Photography

Wells’ Textures

I have just returned from a lovely weeks holiday with family in Wells-Next-The-Sea, North Norfolk. This is a part of Britain’s coast we’ve never been to before. The main purpose for coming here for a holiday was so that Carolyn and I could attend a two day art workshop hosted by artist Debbie Lyddon in her Whelk Shed Studio.  There will be more about the art workshop in a separate post.

Wells is a small town and quite old fashioned, which I love. Wells has a quay in the town with lots of boats. There are lovely seaside smells of sea salt and crabs as you walk along the quay. The quay divides into lots of different channels separated by the marshes. It’s a very interesting landscape.

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The Quay at Wells-Next-The-Sea

Wells does have a “proper” beach about a 10 minute walk from the quay but to be honest, from an artist’s point of view, the quay is a lot more interesting. Carolyn and I had a walk along the quay a few days after the art workshop had finished. Here are some of the lovely textures and colours that can be found along the quay….

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Soft neutral colours and lovely texture from the rope and textiles…

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A whelk shed window

Lovely textures and patterns in the windows of an unused whelk shed…

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A whelk shed window

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ropes in varying shades of blue…

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Soft grey colours and patterns in the mud
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Oyster Shell in black and white

Oyster shells can be found along the pebbly shores of the quay…

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Inside an Oyster Shell
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Rust and canvas

There’s an abundance of rust to be found in Wells – a by product of the salty sea air…

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Rich ochre and sienna colours in the rust
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Ropes and rust
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Peeling paint in shades of soft green and blue

The soft paler green in the above image Carolyn and I have named “Wells Green” – you see a lot of it here…

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Notice the aubergine/purple tones in the rust – they’re just beautiful…

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Beautiful vintage blues and yellows

Wells-Next-The-Sea is texture heaven. Colour and texture is everywhere throughout the town. My next task will be to use these awesome colours and textures to inspire some abstract watercolour sketches and paintings…

Watercolour

Watercolour Rose Macro

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Watercolour Rose Macro

A rose macro painted loosely in watercolour. It was painted on Arches paper. The colours I chose to use were Naples Yellow, Quinacridone Rose and Rhodonite Genuine ~ all by Daniel Smith. This painting is my interpretation of one of my own photos shown below…

Macro Rose

Painting an exact copy of the photo is not what I wanted to do – Hazel Soan’s words ring in my ears “you are using the subject matter to create a watercolour, not using watercolour to recreate the subject”. Just capturing the essence of what’s in the photo or my own interpretation is enough. At the end of the day, for me it’s all about getting lots of practice at painting with watercolours and this was very good practice for me…

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Watercolour

Little Blue Hyrdrangea Flower

Little Blue Hydrangea Flower
Little Blue Hyrdrangea Flower ~ watercolour

A watercolour sketch of a little blue hydrangea flower. This sketch is my interpretation of one of my own photos which you can see below. This turned out not quite as loose as I originally intended it to be but I like it all the same. No pencil sketch for this – I just used my paintbrush to paint the general shape of the little flower and then gradually worked on some details. It’s worth clicking on the sketch to view it larger…

This is my original photo:

Ocean Blue - DIB

I think I will regard this as a practice sketch and have another go at this – try for a looser version and alter the colours a little, it’s all good practice…

WorldWatercolorMonth

Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 11

This weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is about using drawing grounds – ie. clear gesso, absorbent ground or pastel ground. Out of these three I only had clear gesso so that’s what I used. Drawing grounds are used to add tooth to an uneven surface like a collage that’s made up from glossy items and matte items, it kind of “evens” out the surface.

So I started this weeks workshop by collaging two thick pieces of paper. I then covered them with my drawing ground  – the clear gesso. I did actually mix my clear gesso with just a tiny bit of white gesso, just to very slightly tone down my collage a bit. I left it to dry. Then comes the interesting bit – what to put on top. The book gave only three prompts for this – add thin washes of colour, drawing on the surface or a combination of both. I did a combination of both…

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Fish drawn & painted over clear gesso

On my first collage I decided I wanted to draw a fish. I don’t know why, I just did! So I did practice a couple of times on a separate piece of paper first and then drew my very simple fish above. I painted it over with watercolour paint but it looked a bit dull – I think that has to do with the clear gesso. It needed a bit of bling… so out came the pearl mica! I overlaid the watercolour with thin washes of complementary shades of pearl mica. You can click the images to view them larger…

Week 11 - Fish Macro - NB

Above is a macro view of the fish. You can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and also the texture of the clear gesso over my collage. I photographed this image using a 60mm macro lens at f/2.8 and made sure there was backlighting to get that lovely bokeh (the sparkly out of focus bit top and bottom)!

