Sketches From Fleetwith Pike – A lesson in Form and Colour

Elevation: 2100ft  Position: N 54’30.9951′ W 003’13.6988


Notes of a Painter 25th July 2018

The landscape from Fleetwith Pike is a truly inspiring landscape to paint, spoilt for choice of Peaks in view from the Great Gable, Scafell to the rolling Haystacks with spectacular views down into Buttermere.The landscape ever-changing presented a painter with a series of challenges.

  1. The fleeting light and shift of clouds over the tops often changed how the mountains presented themselves to you. Often areas would become illuminated, with an abundance of varied tones and highlights. However within minutes the shapes and forms would completely change again. Although this was challenging I found it important to affirm tonal areas firstly by blocking out large areas of mid tones with appropriate directional mark making whilst eliminating the white of the panel which can be somewhat distracting.

2. The colours danced between warm ochers, rich reds of the scoured grass and heather to cool blues, greys of the many weathered surfaces. The Foreground would be predominately warmer with the distant clearly evidencing strong ultramarine blues much like a coloured filter on a camera. For me I was always going to give focus to form over colour, although midtone colour mixing is an area I intend to explore further in my next series of plein air mountain studies.

3. In order to fully appreciate the area, we thought it would be appropriate to spend the night there after much deliberation and preparation from the previous weeks wild camp. It is only recently that I have taken up Wild Camping, encouraged by fellow mountain enthusiasts which has given me a renewed appreciation for the landscape and the many moods it has to offer.

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