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…
This watercolour sketch is an exercise in layering colour painted on khadi paper and inspired by Hazel Soan’s book The Essence Of Watercolour. When layering watercolours you have to let one layer dry completely before adding the next (unless you’re going for a wet in wet effect). This takes PATIENCE… ! I’ve found that patience is one of the hardest things to learn with watercolour painting – just letting certain areas of a painting dry completely without touching or fiddling. Hazel Soan is so right when she says in her book (link above) that much of a watercolourist’s life is spent watching paint dry… !
My landscape above is monochromatic but the colour was mixed in the palette first. The colours I mixed together for my landscape were: Prussian Blue, Indigo and Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue – all by Daniel Smith. I’m going to practice layering much more and start experimenting with different colours to develop an idea of how they work together…
As you can see, this is not a watercolour masterpiece! But what it is, is an exercise in creating 3 dimensional shapes in watercolour by Hazel Soan on YouTube.
As instructed, I started with very simple pencil outlines of the 3 items and then tried to follow Hazel’s on screen instructions on getting the shading in the right places to give the impression of three dimensional objects. I know this is something I need to improve upon… alot! So for me this was a good place to start and I found the exercise very useful.
I used just one colour for simplicity – Prussian Blue (in the video Hazel used Indigo) and I painted this straight into my Khadi paper sketchbook. I’m reasonably happy with how this turned out – it’s not a bad start. And I’m reasonably happy with the shapes of my objects. Drawing things in perspective was the only useful thing I remember learning in art class at school.
I hope you all enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend – I’m off now to fill my head with more watercolour fluff… !!
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:
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….
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….
A small watercolour landscape. I painted this some weeks ago and I wasn’t sure if I liked it. So I just left it to one side for a few weeks and then went back to it. I do this with my photography sometimes if I have images I’m not sure about. When you look at images or art again after a few weeks you see things with a fresh perspective. When I revisited this watercolour I decided that perhaps it’s not so bad after all – I quite like it. I like the deckle edge of the paper (Fabriano Artistico NOT paper – 100% cotton)….
Today I decided I would also share just a few places that I get lots of wonderful watercolour inspiration from.
One page I love to visit is debi riley – The Creative Zone for Making Art. Debi is a very talented artist with many years experience. Her work is beautiful and she very generously shares her wealth of knowledge and experience on her blog. It’s a wonderful, inspirational place to visit for artists of all levels of experience. As a person still in the early stages of my watercolour journey, I’ve found it invaluable. My suggestion is: make yourself a coffee, make yourself comfy in front of the computer and lose a couple of hours exploring Debi’s blog – you wont regret it….
Next, I love colour. I love mixing colours and experimenting with colour. One stunning web page I love to visit can be found at Jackson’s, a UK art supply shop. Here you will find a beautiful Daniel Smith watercolour paint chart. Please do have a look.
What I love about this page is that you can view virtually the entire Daniel Smith range of watercolours all on one page and the colours are stunning. What I also love about this page is that you can click on each individual colour and it will tell you the pigment numbers that make up that colour and the properties of that colour, ie. it’s lightfastness, transparency, whether it’s a stainer or granulator etc. This information is invaluable to me. How can you not be inspired by all these beautiful colours…. ??
Another place I’ve found watercolour inspiration from lately is from a book called 10-Minute Watercolours by Hazel Soan. This is only a small book, inexpensive and it’s not a new book. But it’s a fantastic book – inspirational! This book simplifies watercolour painting and for me that’s a good thing. Hazel achieves many beautiful and inspirational watercolours in this book in just 10 minutes. Hazel makes two statements in this book that I will remember forever:
“Painting is an act of creation, not imitation.”
“….you are using the subject matter to create a watercolour, not using watercolour to re-create the subject.”
Those statements are quite profound and I will leave you to think about them….
I will share more of my sources of inspiration another time….