My second collage ended up like this:

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Portals Into Another World

I didn’t have any clear idea of what I wanted to draw on this one but I like circles, so I started by drawing some circles. Then came some lines and then I filled in with some colour, which I overlaid with some washes of pearl mica. It ended up looking a little “other worldly” so I called it Portals Into Another World…

Here’s a couple of macro views:

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“Portals”, a macro view

Above you can see the shimmer of the pearl mica and texture of the clear gesso.  Below is a fun macro shot just because I love bokeh and blur…

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“Portals”, a macro view

Both of my samples for this week measure 13 cm x 10 cm and I have stuck them into my dedicated STW sketchbook. As is often the case, both these samples look better in reality than they do photographed! My sister Carolyn should be posting her samples from last week and this week soon,  so please do pop over and have a look… ! In next week’s workshop we are using Metal Leaf – I’ve never used this before so I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with it but I’m up for the challenge…

Photography · Surface Treatment Workshop

Macro Magic

When I photographed my samples for this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop I also did a few macro shots too which I decided to share…

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the peppercorns and sand…

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the crushed seashells and vegetable netting…

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I love macro photography ! All of these were taken with a Canon 60 mm macro lens at f/2.8 to achieve the maximum creative blur and bokeh…

Photography

Gathering Texture

I’ve been busy gathering some textured stuff for this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop

Sharp Sand - NB

I had some sharp sand in the garage left over from a garden project. Above is a macro view – just look at all those lovely colours…  how they complement each other so perfectly…. yellows, browns, beige, cream, grey….

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Black Peppercorns - Macro - NB

I got some black peppercorns and crushed them in a pestle and mortar – I think they could create some lovely texture…

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I also found out some broken mussel shells I’d collected from the beach. Notice those blue and brown colours creeping in…. I love them! They’re seaside colours… !

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Macro views of the broken mussel shells – yellow ochre, burnt sienna and indigo blue colours with touches of grey…

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These three things (sand, peppercorns and mussel shells) are going to be incorporated into my Surface Treatment Workshop samples for this week. I love macro photography – it gives you a whole new world to explore….

Photography

Colour & Texture Inspiration

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This the detail on a lobster pot at St. Ives harbour, Cornwall (UK). I love these wonderful seaside colours ~ they work so well together

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This is a piece of hand bleached indigo denim with a rusty key I found, again the colours and textures work so well together. They inspire me…

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Back in St. Ives harbour, more lobster pot details. These wonderful colours make me want to get my paints out… I see Cerulean Blue, Emerald, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna and background colours of Paynes Grey and Raw Umber…

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Fishing nets catching the sun in St. Ives harbour. All the above photos were taken  using a Canon 60 mm macro lens.

These photos inspire me to the point where I can feel an art project developing in my mind…

Photography · Sketchbooks

Decorated Sketchbook

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This sketchbook caught my eye in a shop in town, I couldn’t resist…

It’s beautifully covered with a neutral linen and lots of shiny beads in shades of cream, silver, gold, copper, bronze and amber…

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Sketchbook bokeh…

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The shiny beads catch the light and sparkle…

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I’m looking forward to filling this book with beautiful things…

Photography

Creative Flurries…

Fabrics and papers - RN

In My Paint Palette - RN

Prussian Blue - RN

After a few months break to deal with a health issue, I’m having little flurries of creative ideas  again! I have resumed some art work and picked up my camera again…

Above is some of my favourite colours ~ Prussian Blue, Cerulean Blue, Turquoise, with a little white thrown into the mix! The first image is a little pile of papers and fabrics on my desk patiently waiting for some creative input…