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

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…. !

Art · Watercolour

Wash Day….

No, I’m not talking about the laundry…. ! When watercolour painting, the expression “wash day” takes on a whole new meaning. Practicing initial washes is an exercise in Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. And I have to say it’s a lovely, relaxing and therapeutic exercise to do.

Here’s my first wash, loosely based on the exercise in Jean’s book in the link above:

Initial Wash 1 - NB

A loose, light and colourful wash. This will be the base on which I will eventually build on and create a lovely painting.

My next wash is based specifically upon one of my own photos. A floral photo:

Initial Wash 2 - NB

Again, in time, I will build upon this initial wash to create a watercolour painting based upon my photo.

When I have built upon these washes and turned them into finished paintings I will post the results. Not sure when that will be yet but, hey, there’s no rush…. ! They will sit patiently in my studio till I’m ready to work on them. I will know when the time is right….

Art · Watercolour

Drawing….

….with a paint brush. Today I started some practice at drawing with only a paint brush and watercolour paint. No preliminary pencil sketches or lines. Just freehand drawing with a paint brush and watercolour paint.

So with no further waffle I would like you to meet Clifford….

Clifford The Crab - NB
Clifford The Crab

This is just a small watercolour sketch measuring only about 5″ x 3.5″. I painted Clifford on Khadi paper using just one colour, Raw Sienna.  At some point I am going to paint more crabs similar to this one but possibly more colourful and textured – some friends for Clifford!

My next drawing subject was also seaside related….

Ships Wheel - NB
Ship’s Wheel ~ In The Driving Seat

A ships wheel! This sketch is also 5″ x 3.5″ and painted on khadi paper. The colours used were Indigo and Winsor & Newton’s Cobalt Turquoise Light.

I deliberately kept these sketches simple – just simple shapes, lines and simple colours. These sketches are good drawing practice for me and they were fun to do. More drawing with a paint brush will follow in the future….

Art · Watercolour

Wild Violet Watercolour

Wild Violet Watercolour - NB

Some loose, wet in wet watercolour fun. This flower started out as an exercise from Jean Haines’ Atmospoheric Watercolours book but as I started painting it kind of took on a life of it’s own. I just went with it and it now bears no resemblance to anything in the book at all! But I like it….

Paper used was Fabriano Artistico (100% cotton) 140lb NOT.  Colours used were Winsor Violet (PV23) and Indigo – a beautiful colour combination. It measures approx. 7″ x 7.5″

Art · 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.

Art · Watercolour

Creating Watercolour Textures

A little colour mixing fun with watercolours….

Watercolour Textures - NB

I started off with Windsor Blue (red shade) and Indian Yellow. Then I added some Buff Titanium, Prussian Blue and Indigo into the mix. Puddles of colour layered together and left to dry.  Drying took well over 12 hours. You don’t know what your going to end up with till the paint has completely dried. I love the colour mixes and textures – especially the top two ones in the right hand column! These were purely experimental. I actually used a thick smooth surfaced cartridge paper for these but I will try doing more of these colour mixing samples using hot pressed watercolour paper. A fun watercolour experiment which turned out really well. Please click on the image to view it larger or view it in my Art Gallery….

Just as a side note, I will not be doing any more Surface Treatment Workshop due to current family responsibilities.  I’ve really enjoyed this project, learnt a lot from it and experimented with lots of different art mediums which I would not otherwise have done.  It forced me out of my comfort zone! But it is a time consuming project and I don’t have the available time at the moment to commit to it. However, I’m still hoping to start an exciting new project in January with Carolyn, all being well. More info about that later in the year….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop · Watercolour

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 25

Welcome to week 25 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week we are using a bleach pen to create interesting patterns and textures in art. Here’s what I ended up with….

Week 25 - Bleach Pen 3 - NB

This is a Fiber Paste surface covered with watercolour paint, then bleach dropped onto the top with the bleach pen. Colours used were Indigo and Phthalo Blue. The colours and textures are wonderful….

Next something a little different (at least different for me!)….

Week 25 - Bleach Pen 1 - NB

A while ago my sister Carolyn sent me a bundle of art stuff in the post. In the parcel she included a pile of the strips used in salons to remove wax, with a note offering me a challenge to use them in some art. Challenge accepted!

Here they are used above as part of this weeks workshop. I covered them with a wash of watercolour paint and then dropped the bleach onto the wet paint in small drops. These strips are somewhere between a paper and a fabric and they are very porous, so you need something underneath to absorb any paint that goes straight through. Some interesting textures have been created. On the left, the colours used were Burnt Sienna and Phthalo Blue and on the right I used Prussian Blue. For the samples on the right I have shown both sides, as they are both different but interesting. Here’s a closer view of the left sample:

Week 25 - Bleach Pen 2 - NB

These salon wax strips, once painted and dried, would be good to use for collage work – they would add some extra interest and colour….

This weeks workshop was fun and very quick and easy to do. The next STW is about using petroleum jelly – I think it might just get a little bit messy – but we’re going to have some fun with it anyway…. !

Large images of my art can be viewed in my Art Gallery

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 23

This week’s workshop is all about using shaving foam in mixed media art. This is something I would have never considered using in art before reading the Surface Treatment Workshop book. The basic technique is to apply shaving foam to the back of a disposable plate (or other flat surface), then drop paint into it, swirl it round a bit and then transfer it you your art surface. Here’s my first sample….

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 1 - NB

I applied my shaving foam really thickly to the back of a disposable plate I added yellow ochre, turquoise, indigo and gold acrylic paint, mixed it in the foam a bit and transferred it to my paper. I swirled the foam round the paper with the plate and then lifted it off. At this stage I had a choice – I could either scrape the foam off straight away or leave in on to disintegrate. I decided to leave it on to disintegrate by itself. I left it for 24 hours and returned to find the foam had disappeared leaving some amazing painted textures on my paper.

Now shaving foam is obviously not archival, so to preserve my lovely textured surface I carefully applied a layer of acrylic glazing medium. When dry I applied a second coat of glazing medium mixed with some pearl mica in complementary colours.

While the above shaving foam sample was disintegrating I started some more samples….

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 2 - NB

For the above samples I followed exactly the same process but using slightly different colours – Indigo, Prussian blue, Yellow Ochre and Gold. I left the foam on to disintegrate.

Week 23 - Shaving Foam 3 - NB

For the above I used Indigo, Prussian Blue, Pale Power Blue and Silver. When the foam had disintegrated to virtually nothing I was left with lovely lace kind of pattern. All my samples were finished with acrylic glazing medium to preserve the textures and patterns.

Shaving foam is interesting stuff to use in art but it is MESSY !! If you don’t make a mess applying it, you will make a mess scraping off any unwanted residue! It’s sticky and gets everywhere. I highly recommend giving yourself plenty of space for this technique and move/cover anything you don’t want to get shaving foam on! All that said, I’m quite pleased with how my samples turned out and it was fun to do….

Next week’s workshop is about using Rubbing Alcohol. It’s going to be interesting…