Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Now there's a title for a painting! Well, it wasn't me who named this part of the Torbay coastline. I painted this as a demonstration for Totnes Art Society, three weeks ago. 'Seascapes' was the requested topic, so this is what I did for them. Demo' paintings are always a challenge. Just two hours, from blank canvas (paper for a watercolourist), to last brush stroke... with the all-important tea break in the middle.
I was quite pleased with the way this one turned out, particularly the ripples on the water. I began with a pencil outline, followed by a 'controlled wash'* over the whole sheet. When it was dry, the painting was finished in a series of washes.
*This term was used by the late, great Jack Merriott (1901-1968) who was a master of watercolour and oil. His book, Discovering Watercolour, is long out of print. However, there are many copies around and it can usually be found on a well-known online store for just a few pounds. For anyone who is serious about learning the art of watercolour painting, it is a must have. The controlled wash then, is achieved by working in one over-all wash across the entire surface, to create 'a nebulous atmosphere in harmony with the scene'. This is then allowed to dry completely, before finishing the painting with one or two washes working from light to dark. Turner also used this technique to great effect but, as far as I know, it was Jack Merriott who put this name to it.
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
On another painting trip to Torcross, in South Devon, the sky was a little heavier with a few interesting clouds. The wind was up too, hence the windbreaks on the beach. Light was still good though and, after bracing my easel with a heavy rucksack, I painted this on the spot. I must admit, as someone who loves to paint light-filled subjects, I do prefer a little drama in the sky as opposed to just a flat, blue one.
Monday, 7 October 2013
This demonstration painting was done during one of my 'trouble-shooting' sessions. On the final day of a course I ask my students if there is any last thing that I can demonstrate for them. On this occasion I was requested to do demonstrate water splashing against rocks. Someone else asked if I could show how to portray wet sand. Luckily, I could do both of these in the same painting.
Friday, 4 October 2013
Another on-site demonstration painting for one of my painting holiday classes. There's so much to paint at a location like this. This spot is Bayard's Cove, where there's a ferry to/from Kingswear on the north side of the Dart. Just to my right is the Tudor artillery fort, which once defended the harbour entrance. At the foot of the hill, on the north side, there is a steam railway line, which operates between Kingswear and Paignton.
Thursday, 3 October 2013
This is one of the views, in Torbay, which is part of the South West Coastal Path. The painting was done as a demonstration to my students, during one of my painting holidays this year. I wanted to show how to paint the atmospheric feel of the bay, and to portray a feeling of distance with the headland receding into the hazy background.
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
This is Pilgrim or, to be more precise, Pilgrim BM45. She's a fully restored 1895 Brixham built gaff-rigged sailing trawler. I'm fortunate enough to live in Torbay and this boat is frequently seen in the bay. With its distinctive red sails, it is easy to spot. What makes it an interesting subject for me, from an artistic point of view, is the shape of the hull and the lovely, fluid reflection.
Thursday, 8 August 2013
I was in Gloucester recently, to run a watercolour course at the Summer School. During my 5 night stay I got to know the local pub quite well. This tiny church, St. Swithin's, Brookthorpe, was a few yards away so, one evening, I packed my travelling watercolour kit and painted this at around 8pm. Although there was plenty of light pouring through the window, the interior was quite dim. I had about half an hour before lights out.