Watercolour

Sea Shell Sketches

Some sea shell sketches…

I enjoyed painting these. I used Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton watercolours. I tried out some new paper to paint them on – The Langton Prestige by Daler-Rowney, 100% cotton. I bought a 12″ x 9″ gummed pad, 140 lb Rough. As a person who’s a bit fussy about my watercolour paper, I have to say that I’m very impressed with this paper. It’s strong, good quality paper, and reasonably priced…

Before painting my sea shells I tested out some colours first…

This is a great way of testing colours for sea shells and pebbles etc.

I love seeing all these colours together and I can see at a glance whether they are right or not. Most of these beach treasures have quite an assortment of different colours in them, when you examine them closely.

I’m off now to see what else I feel like painting…

Watercolour

The Sky’s The Limit… !

I’ve been practicing painting skies. I would like to paint more landscapes this year. When painting landscapes quite often the sky is the first thing that is painted. Obviously I don’t want to “fall at the first hurdle” so I must practice!

I get a good view of the sunrise from the window in my little home studio, so I do get to see some very varied and interesting sky colours and cloud patterns in the early mornings; I’m hoping to draw inspiration from these. Also I have an archive of my own sky/sunrise/sunset photos (from my photography days) which I am going to draw inspiration from.

I have a collection of very different skies to share with you today. All the skies I’m about to share will be glued into a sketchbook, stating the colours I’ve used, for my future reference:

Above a storm is brewing! The colours I used were Ultramarine Blue, Indigo, Lunar Black, Burnt Sienna and Monte Amiata Natural Sienna. Daniel Smith watercolours were used for all the skies in this post; and all the skies were painted on Arches Aquarelle Rough, 140 lb except for one which was painted on Fabriano Artistico Extra White rough, 140 lb.

Here we have a bright blue sky with light fluffy white clouds with just a hint of grey. Colours used are Ultramarine Blue and Flint Grey (my own grey mix).

Heavy rain falling… ! Colours are Prussian Blue and Indigo. I’ve seen heavy rain like this falling in the distance out at sea…

Above is the one painted on Fabriano artistico Extra White paper. Colours are Ultramarine Blue and Sepia. The Sepia mixes with the Ultramarine to create some lovely greys…

More stormy skies! I threw some colours at this one – Prussian Blue, Paynes Blue Gray, Lunar Black, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and Quinacridone Burnt Orange. Some artists chose not to use ready made blacks, preferring to mix their own but I keep Daniel Smith’s Lunar Black in my palette for several reasons – 1. It’s TRANSPARENT, 2. It GRANULATES, and 3. It MIXES beautifully with other colours to create stunning granulating colours (like Lunar Blue for example).

Lightning storm… ! Colours are Indanthrone Blue, Carbazole Violet and Cascade Green. I did also use Winsor & Newton’s Titanium White watercolour (not gouache) for the lightning.

This sky has a little shimmer added to it courtesy of a little mica powder. Base colours are Prussian Blue, Paynes Blue Gray and Gray Titanium; the mica colours are Gold and Baby Blue – they added a little extra interest to an otherwise slightly dull sky…!

The sky above and the one below are loosely based on skies I’ve seen from my home recently. They were both seen  just minutes apart each other, yet they are very different; they are testimony to the fact our skies are constantly shifting and changing, sometimes very rapidly. Above I used my own Flint Gray and Quinacridone Coral; the sky had a soft light grey cloud cover but with a definite pink undertone, which showed through the lighter patches of cloud.

The pink sky quickly disappeared and gave way to blue sky with fluffy light ochre clouds, and a light dusting of  grey underneath. The colours I used here were Yellow Ochre and Ultramarine Blue.

The start of a new day. This is a sky I see often from my studio window as the sun starts to rise and it’s usually a sign that it’s going to be a beautiful day. The colours I used here were Cobalt Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium, Quinacridone Coral and my own Flint Grey.

No two skies will ever be exactly the same; there will always be wonderful new painting inspiration to be gained from looking up at the sky. And a beautiful atmospheric sky can change the whole mood of a painting. I am going to paint skies (for my personal reference) on a regular basis now; I wont blog about all of them but may post a few here and there.

A lot can be learned about colour from looking at the sky. So next time you’re out don’t forget to look up! What shapes, patterns and colours do you see? What colours would you use to paint what you see? Notice how sky colours never clash – they always look amazing together. So now I need to practice putting what I see in the sky above onto watercolour paper. I’ve discovered that painting a few skies is a great warm up exercise when I begin a painting session. So  why not give it a go – look out of the window at the sky and have some fun painting what you see!

