Art · Watercolour

Learning Control

This is another exercise from Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. This exercise is all about learning to control watercolour – getting it to move in the directions you wish it to…..

You start with a blank piece of paper and imagine a white circle in the middle.  You then paint two lines around the edge of this imaginary circle, roughly top and bottom with gaps….

Watercolour Control 1 - NB

You then bleed the colour away from the circle with a wet brush. You drop in more pigment and then bleed the colour away again in the direction you wish it to go. The colour only goes in the direction you invite it to with the brush and water….

Watercolour Control 2 - NB

Watercolour Control 3 - NB

The colour will not enter the white circle unless you “invite” it to with your brush and water….

Watercolour Control 4 - NB

Above you can see that the edges of the circle are blurred because I invited the pigment into the circle with a wet brush.

This was a very simple exercise but I found it very useful. Again, this was not about producing a “masterpiece” or finished piece of work, but simply to learn how we can control watercolour using brushstrokes, placement of water and pigment….

I like my circles and I used Khadi paper for these exercises. From the top, the colours I used were Yellow Ochre, Phthalo Turquoise, Phthalo Blue, Indigo and Prussian Blue.

Art · Watercolour

Paintbox

I got up quite early this morning and did some sketching….

Paintbox - NB

This is my much used and loved paintbox. When I’m at home in my workroom I like to paint with tube watercolour paints but when I’m on the move or away from home I use my paint box above. The paints originally in this box were cheap and nasty, so I binned them and replaced them with Winsor & Newton pans instead. I hand picked all the colours myself and the colours are:

Top row from the left: Lemon Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Rose Madder, Dioxazine Violet, Prussian Blue, Indigo

Bottom row from the left: Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Turquoise, Cobalt Turquoise, Sap Green, Burnt Umber, Lamp Black

I’ve deliberately let the colours of the pans run, to give a slightly messy look to them because that’s how a paintbox should be – messy, used and looking like someones had some fun with it. I’ve certainly had a lot of fun with mine…. !

Art · Watercolour

Building Bridges

Building Bridges - NB

My lovely brother-in-law Colin treated me to a lovely Jean Haines watercolour book: Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours. This is my version of the first exercise in the book. The purpose of the exercise was to practice holding the paint brush correctly (not to create a finished piece of work). I found this exercise very useful and now realize that I’ve been holding my brush all wrong!

This was my second attempt at this exercise – the first was a complete dogs dinner! I also used slightly different colours to the ones mentioned in the book. The paper I used was A5 Khadi paper.

This is a very beautiful book and once I open it I find I can’t put it down…. ! I love Jean Haines’ loose way of painting with watercolours. I will share more of my interpretations of the exercises in this book over the coming weeks as I progress through the book.

Art · Watercolour

Creating Watercolour Textures

A little colour mixing fun with watercolours….

Watercolour Textures - NB

I started off with Windsor Blue (red shade) and Indian Yellow. Then I added some Buff Titanium, Prussian Blue and Indigo into the mix. Puddles of colour layered together and left to dry.  Drying took well over 12 hours. You don’t know what your going to end up with till the paint has completely dried. I love the colour mixes and textures – especially the top two ones in the right hand column! These were purely experimental. I actually used a thick smooth surfaced cartridge paper for these but I will try doing more of these colour mixing samples using hot pressed watercolour paper. A fun watercolour experiment which turned out really well. Please click on the image to view it larger or view it in my Art Gallery….

Just as a side note, I will not be doing any more Surface Treatment Workshop due to current family responsibilities.  I’ve really enjoyed this project, learnt a lot from it and experimented with lots of different art mediums which I would not otherwise have done.  It forced me out of my comfort zone! But it is a time consuming project and I don’t have the available time at the moment to commit to it. However, I’m still hoping to start an exciting new project in January with Carolyn, all being well. More info about that later in the year….

Art · Watercolour

Minimal Seascapes

A few simple minimal seascapes…..

Cornish Seascape Abstract 1 - NB

Swift abstract splashes of watercolour….

Cornish Seascape 2 - NB

Minimal, no fuss, no detail….

Cornish Seascape Abstract 3 - NB

Simple swipes of complementary colours across the paper in Windsor Blue Red Shade, Indigo and Buff Titanium….

