Neil Houghton

‘Whernside and the Sun’


Pencils: Prismacolor and Polychromos
Paper: Rising Stonehenge
35 x 23cm

It was March and I was in the Yorkshire Dales travelling from Yockenthwaite to Hawes. As we climbed the steep road from the valley floor up the side of the dale, I looked to the left and could see the dark mass of Whernside, one of the “Three Peaks”, in the shade of a cloud but with a patch of sunlight racing the strong cold north wind. When the road levelled out I jumped from the car and hurried to get into a good position to view the unfolding spectacle. The wind was incredible, a steady 35-45 mph and icy cold, conditions too extreme to think of making a sketch and the direction of the bright sunlight ruled out any attempt to capture the scene with a photograph so this painting is the result of memory and later photographs for topographical detail. I wanted to capture the moment the sun bursts through the clouds to illuminate the landscape in a warm late afternoon light that belies the bitterly cold conditions.


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