Watercolour

Winter Fun

This is my very first attempt at painting a winter landscape. I kept the composition very simple; it was based loosely upon the fields near my home and a photo I took some years ago…

Winter Fun

It was painted on Arches Aquarelle Rough paper, 140 lb. I used a fairly simple palette of watercolours: Flint Grey (my own grey mix), DS Verditer Blue, DS Sepia, DS Burnt Sienna, W & N Permanent Rose, W & N Indigo and W & N Prussian Blue. The photo doesn’t really do the painting justice.  Also this was my first attempt at putting a person into a painting. More landscapes and seascapes are on my watercolour “to do” list for 2021 and painting more people….

Next, also on my 2021 watercolour “to do” list, more roses:

I’ve used a little creative license with the colours for these roses; each one is a different shade of blue – from left to right, Verditer Blue, Prussian Blue and Manganese Blue Hue all by Daniel Smith. I’ve deliberately kept the colours of the roses simple, monochromatic, and just tried to paint petal shapes; I’m slowly improving. I’m going to be on a bit of a watercolour mission with roses in 2021.

I’m looking forward to new watercolour adventures in 2021…

Watercolour

Colour Play…

I love playing with colour – just pushing colours and water across paper with no pressure to produce a framed work of art. I find it’s an important part of the watercolour learning process – seeing how pigments interact, seeing what lovely new colours appear when you mix them together. Or sometimes just placing colours side by side to see how they look together…

Green Envy – all my Daniel Smith greens in one place…

Daniel Smith have the most wonderful collection of green watercolour shades – mixing natural greens can now be thing of the past, if you wish. Don’t all these greens look wonderful together? I have included above a couple of my own mixes. Some of these greens are cool greens (leaning towards blue) and some are warm greens (leaning towards yellow). I love seeing them all in one place. Daniel Smith have some truly unique green shades you wont find in any other brand.

I have also been comparing some turquoise shades from my palette:

Stunning shades of turquoise…

I love all these turquoise shades but if I had to pick a favourite it would probably be Phthalo Turquoise (2nd from the left). But I do really love my own turquoise mix on the very left. I’ve called it Iced Aqua and it’s a mix of Viridian and Cerulean Blue Chromium. It is very similar to Phthalo Turquoise in hue but it granulates – DS Viridian and Cerulean Blue Chromium are both granulating colours.

I love all things to do with the sea, beach and coast; these lovely green and turquoise shades are perfect for the sea and surrounding landscapes.

Why not have some fun playing with colour… ?

Watercolour

Winter Roses

Well it’s now December and I still have a few die hard roses in my garden! I started pruning my roses some weeks ago but didn’t have the heart to cut the stems that still had buds on… ! The buds have opened and given me some watercolour inspiration…

pink-roses-nb
Pink roses ~ DS Quinacridone Rose
peach-roses-nb
Peach Roses ~ DS Quinacridone Coral + Hansa Yellow Medium
prussian-blue-rose-nb
Prussian Blue Rose ~ DS Prussian Blue + Cascade Green for the foliage

Daniel Smith watercolours were used on Arches Aquarelle rough paper, 140 lb. I would love to be able to paint roses really well. I still have a way to go but feel happy that I’ve made an improvement.

More roses are in the pipeline…

 

Watercolour

Seed Heads, Seagull & Mushrooms!

Lets start today’s post with the seed heads. Poppy seed heads to be exact. Just simple watercolour sketches but much fun to do:

Poppy Seed Heads

An assortment of colours were used for these poppy seed heads. The Winsor & Newton colours used were: Olive Green, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna and a touch of Winsor Violet. The Daniel Smith colours used were: Cascade Green, Raw Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna Light, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and Goethite…

Poppy Seed Heads

Next on my watercolour “to do” list was a seagull. I did just a simple watercolour sketch to get the basic shape, features and colours:

Seagull

I started painting my seagull with the beak, using Hansa Yellow Medium & Quinacridone Gold by Daniel Smith. I had already chosen my colours after testing some on a piece of scrap paper. Next I painted the eye and then the negative outline of the bird. No preliminary pencil sketch was used. For the soft shading on the seagull’s head and body I used my own grey mix – FLINT GREY – and for the wing and tail end I used Lunar Black by Daniel Smith. I used Prussian Blue and a little Flint Grey for the negative outline of the seagull. This was very easy to do and I will move onto more involved seagull compositions.

Mushrooms

These are large breakfast mushrooms, bought from a local supermarket mainly for the purpose of painting. But of course they will be consumed; no food is ever wasted in the creation of a watercolour! I used just three colours for this watercolour sketch: Verditer Blue, Raw Sienna and Sepia, all by Daniel Smith. I started with diluted washes of Verditer Blue; when dry I overlaid them with dilute washes of Raw Sienna. This process produced the soft mushroom grey colours. For the gills inside the mushroom I used Sepia. For the surface the mushrooms are sitting on I used Verditer Blue mixed with a little Sepia. This was a good practice exercise for me.

