Photography

Wells’ Textures

I have just returned from a lovely weeks holiday with family in Wells-Next-The-Sea, North Norfolk. This is a part of Britain’s coast we’ve never been to before. The main purpose for coming here for a holiday was so that Carolyn and I could attend a two day art workshop hosted by artist Debbie Lyddon in her Whelk Shed Studio.  There will be more about the art workshop in a separate post.

Wells is a small town and quite old fashioned, which I love. Wells has a quay in the town with lots of boats. There are lovely seaside smells of sea salt and crabs as you walk along the quay. The quay divides into lots of different channels separated by the marshes. It’s a very interesting landscape.

Wells Quay 3 - NB
The Quay at Wells-Next-The-Sea

Wells does have a “proper” beach about a 10 minute walk from the quay but to be honest, from an artist’s point of view, the quay is a lot more interesting. Carolyn and I had a walk along the quay a few days after the art workshop had finished. Here are some of the lovely textures and colours that can be found along the quay….

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Soft neutral colours and lovely texture from the rope and textiles…

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A whelk shed window

Lovely textures and patterns in the windows of an unused whelk shed…

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A whelk shed window

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ropes in varying shades of blue…

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Soft grey colours and patterns in the mud
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Oyster Shell in black and white

Oyster shells can be found along the pebbly shores of the quay…

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Inside an Oyster Shell
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Rust and canvas

There’s an abundance of rust to be found in Wells – a by product of the salty sea air…

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Rich ochre and sienna colours in the rust
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Ropes and rust
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Peeling paint in shades of soft green and blue

The soft paler green in the above image Carolyn and I have named “Wells Green” – you see a lot of it here…

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Notice the aubergine/purple tones in the rust – they’re just beautiful…

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Beautiful vintage blues and yellows

Wells-Next-The-Sea is texture heaven. Colour and texture is everywhere throughout the town. My next task will be to use these awesome colours and textures to inspire some abstract watercolour sketches and paintings…

Watercolour

Seascape Studies

Some loose watercolour seascape studies…

Through The Mist - NB
Ocean Waves Through The mist

Waves emerging through a distant misty seascape…

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A Little Light Swell

This seascape reminded me of a family boat trip we had years ago – we took the boat from Penzance to the Scilly Isles. The day we went was the day after a huge storm. We had brilliant sunshine, blue sky and fluffy white clouds but the sea was very choppy with some huge waves. The captain called it “a little light swell”, hence the title of my seascape above…

Both Studies above were painted loosely, wet in wet mostly. Both measure 19 cm x 14 cm and were painted on Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton cold pressed paper. The colours used were Prussian Blue and Viridian.

Ocean Wave Mosaic - NB
Ocean Wave Mosaic

Above is a mosaic created from seascape attempts I didn’t like. I cut small abstract squares out and glued them onto a piece of white paper.

I love the ocean and it will inspire many more seascape studies and paintings in the future…

Watercolour

Ocean

Ocean - NB
Ocean

The beauty and power of the ocean captured in watercolour….

Loose, abstract swooshes of blue and green paint across the paper….

Prussian Blue, Phthalo Blue, Sap Green, White Gouache & touches of Cobalt Teal Blue on  Fabriano Artistico paper (100% cotton)….

I love the sea and painting it with beautiful watercolours on lovely paper makes me happy….

Watercolour

Apples And Rain….

I don’t seem to have had much time for my art work lately so this week I made time for it. For just an hour or so I decided that everything else can wait….

I started with a fairly simple watercolour sketch of an apple:

An Apple A Day - NB
An Apple A Day

I used Prussian Blue and Lemon Yellow plus a tiny bit of Burnt Umber for the stalk The paper is Saunders Waterford and this sketch measures  approximately 8″ x 7″.

Next is my first ever attempt at painting a person, albeit a fairly abstract one….

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Walking In The Rain

I like my abstract lady in the rain. I have never been very keen to include people in my photography work, although there are a very few exceptions. However, I am very keen to have a go at painting people with watercolour. The colours used here were Paynes Grey, Yellow Ochre, Rose Madder and Burnt Umber. The paper was a left over scrap of Khadi paper and measures approximately 6″ x 6″.

Inspiration for these sketches came from a mixture of Hazel Soan and Jean Haines, both brilliant inspirational watercolour painters. I painted straight onto the paper, no pencil sketches or lines – more drawing with a paint brush.

I enjoyed painting these watercolour sketches. They’re fairly simple and didn’t take long. So it just goes to show even with a busy schedule I can find time to paint if I really want to – even if it’s just 20 minutes or half an hour. Plus watercolour painting is so relaxing, de-stressing and therapeutic….

 

Watercolour

Wild Violet Watercolour

Wild Violet Watercolour - NB

Some loose, wet in wet watercolour fun. This flower started out as an exercise from Jean Haines’ Atmospoheric Watercolours book but as I started painting it kind of took on a life of it’s own. I just went with it and it now bears no resemblance to anything in the book at all! But I like it….

Paper used was Fabriano Artistico (100% cotton) 140lb NOT.  Colours used were Winsor Violet (PV23) and Indigo – a beautiful colour combination. It measures approx. 7″ x 7.5″

Watercolour

Stormy Seas

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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…. !

Watercolour

Minimal Seascapes

A few simple minimal seascapes…..

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Swift abstract splashes of watercolour….

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Minimal, no fuss, no detail….

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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

Surface Treatment Workshop · Watercolour

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 24

Welcome to week 24 of the Surface Treatment Workshop (STW). The workshop this week is about creating textures using rubbing alcohol. This is a really fun thing to do and so easy. All you need to remember is not to have your paint too thick – it needs to be a fairly runny wash – otherwise the alcohol wont break the surface of the paint. Here’s what I created….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 1 - NB

I used watercolour paints for my samples this week. I started with a wash of a light colour and then went straight over the top with a darker colour. Then while the paint is still wet I dropped in the alcohol. The alcohol breaks the surface of the paint and creates lovely patterns and textures….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 2 - NB

You can click on the images to view them larger if you wish. I used an assortment of different colours – Lemon Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 3 - NB

The rubbing alcohol created some lovely textures and patterns in my watercolour paint. This is a great way to add some extra interest to an abstract watercolour painting. In conclusion I think rubbing alcohol is an interesting and useful item to have among my art supplies. It’s not something I would use every day but to occasionally to add some extra drama to some art – it’s great!

Larger images of my work can be viewed in my Art Gallery. The next STW is about using a bleach pen in art work…. fun times ahead!