Cornish Seascape - Mousehole Harbour 4 - NBAbove is a minimal abstract watercolour of Mousehole harbour (Cornwall, UK)….

And below is a soft grey sky, misty blue ocean and a sandy shore….

Cornish Seascape Abstract 8 - NB

I love the soft translucent washes of colour….

These simple minimal seascapes were a mixture of wet in wet and dry brush technique. I used Arches cold pressed paper, 140 lb.

There’s something wonderfully therapeutic about brushing beautiful watercolours over lovely watercolour paper, with no agenda or pressure to create a “masterpiece”…. it gives me a wonderful sense of peace and calm….

You can click on the images to view them larger or view them in my Art Gallery

By The Sea · Photography

Beach Colours

There is always a lovely selection of colours and textures at the beach and harbour….

Seaside Textures 4 - NB

Seaside Textures 5 - NB

Above are two sections lovely peeling paint from the same boat, beautifully weathered by the salty sea air. Also on the beach today was something slightly unusual for the UK coast…. Portuguese man o’ war…..

Portuguese Man O' war 1 - NB

They are very beautiful but very toxic….

Portuguese Man O' war 2 - NB

I was very careful not to touch them….

Portuguese Man O' war 3 - NB

The colours are just lovely….

Portuguese Man O' war 4 - NB

Portuguese man o’war are not commonly found in UK coastal waters, they prefer warmer waters….

Portuguese Man O' war 5 - NB

I was interested to learn that Portuguese man o’ war are not a jellyfish they are a siphonophore, a colonial organism – a colony of organisms all working together….

I’m always amazed what you find washed up on the beach….

Art · Erosion Bundles

Art & Beauty In Decay

Summer EB 2017 Mosaic - NB

This image follows on from yesterday’s post of my Summer Erosion Bundle 2017. It’s a mosaic I created in Photoshop of some of the highlights of my erosion bundle. Notice the lovely autumnal colours ~ rusty browns and autumn berry colours….

When I made my erosion bundle back in the summer I realized it would be autumn when I opened it so I deliberately tried to incorporate things that would create autumnal colours – I didn’t  just throw my bundles together, I did give them a little thought…. !

You can click on the image to view a much larger version and large pictures have gone into my Art Gallery.

There is indeed art and beauty in decay, when nature just left to do it’s thing….

 

Art · Erosion Bundles

Summer Erosion Bundle 2017

Back in the summer I did a post documenting how I made my latest erosion bundles, you can read about it here. They’ve been in the garden for almost 2 1/2 months. Well, a few days ago I opened them up, carefully separated everything and left my papers and fabrics to dry….

Summer 2017 EB 1 - NB

Lots of rust and berry stains….

Summer 2017 EB 2 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 3 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 4 - NB

The lovely blue/mauve stains above and below are from blackberries….

Summer 2017 EB 5 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 6 - NB

It will come as no surprise that fabrics made from natural fibres (ie. cotton, silk, linen etc.) absorb colour and stains much better than synthetic fabrics. Below are two pieces of blackberry and rust stained silk….

Summer 2017 EB 7 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 9 - NB

All paper fragments, like the ones above, are kept and will be used in a future art project…

Summer 2017 EB 11 - NB

Pearl mica adds some shimmer on the papers below….

Summer 2017 EB 12 - NBSummer 2017 EB 13 - NBSummer 2017 EB 14 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 15 - NB

Beautiful rust stains below….

Summer 2017 EB 16 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 17 - NB

Above and below are both sides of the same piece. They’re actually two pieces of paper fused together, there’s just no hope of separating them. The rust stains are gorgeous. Some rusty washers are still attached. Below you can see some eye shadow and berry marks too. But what really intrigues me though is that round turquoise circle you can see on both sides of the paper. As yet, I have no idea what made that turquoise circle – it’s distinctly washer shaped, so I’m thinking that maybe one of my washers has reacted with something in my bundle. That’s one of the joys of erosion bundles ~ lovely things happen inside them ~ you never know what you’re going to find when you open them….

Summer 2017 EB 18 - NB

Below is some greaseproof paper from the kitchen – it’s quite good stuff to put into an erosion bundle, not too thick and fairly strong. There’s a dried blueberry stuck on it and you can also see some blackberry stains. In the middle on the right you can also see a pattern left by some fabric….

