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…

Art · Watercolour

Sail Away….

Sail Away - NB

A quick and simple wet in wet watercolour seascape sketch. It took me about 10 minutes. It measures just 5″ x 3.5″. I used just blue paints, apart from a tiny touch of white guache for the sails of the boat…

Colours used: Prussian Blue, Indigo,  Phthalo Blue, Cobalt Teal Blue

Paper: Fabriano Artistco Watercolour Paper, 100% cotton, 140 lb Cold Pressed

You don’t always have to labour for days and hours over a detailed masterpiece, sometimes something quick and simple is enough….

Art · Watercolour

Quick Watercolour Seascapes

Today I managed to find an hour to do a couple of quick watercolour seascape sketches….

St. Clements Isle Watercolour - NB

Above is a watercolour sketch of St. Clements Isle, just off the coast of Mousehole, Cornwall, UK. This is one of those paintings that is best viewed from a slight distance. This watercolour is loosely based on the photo below:

a-black-diamond-edit-nb

This is the other watercolour sketch I did this afternoon:

Turquoise Seascape - NB

This watercolour is of nowhere in particular and just came straight out of my imagination. I started this by wanting to just use up the left over paint in my palette and it kind of turned into a seascape…

I enjoyed doing these quick seascapes this afternoon. Both measure approximately 6″ x 4″ – just the right size to go into my watercolour sketchbook. Both were done on 140 lb watercolour paper.

Art · Watercolour

Spring Greens

Do you like eating your greens? Personally I love eating my greens BUT…. painting them is a whole lot more fun….. !!

Spring Greens - NB

I did these watercolour samples back in the spring (hence the title of this post). These lovely shades of green (and some neutrals) were created by mixing 2 blues and 2 yellows. The blues were indigo and Cobalt Teal Blue. The yellows were Lemon Yellow and Raw Sienna. There’s a lovely assortment of beautiful greens here but notice the lovely neutral tones in the two bottom left colour samples – they’re edging toward the grey side which I love….

Seaside Colour Mixing - NB

Above we have mixes of Daniel Smith’s Buff Titanium and Cobalt Teal Blue…

On the top line from the left:  Buff Titanium, Buff Titanium + White, Buff Titanium + Cobalt Teal Blue

On the bottom line from the left: Cobalt Teal Blue, Cobalt Teal Blue + White, Cobalt Teal Blue + more White

I love mixing colours, it’s such a fun thing to do and so relaxing. But it’s also a great way for me to learn how colours mix and react with each other. These colour samples will go into my watercolour workbook…

Acrylic Paintings · Art

Ocean Wave

Ocean Wave - NB
OCEAN WAVE ~ mini acrylic on canvas

I have just finished my samples for the Surface Treatment Workshop for this week (which I’m hoping to post tomorrow) and had some acrylic paint left in my palette. So, not wanting to waste the paint, I decided to do a quick mini acrylic seascape on canvas. It’s veering slightly towards the abstract side….

My painting measures 7 cm x 7 cm. So the photo is actually quite a bit bigger than the original painting but that does mean that you can see the detail, especially if you click on the image twice. Acrylic colours used were: Prussian Blue, Indigo, Pale Power Blue, Turquoise, Cerulean Blue, Pale Olive and White. So for a small painting that is actually quite a lot of colours but I do like to do lots of layers of colour with acrylic paints….

Art · Watercolour

Cloud & Sky Studies – Part 1

A little watercolour practice in painting skies and clouds:

Sky Studies 1 - Rain Clouds - NB
RAIN CLOUDS

“Rain Clouds” above was painted with Paynes Gray

Sky Studies 1 - Storm Clouds - NB
STORM CLOUDS

“Storm Clouds” was painted with Indigo for a slightly more moody looking sky

Sky Studies 1 - Bright & Breezy - NB
BRIGHT & BREEZY

“Bright & Breezy” was painted with Cerulean Blue and tiny touches of Phthalo Blue

Sky Studies 1 - Sundown - NB
SUNDOWN

“Sundown” was painted with some soft sunset shades, namely: Sepia, Cadmium Red Pale Hue and Lemon Yellow. These colours were inspired by an image in my photo archives.

I enjoyed doing these very much and I plan to do more using different colours and trying different cloud patterns. Being a seasoned photographer I have a whole heap of “sky” photos in my archives to refer to for a little help and inspiration.

I remember years ago my brother saying to me ” What ARE you photographing??” as I had my camera pointed at the sky. I happily replied ” Clouds…”, his reply was “You’re weird.. !! ” shaking his head, with that cheeky grin on his face… ! LOL !!

I’ve learnt over the years to be completely indifferent to the strange looks I get when I photograph unusual things, at strange angles. If I like the colours, textures, shapes etc. I photograph it – I’ve learnt to trust my artistic judgement and not be self conscious about what other people think…

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Art · Watercolour

Misty Blue Mountains

Misty Blue Mountains - NB
Misty Blue Mountains

Monochrome landscapes in indigo watercolour. Mountains interest me at the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m off to Scotland in a few weeks and we’re going to be surrounded by lovely hills, mountains and lochs…

You can click on the images to view them larger

Peaks - NB
Indigo Blue Peaks
Hills & Valleys - NB
Hills & Valleys

I decided to keep my mountain watercolour landscapes very simple – simple shapes, shadows and colour. My blue mountains have been glued into my watercolour sketchbook. The smaller landscapes above are a mixture of Prussian Blue and Intense Blue (Phthalo Blue).

I first started to experiment with mixed media art in the spring of 2014. I bought a few books and started to try out some of the techniques. It was during this process that I very quickly discovered I love watercolour paint. However, I carried on with my mixed media experiments and it’s only now (3 years later) that I’ve made a conscious decision to develop my love of watercolour paint.

As far as art goes, watercolour painting is my first love. Whether I ever become any good at it is another matter entirely… but perhaps that’s not really what’s important. What’s important is that painting with watercolours is something I love doing and find enormously relaxing and therapeutic…