Monday, 6 June 2011

'Chichester Sketches'

On my free day, I got an early bus from Earnley to the centre of Chichester. My class and I had painted this view of the cathedral just a day or two before. However, it was an overcast day before and I really wanted to make a series of watercolour sketches during brighter conditions.
I attached a half Imperial sheet of Bockingford paper to my board with masking tape. I then used two more pieces of tape to divide it into the three rectangles you see here.
Then the sun came out!
I first painted the larger sketch of the cathedral in about an hour. I then turned around and painted the poppies and daisies, which were growing on a bank. This little sketch only took about twenty minutes to complete.
I then retired to one of Chichesters pubs for a spot of lunch before returning to the cathedral and painting the sunlit doorway of the bell tower, which took about half an hour.
The theme running through these three sketches is sunlight. It's really enjoyable, trying to capture that light before it changes.
This method of dividing a half-sheet of watercolour paper isn't my invention. I learned it from the renowned Australian artist, Robert Wade. His book, Watercolour Workshop Handbook, contains many such sheets painted all over the world. The book, unfortunately, is now out of print so my copy is all the more treasured.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

'Sunlit Arch, Boxgrove Priory'

I've just returned from a weeks painting in, and around, Chichester. I was running a course from the Earnley Concourse. After a cloudy start, the weather got better and better and we managed to paint outdoors every day.
One of my chosen painting localities was Boxgrove Priory. This lovely old wall and doorway in the churchyard was bathed in sunlight and the overhanging trees created dappled shadows. I decided to do a demonstration for my class so, after setting up my easel in the shade, I did this painting in just over half an hour. I used two washes: sunny colours first/shadows second.
Great weather and beautiful location. Everybody enjoyed the experience of painting on site.