Tag Archives: River Tyne

Spring Exhibition

Alan Reed

North Shields Fish Quay

Our new Spring Exhibition started on 31st March 2018 and continues until 30th April.  I use the word “Spring” lightly as it’s snowing outside as I’m writing this blog post.

Due to the wintery conditions we have been experiencing since 2017 there is a snowy theme going on in this latest body of work. However there are some new cheery paintings on view. Please feel free to call us on 01661 871800 to arrange a viewing in a relaxed atmosphere.

The latest painting off the drawing board is “North Shields Fish Quay”. It’s a scene I first painted in 1985 for a client who commissioned a couple of River Tyne pictures. You can read about the other painting on a recent blog post about the River Tyne Painting.

This new watercolour depicts fishing trawlers bathed in late afternoon sunlight. In the distance you can see the old Port of Tyne buildings, some of which have long since gone. Fluid brush marks for the reflected light in the water and the soft edges for the engine smoke belching out of the trawlers help to keep the overall scene lively and free.

 

Alan Reed

Balevullin Beach, Tiree

Another new painting is Balevullin Beach on the island of Tiree, one of the Inner Hebrides. On a recent blog post you can read about our trip there last May where I painted a number of watercolours on location. This oil has been inspired by those studies, including a small watercolour available online.

Balevullin Beach is popular with surfers who take advantage of the waves rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean. The turquoise sea and dramatic skies are a delight to paint.

We enjoyed mixed weather. Heavy rain followed by bright sunshine and wonderful sunsets was the pattern for each day.

Alan Reed

Todi, Umbria

Todi in Umbria points us towards the finer weather to come and our Painting Holiday in June. You can watch a video on YouTube of how I used a number of sketches painted on location to produce this A4 watercolour painted on hand made paper.

Our Spring Exhibition continues throughout April however there are a few days when we will be closed so it is best to call us on 01661 871 800 to make sure we are open before setting out.

 

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River Tyne

River Tyne Sunset, Near North Shields

River Tyne Sunset

One of the first commissions I received when I went self employed back in 1984 was to do two original watercolours of the River Tyne near the North Shields Fish Quay for a leading North East businessman. Over the years I’ve enjoyed going back to the reference material I gathered back then to do fresh interpretations of the same scenes. My watercolour style and technique has changed over the years but it still ends up being a joy to tackle paintings of the Tyne which capture a bygone era.

The River Tyne of course has been an inspiration for local songwriters and musicians including Sting, Lindisfarne and Jimmy Nail and when you spend time looking at the Big River it’s easy to see why.

The scene above titled “River Tyne Sunset” is now available as a limited edition giclee print online and from our Studio and Gallery in Ponteland. It was painted as a very large original watercolour which was challenging to paint with huge washes of colour to control for the sky and water.

Another difficulty was ensuring that the colours worked together. In particular I had to be careful that the Manganese Blue didn’t pollute the yellows and oranges around the darker cloud shapes. In the end I was very satisfied with final outcome and feel it is a long overdue addition to our growing collection of North East Prints.

 

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Bill Quay

Watercolour Painting of River Tyne

Original Watercolour of Bill Quay

Several months ago I received an enquiry about taking on a commission to do a watercolour painting of Bill Quay. The painting was to be a “thank you” present from a lady to give to her parents as she was getting married in the summer.

Bill Quay on the River Tyne holds special personal memories for the family. We discussed a specific size that would fit with her budget and I went one evening to Bill Quay to do a small sketchbook watercolour of the scene that the client had in mind.

Over the years I’ve painted many views of the River Tyne including North Shields, Fishing. I had a good idea of what would work for this particular painting.

The client approved the sketch so I was able to commence on the finished 14″ x 10″ watercolour, painted on an Arches Watercolour Block. Once again, the painting received the “thumbs up” from the client so all that needed to be done was to organise the framing and delivery.

We offer a bespoke framing service at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland where we have a comprehensive range of framing and mount options and I have over 30 years experience in helping customers choose the right frame and mount for a painting. I thought it would be nice to feature the client’s response to the commission.

“Just to let you know I have given the painting of Bill Quay to my parents today. It was also the first time I have seen it. Needless to say there were lots of tears! They were so pleased they have made sure everyone has seen it who is here today at the family barbecue.  I can’t thank you enough, its absolutley brilliant and the mounting and frame is just fantastic. They have said they will put a review on the website and of course I will as well. Thank you again, its just everything and more.” L.

One of the links on this post is an affiliate link to an Arches Watercolour Block, a product which I personally use, available from Amazon. If you click on the link and buy this product then I will receive a small percentage of the sale from Amazon at no extra cost to yourself.

 

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Tyne Bridges, Summer Sunset

Tyne Bridges, Summer Sunset

Tyne Bridges, Summer Sunset

Paintings of the Tyne Bridges have always been very popular. Rarely does a week go by without me selling a limited edition print depicting a view of Newcastle’s Quayside showing one or more of its famous bridges. The Quayside itself has some stunning architecture, so it’s not difficult to find some inspirational aspect to paint. Also, it’s an area which has seen massive changes, particularly over the last twenty years, so even the paintings I have done over my 27 years as a full time artist have become historical.

This watercolour was sold recently from my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland and shows some of the newer additions to the River Tyne, in particular the Sage and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. In the background you have the Tyne Bridge, High Level Bridge and indications of some of the other more distant bridges, all of which are set against the backdrop of a summer sunset. I love the interplay of curves which combine to link the old with the new which is one of the reasons why I decided to publish it as a limited edition print.

