Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Castle Howard - November 11th 2014. ( A year at Castle Howard )

Large half imperial watercolour 22 x 15, path adjacent to the walled garden leading to the house,

Nov 11th 2014
We, ourselves, had done some essential car maintenance and needed to give it a good run to assure us that it was in good order. We had heard the weather forecast which stated that it would be mild with sunny spells, moderate winds. This proved correct and the drive to Castle HOWARD revealed at times, a  kaleidoscope of vibrant colours, the sun magnifying their glory and contrast. Approaching the hamlet of Settrington and on our right, hillsides of autumnal yellow spruce shone against adjoining dark green conifers. Then, on our left, a giant beech hedge loomed over us as we passed screaming with orange and golden browns. We pass through Settrington in a blink, avoiding the forded lane, passing the pale block stone of the village school and on to Scagglethorpe then to Castle Howard. We park up near the plant centre and take GEORGE for a walk over the cricket ground towards the wood. He is now familiar with the routine and we let him off his lead for a bouncy run exploring mole hills. "We toast the man in the velvet coat"
We returned to the car, settled GEORGE and set off to paint. Tummy rumbling we reached the entrance to be told that the Fitzroy Cafe was CLOSED. Arrrgh. Nevertheless, we walked down the Christmas tree lined path to the house. The Christmas trees were adorned with subtle, understated white lights,  twinkling in the light breeze which will look wonderful at dusk. At the house we confirmed the cafe and, indeed the house were closed, to open again on the 22nd November. We turned round and returned to GEORGE who was taken for another walk. From the car park, holding my large board, watercolour sheet attached with bulldog clips, I sketched out the view. The house was just visible above the trees with the broad path leading ones eye to appreciate the perspective, slightly to the right of the house with its prominent cupola. Whilst sketching I was aware of a man standing quite close taking photographs ....... of me!

Early stage of adding colour
Close up
detail 1

detail 2

detail 3

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