Wednesday, 13 April 2011

"Low Tide"

I think it's been a while since this old boat has been out but it does make a good subject for painting. I began with an all-over wash first, to get that feeling of wet sand/mud, using a combination of warm and cool colours. You can see where the weak winter sun is catching the forward-facing planes of the boat.
The soft, wet-in-wet wash was allowed to dry before I finished the painting with harder-edged wet-on-dry brushstrokes.

Monday, 4 April 2011

"Cretan Sunset"

This small painting was done as a 30-minute demonstration during a workshop for the Dartmouth Art Society. The theme of the workshop was 'Painting from your Holiday Photos'. My aim was to show how to use photos for painting without copying them exactly.
What attracted me to this scene was the wonderful evening light, which I remembered from the time the photo was taken. The photo contained a lot of detail in the boat, along with a lot of ripples in the water. But, the light was what I wanted to concentrate on so I applied an all-over wash first, mixing warm and cool colours on the page. Once dry, I quickly added some harder-edged, wet-on-dry brush strokes to describe the hills, the boat and the darker ripples.
With watercolour ~ less is more.

Friday, 1 April 2011

"Boats at Brixham"

These two small boats were tied up at Brixham harbour. I wanted to catch the gentle movement of the water, along with the broken-up reflections of the boats. So, after sketching the outline, I diluted some colours in my palette and then wetted the entire surface of the paper. I then brushed in some alizarin crimson at the top, allowing it to flow down the paper (important to have the board at an angle). I then picked up some cobalt blue and washed this in too, letting it mix with the crimson. Further down the page I added some pthalo blue and a little raw sienna. When this was nearly dry, I picked up some quite dry colour to paint the soft ripples in the foreground. This is the most difficult part as, if you introduce really wet colour into a wash, which is almost dry, the result will be a bloom (or cauliflower, as we call them here).
The rest of the painting was completed once this initial wash was dry.