When’s a bridge not a bridge ?

When’s a bridge not a bridge ?

Following on from the watercolour painting I did a couple of weeks ago of the Staffordshire trees and bridge over a stream, it reminded me of ANOTHER bridge, stream and trees that I have always wanted to paint since I first saw it five years ago…

Except in this case it wasn’t actually a bridge……………………… although it certainly looks like one!

Its over the meandering river Darent in the village of Farningham in Kent. The minute I saw it I fell in love with it. I love old stonework, and arches, particularly if they’re by water. Its in a beautiful setting by the delightful Lion Hotel in the very picturesque village of Farningham, And as you can see in the written information on the board by the folly its about 270 years old….

I took a few photos from various angles on the day I first saw it but this one above was the best one to work from for my watercolour painting, as it had the three arches and was at a shallow angle to give interest for the painting, and picked up the subtle tones of the brickwork, moss, stonework, wooden cattle screen, and the shallow river below.

After stretching a piece of watercolour paper onto my artboard and letting it dry off overnight I drew out the image, and painted the pale blue sky, then the trees behind the folly. I then painted the big tree on the left of the foreground as I knew part of it overhung the folly and I didn’t want the tree to take over the picture so I painted that in a warmer green and the black of the trunk to add interest. I then painted the pale bridge on the right hand side of the picture, making sure that it looked more muted for the background.

Then was the fun part of painting the folly and I started on the right of it working at each part over to the left hand side, there is a lot of detail in the folly and I wanted to make sure that I took my time painting it, to capture the old brickwork, the mosses, and ferns growing in it, the decorative stonework, and the reflected light under the arches as they picked up the sunlight around them. I painted the dark wood of the cattle screen when the stonework was done, then the water which had a yellowish greenish tinge to show the shallow river. Then I painted the grass and soil of the bank in the forefront of the picture.

It looks very simple but there are a lot of hours work in this watercolour painting, to capture the delicacy of the old brickwork and stonework is this idyllic setting. The painting measures 12 x 8 inches and is called ‘Farningham Folly bridge’.

I really love the place, and love the folly, and think I’ve done it justice!

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

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