Art · Watercolour

Stormy Seas

Stormy Seas - NB

A watercolour seascape I created using techniques I’ve learnt from Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. In a few short weeks this book has completely transformed the way I think about and paint with watercolours. And I can’t see myself EVER going back to a more traditional way of watercolour painting….

Please click on the image to view it larger – you’ll be able to see the colours and lovely textures better. For the base of this painting I used clingfilm to create texture in the very first wash. I’ve struggled a bit with the clingfilm thing but with a bit of perseverance I’ve improved.

It took me a couple of days to do this – with large amounts of time just leaving areas to dry before carrying on.  But I’m quite pleased with the end result. Off now to learn more from Jean Haines…. !

Art · Watercolour

Opening Doors

This is another exercise from the book Atmospheric Watercolours by Jean Haines….

The Venetian Door - NB

This is The Venetian Door. There is every colour in the rainbow in this! Normally I wouldn’t use so may colours but just for the exercise in the book I have stuck to similar, not identical, colours to what Jean used. I’ve certainly put my own stamp on this – mine looks quite a bit different to the version in the book….

The purpose of this exercise is to simply practice a variety of techniques Jean teaches in her book. I enjoyed painting this. It’s good practice at painting loosely. This watercolour measures 8″ x 11″ and was painted on 140 lb Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper.

Slowly but surely I think my watercolour skills are improving….

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…..

I started with a blank piece of paper and imagine a white circle in the middle.  I next painted two lines around the edge of this imaginary circle, roughly top and bottom with gaps….

Watercolour Control 1 - NB

I then bleed the colour away from the circle with a wet brush. I dropped 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

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