Thursday, 17 February 2011

"A Bridge on Dartmoor"

This painting was based on a photographic reference I've had for some time. Out on a walk one day we came across this scene on a rather dull and drizzly day. With no time to do a sketch, I took the photo hoping there might be something I could later use. As expected, when the photo was printed, the colours and tones were all rather flat. However, I liked the composition so I decided to create my own atmosphere and colour scheme... we're artists. We can do that.
Originally a winter scene, I wanted to hint at some autumn colours.
Having made a drawing on the watercolour paper, I wetted the paper all over and then washed in some warm and cool yellows in the background. On the bridge and water I used some cooler greys and blues.
Once the initial wet-in-wet wash was dry, I proceeded to build up the painting with more controlled wet-on-dry washes.
My photo didn't include any people so I consulted my sketchbook and added these two simple figures.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

"Cloisters, Chichester Cathedral"

This little painting is an exercise in monotone. I used mostly burnt sienna, ultramarine and a little raw sienna to describe the stony surfaces,
The light coming from the doorway stands out brightly as it is surrounded by darker tones. Remember, in watercolour, the lightest tone we have is the whiteness of the paper. If you want to make something appear bright, put it next to a dark.