Watercolour

Simple Landscapes

Here are some simple watercolour landscapes. The emphasis here is on SIMPLICITY…

The first is inspired by a photo I took in St. Ives of Porthminster Beach from quite a high vantage point. There was a huge expanse of beach and only two people on it – how peaceful and serene it must have been for them…

All ToYourselves - NB
Having The Whole Beach All To Yourselves

My Second landscape is just a simple wave crashing on the shore. The wave was created by making deliberate watermarks in the Phthalo Blue Turquoise watercolour paint…

Crashing Wave - NB
Crashing Wave

Creating waves like this is a very simple technique I’ve taught myself – it’s all about timing. I have my paper on a flat surface (not on an easel); I then carefully drop clean water into a wet wash where I want my wave to be. The wash needs to be not really wet but not too dry either – somewhere in between. Then I carefully tilt the paper so the watermarks develop in the direction I want them to go. When I can see a definite wave shape starting to form I place my paper back on a flat surface to dry – no fiddling with it !! With this technique no two waves are ever going to be the same – you will create something different and unique every single time. I like that! Something to bear in mind, if you feel like trying this, is that the smoother the paper you use the faster your watermarks will form and will the bigger they will tend to be. So controlling how much water you use and where you place it is essential. Try it – it’s so much fun…

The third landscape is inspired by by my trip to Scotland last September. This is a misty early morning view of the Moray Firth. The beach, sea and sky all gently merge into each other in the mist and everything is perfectly still and quiet…

Misty Dawn - NB
Misty Dawn

My fourth landscape is straight out of my imagination – poppies in golden fields on a beautiful summers day…

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Poppies In Fields Of Gold

My fifth landscape is an abstract Cornish seascape. Stormy skies over a turquoise sea, loosely based on the unusual light and weather patterns that often occur in Cornwall…

Storm at Sea - NB
Storm At Sea

All of these landscapes I have entered into the Landscape Escape Challenge in Jean Haines online art school . They are all very different but all very easy and fun to do.

Watercolour

Spring Flower Studies

I’ve been continuing with my spring flower studies. Two more to share today:

Blossom - NB
Blossom – watercolour flower study

First is some blossom, seen on my daily walk. I used Quinacridone Rose (DS) for the flowers. I purposely kept it very simple, tried not to add too much detail.

Next spring flower study was some Muscari:

Muscari - NB
Muscari flowers – a study in watercolour

My muscari flowers study was based on a tutorial by Jean Haines. It’s much looser than my previous study. I love the bold blues with a hint of violet and turquoise. Exact colours I chose to use were: Indanthrene Blue (W & N), Phthalo Turquoise (W & N), Manganese Blue Hue (DS), Phthalo Blue GS (DS), Winsor Violet (W & N) and Cascade Green (DS). Below you can see all these colours (from left to right) in a “dancing ladies” exercise that Jean recommends doing:

Dancing Ladies for Muscari Study - NB
“Dancing ladies”  – a watercolour exercise to decide on colour choices

Both flower studies were fun to do. But they are also a part of a learning curve for me; learning about pigments, how they interact with each other; and learning how to capture a the essence of a subject with minimal detail.

There may be a few more flower studies to follow… 🙂

Watercolour

Spring

Well, spring is springing very beautifully in my little corner of the world. We may be in lockdown but you can’t lockdown spring….

Spring Flowers - NB
Buttercup & Forget-Me-Not studies in watercolour

Yesterday I did some Forget-Me-Not and Buttercup studies in watercolour. These pretty little flowers I’ve observed on my daily walk. All were painted on Arches paper, torn in to 10 cm x 19 cm strips. I used a Rosemary and Co kolinsky sable brush and a Silver Black Velvet script brush.

Forget-Me-Nots - NB
Forget-Me-Not studies in watercolour

I used Daniel Smith’s Cobalt Blue for the Forget-Me-Not flowers. Just quick loose watercolour studies, trying to capture the essence of the flowers rather than doing botanical studies….

Buttercups - NB
Buttercup studies in watercolour

Buttercups – weeds or wild flowers? Whatever your view – they add a vibrant splash of colour to the environment. For the Buttercup flowers I used Hansa Yellow Medium (DS) and Cadmium Yellow Medium (DS).

I kept all these watercolour studies simple, trying to adopt a “less is more” approach. I loved painting these. And I’m making the most of the extra time I have right now to paint and have fun with my watercolours.

