Friday, 26 April 2013

Demonstration at Chagford

Yesterday, I did a demonstration painting for Chagford Art Group. A blank sheet to completed watercolour painting in 2 hours, with a 15 minute tea break, can be quite a daunting prospect. However, I've been doing these for about ten years now, so I know what I'm in for. 
I stretched a half-sheet of 200lb Bockingford Rough paper to my board, the previous day. Stretching the paper beforehand provides a lovely, flat surface to paint on and I know that I'll be able to soak the paper without fear of it buckling (I still carry an extra sheet, just in case of a mishap).
I began by quickly sketching out the main shapes, with a 5B pencil. I then diluted some colours in my mixing palette. I usually begin a painting by applying a wet-in-wet wash to the entire sheet, mixing colours on the paper, to create a soft-edged shapes. Once this was dry (on demo's I use a hair dryer to speed things up), I began creating more solid forms and recognizable shapes. Finally, I put in the shadows.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Watercolour Demonstration

Here's me in action during a painting demonstration at Art Holidays in Dorset. I was there last week for a course on painting from photographs. My aim was to show students how to use their photographs to create loose and lively watercolours, rather than simply copy them line for line. We had a good break, and much work was done... accompanied by some good food and hospitality, courtesy of Christine and John who run Art Holidays.
Many thanks to Nobu Konno for the photograph, who came all the way from Japan for the course (and a whirlwind tour of the UK).

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

'The Devil's Slide', Lundy

  'The Devil's Slide' is a 400 foot slab of granite on the island of Lundy. This small island, 3 miles by 1 mile, is 10 miles off the N. Devon coast. It is owned by the National Trust and is accessible only by sea or air.
  We travelled there by boat, the MS Oldenburg, some years back. There are hardly any trees to speak of. It's like a mini Dartmoor, all on it's own in the middle of the sea. The coastline is very rugged, as you can see from this painting. There are similar views where I live in S. Devon, which I find very inspiring.
  I used a limited palette for this painting. My intention was to depict the play of sunlight and shadow and give some kind of feel of distance.