Watercolour

The Blue Fuchsia

The Blue Fuschia - NB

I bet you’ve never seen a fuchsia quite like this before. If you could buy a fuchsia this colour at the garden centre it would probably cost you a lot of money… !

This painting is based upon an exercise in Jean Haines Colour & Light In Watercolour New Edition but I used totally different colours – creative license… ! Rather than conventional fuchsia colours I used Winsor & Newton’s Cobalt Turquoise Light and Indanthrene Blue. They contrast beautifully. This was painted on Arches Cold Pressed paper and measures 6″ x 9″.

Indanthrene Blue is a new colour in my palette. I have to admit I would have bought the Daniel Smith equivalent but it was out of stock. That said, I’m not disappointed with the Winsor & Newton version – it’s a gorgeous, rich dark blue colour. But it also fades to a lovely pale blue with the addition of lots of water. It also mixes well with other colours and I did a few quick tests in my khadi paper sketchbook:

Indanthrene Blue Mixes - NB

I love all these colour mixes but I especially love the purple shade in the top left corner and the colours in the Cadmium Orange line…

So that’s my watercolour fun for today. Wishing everyone a great creative week ahead…

Watercolour

A Portrait Of Ewe

A Portrait Of Ewe - NB
A Portrait Of Ewe

My Portrait Of Ewe is based upon an exercise in Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. I have to admit that I’ve skipped a few exercises in the book just to get to the sheep a bit quicker… ! I will go back and do the ones I left out….

Jean’s rendition of a sheep is so colourful and vibrant. I loved painting this. This was my third attempt, each one getting slightly better. This was fun to paint and it’s very good practice for me. It was painted on Arches Cold Pressed paper and measures 9″ x 6″.

Since buying and reading this book (I’ve actually read the book 3 times!) my watercolour painting has improved in leaps and bounds. It’s been a real eye opener for me. It’s taught me that I have to let go of all the things that were restraining me, holding me back. Let go of the fears too…

I can honestly say that I’m in a much better place with my watercolour painting now than before I studied this book. It has changed the way I think about and paint with watercolour forever. I can never go back…

I still consider myself to be, not a beginner anymore, but still in the early stages of my watercolour journey. I’ve only been seriously painting with watercolour for about one year.  I have a long way to go yet. And I need to practice, practice, practice and practice some more!

So if, like me, you’re learning to paint with watercolours too, keep going and never give up on your dream. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy – it’s going to take a lot of determination and hard work. But we CAN do it…. !

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….

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.

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.