Oil on Board, 9 x 12 inches
I painted this one en plein air near the village of Manton in Rutland, looking down the hill. I drove around for a while, looking for something to paint and was attracted by the billowing clouds and the sharp sunlight silhouetting the big Ash tree. I loved the brilliant light bouncing off the road at the bottom of the hill and the blueness of the distant tree forms.
I parked the trusty Berlingo with all my gear on the grass verge and swiftly got set up to take advantage of the gorgeous light. After a few minutes I had sketched in the main elements and set to by blocking in the darks and the rough tones throughout. About this time I felt something crawling up my leg and on glancing down I noticed (could hardly miss!) several hundred angry red ants swarming over my jeans! I quickly brushed off the tiny beasts, throwing off my shoes to bang off all the backup of armies following their scouts, and figured it best to beat a hasy retreat, or at least, advance, and moved the easel about 10 yards down the hill. This meant I had to alter the drawing somewhat, but hey-ho, it's all part pof the fun of working on site!
I worked for a couple of hours in situ, then got back home to finish off the painting in the studio, using a couple of reference photos as an aide memoire.