Art · Watercolour

Pebbles

Pebbles - NB
Pebbles

Walking along the beach yesterday I noticed some pretty coloured pebbles. So out came my beach combing bag and I collected a few. When I got home I selected a few with nice colours and patterns and set about painting them in watercolour.

Above you can my watercolour interpretations of the pebbles I selected. Like my sea shells in the previous post, I painted them free hand straight onto Arches watercolour paper, 140 lb cold pressed. No pencil sketches first! I used salt to create some texture on the pebbles. And after removing the salt I added some fine details with a rigger. Notice the pebble in the bottom left corner has some barnacles on top! I picked this pebble especially because the barnacles contrasted nicely against the grey stone… I like barnacles!

I’m quite pleased with how these turned out. I’ve never painted pebbles before so I wasn’t too sure what I was going to end up with. But now I’ve had a go I’ve got a taste for it. I will do some more sometime and experiment with some different techniques and some more creative colours maybe..

Art · Watercolour

Beach Treasures

Beach Treasures - NB
Beach Treasures

I had a lovely long walk along the beach this morning. The tide had pushed the pebbles into piles and washed up some lovely interesting things. I gathered a few shells and decided that I would paint some of them when I got home. The limpets were lovely greys and redish browns and I even found one with a band of green around it…

Above you can see my painting endeavors. On the whole I’m very pleased with my sea shell sketches. I painted straight onto Arches watercolour paper, 140 lb NOT, (29 cm x 18 cm) no pencil sketches! And I do believe that my drawing skills are improving. I guess practice pays off…

Art · Watercolour

Grab A Glass… !

Grab A Glass - NB
Grab A Glass!

A fun watercolour I did yesterday ~ a bottle of wine, just sitting quietly on the work top in the kitchen waiting to have it’s cork removed… !

This was painted on A4 Khadi paper, 300 lb and 100% cotton. I probably won’t buy this paper again but I need to use up what I already have. The colours I used were Winsor Violet and Indigo for this watercolour.

This was just pure fun to paint and it puts a smile on my face. And it’s also good practice for me. Painting with watercolours doesn’t always have to be about producing “a masterpiece”, sometimes it’s enough to just have fun painting simple every day things. And it’s very relaxing and therapeutic…

Art · Watercolour

Experimental Seascape

Experimental Seascape - NB

An experimental seascape in my Khadi paper sketchbook. The sky is indigo and the sea is a mixture of different blues plus Daniel Smith Rich Green Gold. It looks more effective when viewed from a distance and the real thing looks better than the photograph! I’ve been trying to build up a few light layers of colour without overdoing it. I was tempted to work on this a bit more but I think I’ll leave it as it is…

MIXING RICH GREEN GOLD

I’ve also had a little play with Daniel Smith’s Rich Green Gold (not to be confused with Daniel Smith’s Green Gold, a different colour)…

Mixing Rich Green Gold - NB

First I mixed Rich Green Gold with some popular blues. You can see from the chart above I made some lovely green shades. Then I mixed the Rich Green Gold with some reds and made some lovely browns and burnt orange colours. The photograph doesn’t really do them justice. What I’ve learnt from this is that if I want to create some lovely vibrant earth colours then Daniel Smith’s Rich Green Gold is a good colour to create them with…

Art · Watercolour

Seascape Studies

Some loose watercolour seascape studies…

Through The Mist - NB
Ocean Waves Through The mist

Waves emerging through a distant misty seascape…

A Little Light Swell - NB
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…

Art · Watercolour

Party Time!

Party Time - NB
Party Time

This was a lighthearted, fun start to my watercolour painting yesterday. These balloons were the easiest thing in the world to paint and put a smile on my face. It was a great warm up exercise for further painting projects I did afterwards. The highlights on the balloons were created by wax resist using a white wax crayon – the cheap sort you buy your kids – just simple colourful FUN…

REFLECTING

I’ve been learning watercolour painting for just over a year now. Sometimes I don’t have as much time for it as I would like, but that’s life. I decided I would spend just a minute or two reflecting on some of the things I’ve learnt…

When I started just over a year ago I had ZERO knowledge or experience of watercolour painting. Never done it before in my life ever – I knew NOTHING! I read all the advice about what you need to start off with (from lots of different sources), Some of it I listened to and some I didn’t. But here’s a few things I’ve learnt from personal experience:

PAPER: 100% cotton watercolour paper is the best paper to paint on. Cheap paper just doesn’t give the same results – I’ve bought several different types of cheap watercolour paper and regretted buying all of them. I’ve seen how much better my painting looks on good quality cotton paper. My personal favourite so far is Arches, followed by Fabriano Artistico. I will keep experimenting with different papers but no more cheap stuff… !

