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Just a few odds and ends in my apparently unending obsession with bygone Broadland landscapes. The scope for this is broad – if you will – and I feel far from over. I could do these all day. As it is, these were all very quick; probably no more than a quarter-hour for any one of them.

It’s been a tad chilly lately – and you know it’s cold if I’m noting the drop in temperature, for I can usually go around in next to nothing (a treat of an image for you, there) of a winter without complaint. I think snow was forecast for earlier in the week, but I don’t think it came; if it did, I was in bed, like when it actually did arrive last month. What woe.

Still, that prospect appears to have eked through to my landscapes, as the urge came over me to blow a blizzard upon my unsuspecting broadland.

The first attempt was pretty unspectacular, a little rigid but on the right lines.

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I much prefer the second, even quicker attack, and the different aesthetic that came of such improvised quickness. Hmm, perhaps an old, wintry capture of Mill Cottage in its heyday?

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On a different note entirely, and a swerve backward to my previous postmy previous post, I had another look at pathways. In becoming a bit more clued up on their uses, Photoshop’s blurring tools have become increasingly useful for creating mist, haze and general atmosphere. What’s more, a motion blur achieves quite a nice look for water:

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And, to conclude a rather denser forest walk than in the previous, this time forming a creepy arch. Again, we’re very much dependent on those blurs. At least there’s light at the end, I suppose!

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broads-pathway-1Yet another trawl through the Broadland in my mind and further attempts to develop this brisk aesthetic. Yet more fun.

After last time I began thinking about the woodland walks beside the waterways, the boathouses and the windmills, for they are often the means of getting to those places. They are quite the beauty spot of their own; what could be more alluring than the snaking pathway beneath an arch of trees? Whatever could be waiting at the end of the line?

broads-pathway-5The uneven, overgrown walkways trailing parallel to dykes and rivers, pathways of their own, separating the wild greenery. I did use this as justification for more playing with water, and building on the techniques used for the vegetation.

broads-pathway-2And an incredibly quick one:

broads-pathway-4I intended to do more with this quick render below, namely using it as a reference for a drawing of similar composition, however, it didn’t quite pan out this time. Next time, maybe!

broads-pathway-3-mAnd with that, we’ve reached the end of the line. Well, at least we’ve not arrived at a curiously inviting cottage, or, even worse, nothing at all…

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broads-3-1Yet more of this old timey Broads stuff. I’m really rather engrossed at the moment, even more than usual, so I sat myself down with some Jelly Babies, turned the music up and got going, once again aiming for brisk.

I didn’t think too much of my river on Black Beauty, so began with a view to tackling that. The water of the above image was created with the same brush, but below I took a thinner, tapered brush also used for grasses and reeds, but with its ‘head’ rotated. The rather more agitated, turbulent look is I think fitting what I’m going for; it even compelled me to add a spot or two of drizzle…

broads-3-2…which promptly escalated to full-on storm! Curses. But – excuse my fanboy screams – look what’s peering over those thrashing reeds…

broads-3-3…that’s made it all worthwhile! And we got there, eventually, the filthy weather proving decidedly brief. Hmm, maybe it looked prettier in the stormy dark?

broads-3-4aIt’s a skeleton mill; furthermore, a specimen heavily inspired by Boardman’s Mill, which I tried to build in 3D last spring. After a number of bloodbaths trying to briskly draw sails, I instead opted for creating them with Photoshop’s Lasso Tool and erasing sections. A little conspicuous, but vastly better than what came before it.

These weren’t initially intended to be sequential – it rather took its own course as progress was made. It’s nice when that happens. Success or not, rivers are definitely flowing from the overarching theme and archival sources. What fun!