Finally these are some of the most recent additions to my watercolour palette:

Lovely New Colours

I love all these colours. Verditer Blue is stunning; it’s a cooler blue than Ultramarine Blue and Cobalt Blue but not as cool as Cerulean Blue. Raw Sienna by Daniel Smith is different to what I would call a traditional raw sienna; but it’s wonderful for mixing with other colours or, indeed, just on it’s own. There’s nothing better to add new life to your watercolour painting than having new colours to play with…

Watercolour

Abstraction

I recently attended a two part webinar hosted by Liz Hough from the St. Ives School of Painting. It was really interesting and inspiring to watch Liz explain and demonstrate a series of processes that can help inspire us to create abstract art. We were set homework and here’s my homework from the first webinar:

Abstract seascape study in watercolour
Abstract seascape study in watercolour

To create these abstract seascapes studies I chose to use watercolour paints. I painted several sheets of watercolour paper using a limited palette – I used Paynes Blue Gray, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and Prussian Blue by Daniel Smith. The idea is that creating studies like these can help us to create more serious pieces of abstract art work. I like how these turned out. They inspire me. I will be exploring abstract art further. I also still have to do homework for the second webinar, so I will cover that in another post.

Also on the subject of abstraction, I created a collection of small abstract seascapes in indigo and arranged them in a mosaic form:

Abstract Indogo Seascapes

One of the squares in the above mosaic inspired me to paint this seascape:

Sailing Stormy Seas

I painted this stormy wild seascape in watercolour on Arches Rough watercolour paper, 140 lb. The colours I used were Winsor & Newton’s Indigo, Cascade Green and Manganese Blue Hue by Daniel Smith. Did you guess the square in the mosaic that inspired this? It’s not hard, it was the second line down and the second in from the left!

If you’re interested in my watercolour work please consider following me on instagram – @evelynflintwatercolours – as I post there a bit more frequently than here on my blog. But of course I will always post more information about my work here on my blog.

I’m concluding my post with a great quote from Oscar Wilde:

“Art only begins where imitation ends”

Hazel Soan quoted this at the end of an interview she recently gave. It got me thinking, and I hope it will get you thinking too…

Watercolour

Seascape Practice

This weekend I started some watercolour seascape practice…

Beach 1 - NB

This was just a fairly quick sketch. The wave was created from a deliberate watermark. Once dry I added a little detail and definition. The colours I used were Prussian Blue, Cobalt Turquoise Light and Raw Sienna, by Winsor & Newton. And I also used some Buff Titanium by Daniel Smith. All the white areas in the painting are white paper.

Ocean 2 - NB

In the above painting I have used masking fluid to reserve the white of the wave and sea spray – no gouache or other white medium has been used. I have to say that I’m not mad keen on masking fluid… BUT I’m even less keen about using white gouache (and other white mediums) to add whites to a watercolour. The whitest white in a watercolour painting will always be the white of the paper. The white paper in a watercolour reflects light beautifully. White gouache is less efficient at reflecting the light and will never appear a white as the original white paper; plus overusing white gouache (or similar) can make a painting look dull.

I have decided that in my watercolour work I would rather reserve the white paper for my whites as much as possible and only use Winsor & Newton’s professional Titanium White watercolour paint (not gouache) for whites when absolutely necessary. As well as masking fluid there are other ways to reserve the white paper which I will explore in another post.

Beach 2 - NB

Above is a simple sea shore. Again the white areas are white paper reserved by masking fluid. I have to say that my masking fluid application skills need to improve somewhat…! I’ll work on it. The colours used in this painting were Paynes Grey, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue GS, Raw Umber and Raw Sienna, all by Winsor & Newton. I also used Buff Titanium and Goethite by Daniel Smith.

So to conclude, whilst I’m not mad keen about masking fluid, I can see that there are occasions when it’s advantageous or necessary to use it. I really enjoyed painting these seascapes. I have a longing to be by the sea…

Follow me on Instagram @evelynflintwatercolours

Watercolour

Koala

Koala 1 - NB
Koala in watercolour, 19 cm x 29 cm

This cute little koala is the subject matter of the latest tutorial in Jean Haines Online Art School. This was really fun to do. It’s not something I would have painted normally but it’s good to be challenged to paint something a little different. It is watercolour of course and the colours I used were: Lunar Blue, Indigo, Cobalt Violet Deep, Quinacridone Gold and Goethite (Brown Ochre), all by Daniel Smith. The paper I used was Winsor & Newton Professional paper, 140 lb Rough.  Fun to do.