye HarbourA five minute sketch in oil on board. 6×8 inches

At the weekend Karl Terry invited a group of friends to join him for a day’s painting. He arranged access to a private stretch of the river at Rye in East Sussex then, in the evening, showed off his skills at the barbeque.

The 5 minute sketch above was the result of a challenge.  We all went over the time limit – this one took me about 10 minutes.


Thanks Karl 🙂

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Spring is on its way

Painting in the Chess Valley near Sarrat

small bee on paint brush

One advantage of working outside throughout the year is being aware of the changing seasons.  It definitely feels as if spring is here at last.

I thought I would share a few of the photos I have taken while out painting over the last few days.

Clockwise from top left: The Chess Valley, Richmond Bridge, A friendly heron at Richmond, a tiny bee that settle on my painting kit.

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Figures in Paintings

Pissarro (left) and Monet

Two from Turner

Bellotto (left) and Canaletto

I often draw in the National Gallery and last week I spent some time studying figures from several different painters. These are some of the sketches I made of incidental figures. All of these figures, although not the main focus of the paintings, have a vital role to play. They add life and scale to the scene. Since the eighteenth century they have been known as staffage.

Below are some examples from my own work.

Above left: Little Boltons (detail). Above right: Pall Mall (detail)

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Strand on the Green

River Thames at Strand on the Green

I worked pretty fast on this 24 x 30 inch canvas to try and catch the light before it changed.  The whole scene became gradually more blue as the sun moved around and I stopped work just before lunch.  After a bite to eat with friends at a nearby cafe I returned to my easel just before the rapidly rising tide reached it.  I will go back to the location tomorrow to finish it off – light permitting.

I returned the following morning hoping to finish it off but the light was totally different.  I worked a little on the foreshore then left it to finish another day.  I am now waiting for a day when the tide is lowest at 11am and with a clear sky but before the leaves come out on the trees.  Hopefully that is not too much to ask for.  Below you can see the picture as it is at the moment.

Strand on the Green - oil painting by Roy Connelly

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