Following a trip to this fantastic example of an Essex church (built circa 1120) I was inspired to make a painting of this wonderful piece of architecture.

I took a few photographs of the church, some from the rear of the church, but the light was not so marvellous from that angle.

I made a few measurements on my paper before I started my drawing. I wanted to capture the impression of looking up at this building and had a good one point perspective angle to work from.

I painted in the sky first, with the most minute amount of paint. I used a filbert brush to make the shapes of the distant clouds, by using different brush pressures on the paper, so some clouds look further away than others: the harder you press, the more colour to apply to the watercolour cold press paper. I then painted in the spire, using Payne’s grey and purple. When it was dry I used a waterproof pen to draw in the lines.

For the roof I painted a wash of orange but then took some Payne’s grey and added it to a red: I needed to make this look old and weathered. I then took a stipple brush and lightly marked in stipple with Payne’s grey (light brush stroke).

I used yellow ochre as my base colour for the stone on the church, but mixed in some flesh tint and reapplied a further coat of that colour. I used a dark chromatic I mixed for the shadow of the roof and the curved wood on the gable end of the building. I used chromatic black for the shadow in the windows and a variety of chromatic blacks for the porch.

I used some imagination for the trees in the background but this was loosely based on trees I have recently seen near my home, that have wonderful autumnal colours showing.

For the gravestones I used pink, flesh tint, grey and a light red. When they were dry I used waterproof black pen to outline them.

For the pathway I used a range of colours: blues, pinks, greys, and I applied then quite randomly. I edged the pathway with a mix of burnt umber and burnt sienna.

For the grass: I painted in a lemon yellow and with a few different greens I had mixed, I used them in varying strengths of washes.