Watercolour

Pebbles, Patterns & Positivity

I have three very different watercolour offerings to show you today. The first is a watercolour sketch painted on my recent holiday to the Scottish Highlands…

Grey Pebbles - NB
Grey Pebbles – a watercolour sketch

Our holiday home in Scotland was right on the seafront in a very quiet little village in the Highlands. I enjoyed walking along the beach early each morning. It was so quiet and peaceful, very relaxing and soothing to the soul. On these walks I enjoyed picking up sea shells (see previous post), pebbles and other items of interest.  Above is a watercolour sketch of some grey pebbles I found on the beach. All the pebbles were grey but all different shades of grey. I tried to capture all the differing shades of grey by mixing all my own grey’s in the palette first and testing them out on a piece of scrap paper before painting. Each of the pebbles were different shapes and had very different patterns and markings, which I also tried to capture in my watercolour sketch. They were very enjoyable to paint.

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Dark Patterns

Above are patterns made by dropping dark watercolour shades into circles of water on watercolour paper. This was an exercise from Jean Haines’ latest book Paint Yourself Positive. I’m not going to explain the purpose of this exercise (you’ll have to buy the book to find out that… !) but it was a very simple and fun exercise to do. The colours I chose to use were Lunar Black, Paynes Blue Gray and Sepia – all by Daniel Smith. I love how the Lunar Black granulates – it’s a very useful shade of black to have in your palette. I love these darker colours but I also love brighter ones too…

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Squashed – a watercolour sketch

Above is a watercolour painting of three bright, colourful squashes and was inspired by the veggie section in Jean Haines’ Paint Yourself Positive book (link above). I bought these squashes from my local supermarket (Morrison’s to be exact) – they are such wonderful colours and shapes. They were just begging to be painted! But I do have to add that no food was wasted in the creation of this watercolour – these squashes are absolutely delicious roasted… !

Three very different watercolour offerings here today but all beautiful in their own way and much fun to paint.

Watercolour

Sea Shell Watercolours

Over the past week I’ve been gathering a modest collection of sea shells from the beach in the Scottish Highlands of the UK. Yesterday I made time to sit down and paint a selection of them…

Sea Shell Watercolour Sketches

I painted my sea shell selection on a sheet of Bokingford paper, by St Cuthberts Mill. The paper measured 14″ x 10″, 140 lb NOT. Great paper for water colour practice. Here’s a better view of the watercolour painting setup I use whilst travelling…

My travelling watercolour setup…

You can see above I had my sea shells laid out in front of me on a sheet of paper. I have two custom built paint boxes I use – one Daniel Smith (on the left) and one Windsor & Newton (on the right). Both are perfect for travelling and fit neatly in my art bag. In the bottom right corner you can just see my brush case -I just bring the essentials. On the table you can also see that I have kitchen roll to hand and a plastic container for water.

Watercolours are so easy to travel with. I really had fun painting these. Maybe some plein air sketching on the beach might be in order next…

Watercolour

A Beach Adventure

A Beach Adventure - NB
A Beach Adventure

This watercolour painting evokes many happy childhood memories of holidays at the seaside with my brother and sister.  We were very fortunate children really, as many of my friends at school never had any holidays at the sea at all and we went every year at least two or three times.

We loved building sandcastles, paddling in the sea, finding shells and searching rock pools for fish and crabs. It clearly left a lasting impression on me as I still love being by the sea today.

My watercolour above measres 19 cm x 29 cm and was painted on Fabriano Artistico extra white rough paper, 100% cotton & 140 lb. I used a limited palette, just five colours – Cobalt Blue, Winsor Blue Red Shade, Quinacridone Coral, Raw Umber and Buff Titanium. The photograph doesn’t really do the painting justice, the reality is much better. It is worth clicking on the image to view it larger.

I enjoyed painting this and as always it has been a learning curve. If I painted this scene again there are things I would do differently.  But I like this watercolour – it puts a smile on my face…

Watercolour

Simple Seascape

Seascape - NB

Well, it’s been a little while since my last post. I’m not going to bore you with a list of excuses but I decided it’s high time I got back in my little home studio and got painting again!