Summer 2017 EB 19 - NB

Below is a piece of bleached denim, it always stains well in an erosion bundle…

Summer 2017 EB 20 - NB

Summer 2017 EB 21 - NB

Below is some rusty jute….

Summer 2017 EB 22 - NB

So these are the results of my summer erosion bundles. I didn’t photograph everything, just the most interesting bits. I’ll have to start thinking about what to do for my next bundle. All these lovely papers and fabrics are going to be carefully stored till I need them. I’m hoping to use them in a new project next year – but more information about that later this year.

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop · Watercolour

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 25

Welcome to week 25 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week we are using a bleach pen to create interesting patterns and textures in art. Here’s what I ended up with….

Week 25 - Bleach Pen 3 - NB

This is a Fiber Paste surface covered with watercolour paint, then bleach dropped onto the top with the bleach pen. Colours used were Indigo and Phthalo Blue. The colours and textures are wonderful….

Next something a little different (at least different for me!)….

Week 25 - Bleach Pen 1 - NB

A while ago my sister Carolyn sent me a bundle of art stuff in the post. In the parcel she included a pile of the strips used in salons to remove wax, with a note offering me a challenge to use them in some art. Challenge accepted!

Here they are used above as part of this weeks workshop. I covered them with a wash of watercolour paint and then dropped the bleach onto the wet paint in small drops. These strips are somewhere between a paper and a fabric and they are very porous, so you need something underneath to absorb any paint that goes straight through. Some interesting textures have been created. On the left, the colours used were Burnt Sienna and Phthalo Blue and on the right I used Prussian Blue. For the samples on the right I have shown both sides, as they are both different but interesting. Here’s a closer view of the left sample:

Week 25 - Bleach Pen 2 - NB

These salon wax strips, once painted and dried, would be good to use for collage work – they would add some extra interest and colour….

This weeks workshop was fun and very quick and easy to do. The next STW is about using petroleum jelly – I think it might just get a little bit messy – but we’re going to have some fun with it anyway…. !

Large images of my art can be viewed in my Art Gallery

Art · Watercolour

Watercolour Inspiration

A small watercolour landscape. I painted this some weeks ago and I wasn’t sure if I liked it. So I just left it to one side for a few weeks and then went back to it. I do this with my photography sometimes if I have images I’m not sure about. When you look at images or art again after a few weeks you see things with a fresh perspective. When I revisited this watercolour I decided that perhaps it’s not so bad after all  – I quite like it. I like the deckle edge of the paper (Fabriano Artistico NOT paper – 100% cotton)….

Waterside - NB
Waterside

Today I decided I would also share just a few places that I get lots of wonderful watercolour inspiration from.

One page I love to visit is debi riley – The Creative Zone for Making Art. Debi is a very talented artist with many years experience. Her work is beautiful and she very generously shares her wealth of knowledge and experience on her blog. It’s a wonderful, inspirational place to visit for artists of all levels of experience. As a person still in the early stages of my watercolour journey,  I’ve found it invaluable. My suggestion is: make yourself a coffee, make yourself comfy in front of the computer and lose a couple of hours exploring Debi’s blog – you wont regret it….

Next, I love colour. I love mixing colours and experimenting with colour. One stunning web page I love to visit can be found at Jackson’s, a UK art supply shop. Here you will find a beautiful Daniel Smith watercolour paint chart. Please do have a look.

What I love about this page is that you can view virtually the entire Daniel Smith range of watercolours all on one page and the colours are stunning. What I also love about this page is that you can click on each individual colour and it will tell you the pigment numbers that make up that colour and the properties of that colour, ie. it’s lightfastness, transparency, whether it’s a stainer or granulator etc. This information is invaluable to me. How can you not be inspired by all these beautiful colours…. ??

Another place I’ve found watercolour inspiration from lately is from a book called 10-Minute Watercolours by Hazel Soan. This is only a small book, inexpensive and it’s not a new book. But it’s a fantastic book – inspirational!  This book simplifies watercolour painting and for me that’s a good thing. Hazel achieves many beautiful and inspirational watercolours in this book in just 10 minutes. Hazel makes two statements in this book that I will remember forever:

“Painting is an act of creation, not imitation.”

“….you are using the subject matter to create a watercolour, not using watercolour to re-create the subject.”

Those statements are quite profound and I will leave you to think about them….

I will share more of my sources of inspiration another time….