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River Tyne Sunset

River Tyne Sunset, Near North Shields

River Tyne Sunset

In one of my recent blog posts I talked about a commission I received when I first went full time as an artist back in 1984 at the age of 22. It was to do two watercolours of the River Tyne near North Shields for a leading North East businessman. He wanted me to depict the industry on the River Tyne, in particular the cranes, docks and ships.

Last year I decided to re-visit the reference I gathered over 27 years ago to do a fresh take on the scene. I stretched a massive sheet of Arches watercolour paper around 40″ x 30″ and drew out the basic composition in pencil. Then the real fun began!

First I wet the paper and flooded specific areas of the sky and all of the river with a mix of Cadmium Lemon and orange to create the effect of low winter sun catching the clouds. Once that first wash dried (about one to two hours) I wet the paper again around the yellow parts, however this time I brushed in some subtle washes of Rose Madder, intensifying the colour nearer the horizon.

An hour or so later, when that wash had dried, I wet the paper once again in carefully planned out shapes around the yellow parts to indicate where the next application of colour was going to go, some nicely painted in Manganese Blue for the sky. Finally, when the blue wash dried, I completed the sky with some much darker cloud shapes with a mix of Paynes Grey, Rose Madder and Manganese Blue.

Next came the fun of painting in the main subject of the boats, cranes and docks using a wet on dry technique with all of the colours mentioned previously and some Raw Sienna, Vandyke Brown and Lamp Black. All the colours are Winsor and Newton Artists quality and the entire painting was done with a Stratford and York size 20 synthetic brush. Sadly, this particular brush is no longer available but I do have a few for sale at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

The painting titled River Tyne Sunset is currently on view at the North East Art Collective in Eldon Gardens, Newcastle upon Tyne where I also have a number of other original watercolours on display.

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North Shields Fish Quay

North Shields Fish Quay Original Watercolour

North Shields Fish Quay

One of the first commissions I received when I went self employed back in 1984 was to do two original watercolours of the Tyne near the North Shields Fish Quay area for a leading North East businessman. Over the years I’ve kept going back to the reference material I gathered back then to do fresh interpretations of the same scenes. My watercolour style and technique has changed over the years but it still ends up being a joy to tackle paintings of the Tyne which capture a bygone era.

This particular watercolour depicts fishing trawlers berthed at the North Shields Fish Quay. It’s winter time, so the sun is low over the River Tyne and its dying rays are casting a warm glow over the battered hulls of the boats and the architecture. Further mood and atmosphere has been created by lifting out a little of the colour over some of the boats to give the effect of smoke rising from their engines. The use of counterchange for the masts, highlighted against the darker buildings, then dark against the wintery sky gives further added interest. The odd dot of red for the buoys brings extra sparkle to the painting. Achieving the orange and yellow clouds in a cool blue sky is always a challenge in watercolour as it’s easy for the colours to merge and become a dirty green, however I managed to pull it off. The original painting is currently on show at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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North Shields, Fishing

North Shields, Fishing

North Shields, Fishing

A few weeks ago I was doing a watercolour demonstration for a class in Rothbury. As part of the lesson, I was showing the students how to begin a painting, in particular the sky. This is often the most difficult part of painting a landscape or seascape and can be quite daunting for the inexperienced. I was working on several paintings that day, one of which was this 12″ x 9″ watercolour of some lads fishing off the Fish Quay at North Shields.

I was working off two photographs, one for the sky, the other for the figures and River Tyne reference. It was a scene I had painted on location about 10 years ago, so I was well familiar with the view. I began by laying a very pale yellow wash over the whole paper which I intensified at the point of the horizon. When that dried, I went over parts of the wash with some Rose Madder which you can see, particularly in the water. Once dry, I began to pick out some of the blue in the sky with some touches of Manganese Blue. Finally, after mixing the colour for the darker clouds with Rose Madder, Manganese Blue and Paynes Grey, I painted in the dramatic, carefully positioned clouds to bring a strong sense of mood and atmosphere to the composition.

I completed the painting in my studio in Ponteland which will form part of my Christmas Exhibition starting in November which will include other paintings of the North East, Italy and the Middle East too.

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High Level Bridge, Fog on the Tyne

High Level Bridge, Fog on the Tyne

High Level Bridge, Fog on the Tyne

I have a bus going past me, a train going over me and a boat passing under me. Where am I in Newcastle? The answer is found in the painting above. The High Level Bridge was designed by Robert Stephenson (who designed the steam locomotive the Rocket with his father George and Henry Booth) and was built between 1847 and 1849. It is the first major example of a wrought iron tied arch bridge. In 1849 on the 28th September, Queen Victoria officially opened the bridge without a formal ceremony, her train simply coming to a royal halt on the new bridge.

In 2005, the road that runs through the bridge was closed completely to enable essential repairs to be undertaken to a cost of £43 million, about a 100 times more than the bridge originally cost to be built! It re-opened in 2008 but only for south bound buses and taxis to reduce loads on the bridge.

This view of Newcastle’s High Level Bridge is one of my favourite paintings of Newcastle. I first painted it back in 1992 except my first watercolour featured some of the buildings on the Gateshead side of the River Tyne. A few years later I decided to do another version, this time wanting to capture the low level fog and mist that sometimes hangs over the river. The view is taken from the very highest point on Newcastle’s Keep which provides a terrific vantage point for many of the cities famous landmarks.

It’s been one of my more challenging paintings as it’s not easy trying to paint fog in a convincing manner. One has to paint certain elements of the bridge and foreground structures as though there was no fog and then lift them out using a brush and clean water once they are dry. It was also very important to paint the architectural details with great precision, not only of the bridge, but also of the buildings nearby to add to the authenticity of the scene. I was delighted when my art teacher from my middle school days bought one of the prints.

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