watercolours, watercolour, paintings, english, painting, marine, rural, landscape, coastal, gallery, galleries, history, virtual, workshop, online, Tony Cowlishaw

watercolour, painting, paintings


Subject Cockley Beck, Cumbria

Finished version

Cockley Beck lies midway between the Hardnott and Wrynose passes, which run east to west through the heart of the English lake District. This is an idyllic subject for an artist, combining farm buildings with an old pack horse bridge, the composition is linked together by the trees above the  bridge and the running water and rocks of the river below. The painting is done on 15 X 22 inches  300 lb  NOT Arches Aquarelle watercolour paper using Winsor and Newton Artists Quality watercolour paints.


Progression of development of painting



Stage 1

The composition is first carefully planned to combine and balance all the elements of the painting into an initial  pencil sketch.

Stage 2

The first paint to be applied is always onto the sky. In this painting it is kept fairly simple so that it does not detract from the strong subject matter. Initial washes are applied to the mountains in the background and the ground which surrounds the house and river. As the light is coming from the right of the painting, washes are applied to establish the rock forms, the sides of the buildings in shadow and the structure of the bridge.

Stage 3

The form of the trees is now drawn with a brush keeping a shadow on the left side of each tree to create a contour effect.

Stage 4

Further detail is now applied to the trees which is also balanced with detail of the bridge structure. The small tree in front of the bridge is also carefully drawn with a brush keeping the left side in shadow







Stage 5

As the painting nears completion the outer branches of the trees are defined with a lighter tone of colour to form the thin branches using very thin washes to show the outline.  A mottling effect is applied with a splayed old brush to separate the bristles. Further work is done on the bridge to differentiate the variable tonality of the bridge and at ground level to distinguish the shadows.





Stage 6 (Completed)

The paintings exhibited on the English Watercolour Web Site are painted using the finest quality materials.- Winsor & Newton Artist quality watercolour paints and 300lb weight Arches or Saundersford watercolour paper, the textures of which are either NOT or Rough surface. Each painting is presented mounted using a Cream Ingres mount.