Here we have a simple seascape practice piece to get myself back into the swing of things. It’s just loose layers of colour and a little bit of splatter for some pebbles on the beach. I like how the sea gently blends into the sky, just how it does when it’s misty on the horizon.

It measures 28 cm x 19 cm and was painted on Saunders Waterford High White paper, 100% cotton and 140 lb NOT. I used an assortment of colours – Manganese Blue Hue, Cobalt Teal Blue, Ultramarine Turquoise, Prussian Green for the sea. French Ultramarine and Indigo for the sky. Naples yellow for the sand and  earth colours for the  splattered pebbles. Paynes Gray and Paynes Blue Gray for the land and rocks.

Whilst I haven’t painted much lately, I have have been gathering lots of lovely inspiration for future watercolours and I’ve also been practicing my drawing as well. It’s lovely to be painting again. I wont leave it so long till my next post…

Watercolour

Rock Pile

Rock Pile - NB

A rock pile on the beach. This is a watercolour sketch created as an interpretation of one of my own photos. I’ve been watching Hazel Soan’s DVD “On The Rocks”. It’s inspirational – she makes it look so easy. This is my first attempt at putting into practice some of the techniques she demonstrates on the DVD.

My rock pile was painted on Saunders Waterford High White paper, 140lb Cold Pressed & 100% cotton. It measures 19 cm x x29 cm. The bulk of the rocks were painted with only two colours – Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and French Ultramarine. I love how they granulate. Tiny amounts of other colours were used for the shadows.

I started with a very basic pencil sketch. This was lots of fun to paint and I’m inspired to try some more…

Watercolour

An Atlantic View

An Atlantic View - NB
An Atlantic View

A watercolour seascape sketch ~ large waves rolling in on to the sea shore on Cornwall’s Atlantic coastline…

In this seascape I was practicing painting waves assisted by carefully created back-runs. It was partially successful – I need to practice it more. The tricky bit is to make sure I reserve white enough paper for the waves first and then create the back-runs by adding the just right amount of clean water with a clean brush in just the right places at the right time and tilt the paper if necessary to ensure the water runs in the right direction.

The sky was painted using Ultramarine Blue and Raw Sienna. The grey was created by mixing the two colours in the palette first. The ocean was painted mostly with Prussian Blue along with Manganese Blue Hue, Cobalt Teal Blue and Cascade Green. The little bit of sand at the bottom was painted with Buff Titanium. The horizon is a little wonky but then it is only a practice sketch so I’m not going to worry about that…

My seascape measures 19 cm x 29 cm and was painted on Arches 140 lb cold pressed paper (100% cotton). This was some very enjoyable watercolour practice…

Watercolour

Beached

Beached - NB
Beached

A watercolour seascape sketch ~ an old weather beaten, sea worn boat beached on the shore…

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“Beached” seascape colours

 

 

Left are the colours I used. Prussian Blue, Cobalt Teal Blue, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold and Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet are by Daniel Smith; Ultramarine Blue, Van Dyck Brown and Lamp Black are by Winsor & Newton.

I did start this with a very simple pencil sketch, just very basic outlines and no detail.

I wanted my watercolour sketch to have a degree of looseness to it.

I love the colours I chose for my boat ~ all very lovely “seaside” colours…

It was painted on 140 lb cold pressed watercolour paper and measures 15 cm x 20 cm.

I’ve learnt lessons and grown from painting my boat. I’m slowly but surely improving and developing my watercolur skills. More simple watercolour sketches will follow…

Most of all I had FUN painting this ~ painting with watercolours is beautiful and exciting as well as relaxing and therapeutic all at the same time…

 

Watercolour

Rocks

Here are some watercolour sketches I did over the past week. I was practicing painting rocks, as in the sort you find on the beach…

Rocks 1 - NB

The purpose of the exercise was to try and capture 3 dimensional shape and depth by changing the tone gradually from light to dark…

Rocks On A Beach - NB

I’ve chosen mostly rounded shapes for these rock sketches but I will try some more with more angular shapes. I’ve tried to capture a little texture in the rocks too by varying the tones of the paint. You can click on the images to view them larger if you wish.

These were fairly simple sketches to do; they didn’t take long; and they were fun… !

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..

Watercolour

Beach Treasures

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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…