PAINT: Painting with artist quality paint, rather than student quality, generally produces better paintings I’ve found, probably because the colours are much more rich and vibrant with artist quality paints. There are many watercolour paint brands I’ve not yet tried but I do know I am totally hooked on Daniel Smith watercolour paints – the quality is superb and the colours are to die for…

BRUSHES: I’ve learnt – the hard way – that watercolour brushes with natural hair (ie. sable, squirrel etc.) are better to paint with because they hold more pigment and water. I do use synthetic brushes occasionally, they have their uses, but nowhere near as much as my sable and squirrel brushes. One of my most favourite brushes is a Silver Black Velvet size 10 Round brush. This is actually a squirrel and synthetic mix brush and is lovely to use – holds loads of pigment/water and has a very nice point. I will buy more of these brushes.

Also I don’t stretch paper, I’ve never got to grips with it – maybe it’s just me… ! I buy much of my watercolour materials from Jackson’s, a UK art supply shop and they ship internationally. This may be worth checking out if you live in one of those countries where Arches paper has become extremely expensive to buy in local art shops.

This is just a little of what I’ve learnt on my watercolour journey so far and some of my personal preferences. I’m sure others have very different preferences. I hope you might find this information useful – especially those of you who maybe be considering venturing into the wonderful world of watercolour…

Art · Collage

Old Books

Chemistry - NB

A collage made entirely from old book covers. It was created for prompt no.15 in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman, a collage project I’m doing with my sister Carolyn. Unfortunately Carolyn is unwell at the moment and wont be posting her collages for a while, but do visit her blog anyway and be inspired by her beautiful, creative mixed media artwork and textile art…

I used three different vintage book covers for this collage. I love the vintage blue colours and textures of the the different covers. Old books are great for collages!

Art · Watercolour

A Stormy Sky

A stormy sky over a turquoise sea…

Stormy Sky Over A Turquoise Sea - NB
A Stormy Sky Over A Turquoise Sea

Sometimes the light is so beautiful at the Cornish coast ~ on one side of the sky you can have briliant sunshine and on the other you can have dark stormy clouds, all at the same time! The sunlight makes the sea a beautiful light turquoise colour and the storm clouds cast dark shadows over the the distant coastline…

This is a watercolour on Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton paper. The colours used were: Paynes Grey, Ivory Black, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Teal Blue and Viridian. My seascape measures approx. 7.5″ x 5″.

Art · Watercolour

Today’s Watercolour Inspiration…

Today a lovely post appeared in my blog reader from watercolour artist Edo Hannema. He posted a beautiful watercolour landscape followed by a video of how he painted it. I was completely mesmerised. Here’s a link to the post: http://www.edohannema.nl/wordpress/painting-a-dutch-landscape/. If you love watercolour please check out his blog and YouTube channel. I love the gentle palette he uses and his technique – I can see myself learning a lot about watercolour from him…

Meanwhile, I found time this afternoon to paint a simple watercolour of lavender in a pot. I know it’s been done many times before by many people but I’ve never done it before. And I need to practice…

Lavender Pot - NB

I’m always ever critical of my own work (but much less so of other people’s work… ) and the pot is slightly too big and the lavender not quite big enough. But I’ll put that down to experience. It was painted fast and loose and most importantly it was fun to do… !

Inspired by Edo’s lovely watercolour painting demonstration in the link above, I’m now off to plan some watercolour landscape painting for tomorrow. I need to think about what I’m going to paint, what colours to use, whether I need to sketch anything or a least have an idea of where everything is going to be placed. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend…

Art · Collage

Words

Today it’s time for a little collage catch up for the collage project I’m doing with my sister Carolyn. We’re following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman. I have three collages to share today and they are all word related.

First, the prompt for week 12 was typography. Here’s what I did:

Typography - NB
Seaside Typography

A collage consisting entirely from words cut out from old magazines. The words have been cut in half or overlapped for added interest. I used type in shades of blue and turquoise, but added that little touch of yellow off centre for a focal point.

The prompt for week 13 was Secret Message – you pick a name, word or phrase or similar and create a collage incorporating the letters. Here’s my collage:

Secret Message - NB
Secret Message

I jumbled the letters of my “secret word” up and glued them round the edge of my collage…

The prompt for week 14 was stamps – use stamps (any sort of stamps) to create an additional layer to a collage. Here’s my offering:

Vintage Pink - NB
Vintage Pink

I created my collage in shades of vintage pink with complementary neutral shades and stamped the word “vintage” on my collage in black ink.

I enjoyed creating these collages. A couple of the prompts have taken me a little out of my comfort zone and forced me to create something I wouldn’t have otherwise have created. So that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to pressing on with the rest of the prompts in the book and I’m sure I’m going to be forced even further out of my comfort zone with some of them… !