Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Devon Artist Network Summer Show

I am one, of many, artists currently exhibiting at the DAN Summer Show. The exhibition is being held at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. I have three watercolour paintings on display until the end of September.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

New Magazine Article

I've written a new article, on watercolour, which has been published in the latest edition of Leisure Painter magazine. 
The article, 'The Mood Wash', is all about creating mood and atmosphere in your paintings, which is something I often talk about in this blog. One of the paintings is featured on the front cover of the magazine.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

'Totnes High Street'

A loose impression of this very well-known landmark. Street scenes can be a little overwhelming for artists. All that detail! The answer is to simplify what you see. Ask yourself 'what can I leave out?'. A camera takes in everything but we artists can be selective. The windows on the bridge were quite important but with a feature like that, it's tempting to get a ruler and start drawing very straight lines. That would lead to a very stilted and boring copy, though. I sketched in their outlines 'freehand' and used my large mop brush to loosely paint the panes. The 'broken' brushstrokes give the impression of reflections in the glass. I also implied a few figures underneath to add some life and scale.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Blue Mood Wins...

Well, I took my two sketches along to Bovey Tracey Art Society with the intention of painting the 'warm' scene. I showed the sketches and explained what I was going to do and several people voiced their preference for the other sketch. What to do? I decided to ask for a show of hands and, to my surprise, the 'Blue Mood' won by a landslide. I was sure that the warmer version would win the day.
Still, I went with the crowd and did this larger version in about an hour and a half. Stopping from time to time to answer questions and pause for the, all-important, tea break.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

'What Mood Am I In?'

I have a watecolour demonstration coming up later this week, for an art society. The subject is 'Rocky Seascape'. I have a reference photo to work from, of this local landmark known as 'London Bridge' (even though it's in Devon!). Although I'll be using a photo, I will not be copying it. I'll only use it as a starting point. I want to put a little of my own personality into it, otherwise there's no point to the exercise.
For both these small colour sketches (6"x6") I first applied what I like to call a 'mood wash'. The one on the left received a pre-wash of raw sienna, with a touch of Alizarin crimson. Once dry, I painted the scene with a limited palette of Raw sienna, Alizarin crimson & Cobalt blue. As you can see, the effect of the 'mood wash' was to give the painting a warm glow.
The one on the right received a pre-wash of Cobalt blue, and was then completed with a palette of Cobalt blue, Alizarin crimson & Permanent yellow light. This led to a much cooler interpretation of the scene.
Still not sure which one I will choose but, having done the colour sketches, I am more sure of the outcome(s).

Monday, 23 January 2012

'Low Tide, Brixham'

Another painting featuring water. The tide was quite low, as can be seen from the hulls of the two foreground boats. Their reflections were mirrored on the surface but a slight breeze was enough to break up their outlines. The movement slightly elongates the dark, reflected shapes.
As always, I've simplified the shapes and the ripples. I used my largest brush to paint the hulls and their reflections in one go. I painted this directly, without any build up of washes, which means that I had to be sure that my colours were strong enough. Once dry, I added a small detail here and there.
With water, less is more.