I have been wanting to work on the legendary bonfire celebration in Fletching for some time, and yes this year I picked the wettest one I can remember! However, I was very kindly offered a bird's eye view from the balcony of the village shop by the owner, Jason Tidy. This was great as I was well out of the way from the crowds. It did rain hard, but undeterred, just like the procession - I carried on regardless.
I sketched the scene both in my soggy sketch book and straight on to a piece of Arches Rough 400gsm. I love the added atmosphere one gets from working en plein air and of course ones view point is far greater than through a camera lens. I just got it to a fairly loose sketch before succumbing to a warming glass of wine and continued at home the next day,
I have kept the atmosphere pretty loose, working in pen first, masking out the flames and then painting bold washes of colour. The dominant palette is yellow ochre, raw and burnt umber, indigo, French ultramarine, vermillion, cobalt violet and Naples yellow. Lots of lovely splattering completed the image with a touch of white gouache to ensure opacity. (A technique that perhaps should be over done, but here drama, energy and excitement are the order of the day!
Cards are being printed as we speak and will be available in Mr Ts Village Store, Fletching by the end of the week (or contact me). There will also be some of the detail below. A3 approx prints will be available soon too.