#rosemaryandcoareopen

Watercolour

Lavender Whispers

Lavender Whispers

Whispers of lavender in watercolour. Simple, loose watercolour sketches. I picked some lavender from my garden and took it to my studio. I selected what I felt were the right watercolour pigments from my collection. I chose Daniel Smith’s Lavender, Carbazole Violet and Cascade Green – they were just right for the paler shade of lavender in my garden. Just simple sketches but much fun to do…

Watercolour

Daffodils

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Bunch of Daffodils

Painting daffodils was on the agenda this morning, making the most of them while they’re still blooming…

Daffodil Study - NB
Single Daffodil Study

I practiced painting this single daffodil first before painting the bunch above…

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Daffodil Colours

My daffodil colours are Winsor Lemon, Indian Yellow and Permanent Sap Green, all by Winsor & Newton. Paper used is Arches rough 140lb. It wasn’t till I started painting daffodils that I noticed what a lovely sweet smell they have and I enjoyed painting them…

Watercolour

Tulips

 

Tulips - NBTulip Test Colours - NB

 

Above are two tulips, painted loosely in watercolour, inspired by Jean Haines Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour book. Paper used was Fabriano Artistico Extra White Rough paper, 100% cotton & 140 lb.  No preliminary pencil sketch was made on the watercolour paper.

On the left is a scrap of watercolour paper I used to test out some colours on before painting my tulips.  The yellow is Winsor Lemon – a good choice for the slightly delicate yellow of my tulips. The greens are Green Gold (DS),  Olive Green (W & N), Prussian Green (DS) and Prussian Green mixed with Green Gold. The grey shades at the bottom were mixed from Indigo and Buff Titanium.

This was my first ever attempt at painting tulips. Painting the glass jar the tulips are in was tricky – I need to work on that…

I enjoyed painting these tulips – they’re bright and cheerful and much fun to paint…

 

Watercolour

Just Opening

Just Opening - NB
Just Opening – a daffodil study in watercolour

I don’t have any daffodils in my garden so I had to buy some from my local supermarket. They were all tightly in bud when I bought them but very soon started to open. I decided to paint some watercolour studies of them in bud first and then I will do some more of them open. I did some quick pencil sketches first in my sketchbook before committing brush to watercolour paper.

Inspiration came from Jean Haines Atmospheric Flowers book. Of course, no pencil sketch was made on the watercolour paper before painting. This is my first ever attempt at painting daffodils and I’m quite pleased with them. But of course there’s always plenty of room for improvement…

Paper used is Fabriano Artistico extra white rough, 140 lb cotton and watercolour paints are by Daniel Smith.

Watercolour

A Door Leading To…

Adventure…

A Door Leading To Adventure - NB
A Door Leading To Adventure…

I spent an hour or so in my studio yesterday evening painting with my watercolours, even though I was exhausted after a very hard day at “The Office”. Once I get absorbed in watercolour painting I very quickly forget how tired I am – it relaxes me.

I didn’t have any idea what to paint, I just started to move some colours across the paper. I added water with a clean brush, let it run down the paper and watched the colours mix. An image started to form – a door was appearing… ! Then I decided it needed some flowers round the door… and a door step…

I pretty much made this up as I went along… and it was nice to paint with absolutely no agenda, no pressure or expectations – just enjoying the act of painting with watercolours. I like how it turned out – to me it almost looks like something out of a fairy tale. I love it’s looseness and how it has just enough detail to know what it is…

I decided it was a door leading to adventure – for me, a door leading to lots of exciting watercolour adventures! Where would this door leading to adventure take you… ?

Technical info: Saunders Waterford High White watercolour paper – 100% cotton, 140 lb NOT, Daniel Smith Watercolours, measures 14 cm x 17 cm

Watercolour

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas - NB
Sweet Peas

A loose watercolour sketch of some Sweet Peas from a demonstration in Jean Haines’ World of Watercolour book. It was painted on Arches cold pressed paper. The colours I used were Rhodonite Genuine for the flowers and Prussian Green, Hansa Yellow Medium and a small touch of Yellow Ochre for the foliage – all Daniel Smith watercolours. I love Rhodonite Genuine – it’s a beautiful pink with just a small hint of granulation (although it’s not classed as a granulating paint). My sketch measures 11.5 cm x 28 cm (4.5 x 11 inches).

It’s lovely to be back painting again after not having much time for it lately. Although I dabble with a little mixed media art, collage and acrylics my passion is for watercolour. For me there’s nothing to rival it, there’s no other art medium that excites me like watercolour painting does. Magical things happen when you mix beautiful pigments with water on beautiful cotton paper. My watercolour journey continues…

Watercolour

Violet Study

Violets In A B;ue Glsss - NB
Violets In A Blue Glass

Following on from yesterdays post, this is another violet study. This time I used slightly different colours and varied the composition a little. The colours used this time were Winsor Violet, Winsor Blue Red Shade, Sap Green and Cadmium Yellow. It measures 19 cm x 28 cm and was painted on Arches paper.

It was a simple study to do but lots of fun and all part part of the learning process…