Rain Over Howth Watercolour

Rain Over Howth 5 x 7 inches

I was out sketching along the shores of Scotsman's Bay in Sandycove.  It was a bright and breezy day but rain clouds were gathering.  I spent about two hours painting a large 16 x 20 inch paper.  Exhausted with battling against the wind, I started to pack away my things when I turned around and saw THIS scene!  I quickly scrawlled it out in hurried pencil lines and broad brushstrokes as I watched the peninsula of Howth on the horizon line start to disappear in a swathe of rain.  This quick 15 minute sketch of the scene had more life in it than the one I had spent hours on earlier.  I've painted this scene a few times now, each time it comes out differently.  But the energy in the sea and sky, the simplicity of the composition, make for a dynamic painting each time. 

Sketchbook Version, Rain Over Howth 10 x 22 inches

Sketchbook Version, Rain Over Howth 10 x 22 inches

Powerscourt Waterfall, County Wicklow

Powerscourt Waterfall, County Wicklow

The beautiful waterfall at Powerscourt, often shrouded in shadow and mist, was the location chosen for one of the Watercolour Challenge’s (Channel 4 TV).  I don’t know what gave me the confidence to paint an enormous sheet of Watercolour paper (30 x 22 inches) for this plein air scene.  Perhaps it was the magnificence of the waterfall itself or the sound of the water crashing down onto the rocks below, the people below dwarfed by its size.  Even in this small 5 x 7 inch watercolour, the atmosphere is somewhat ‘fairytale’ but I feel the intensity of the water, still.

(The original 30 x 22″ Painting went on sale in the Mall Galleries and was bought by a member of the House of Lords)