Art · Watercolour

Watercolour Inspiration

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)….

Waterside - NB
Waterside

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….

Art · Watercolour

Tree Studies

A few simple tree studies in watercolour:

Tree Study 2 - NB

Lemon Yellow was painted straight onto the paper and the Prussian Blue was overlaid, wet in wet, allowing the colours to mix into an assortment of different greens…

Tree Study 1 - NB

When I painted the above tree I was really only doodling with my left over watercolour paint in my palette. But I quite liked it, so I cut it out and stuck it into my watercolour workbook.

The foliage colours were dabbed onto the paper with a sheet of screwed up kitchen roll, I used Cerulean Blue and Sepia. The trunk was painted afterwards with Lamp Black. While the black paint was still wet I dropped a tiny dot of water onto the top of each branch so they would blend into the foliage….

Tree Reflections - NB

My tree reflections above were created using an interesting technique. Before adding the paint I first went over my paper with gum arabic, just in the area I wanted my tree reflections. Then dropped my paint into the wet gum arabic. The gum arabic slows down the spread of the paint creating the interesting feathery patterns above. You can click on the image to view it larger and see the feathery patterns more clearly. The tree line above the reflections was painted after the reflections. Colour used was Prussian Blue.

This is a really interesting technique – please do give it a go if you’ve never tried it before. You can use it for all sorts of things, not just tree reflections….

So here I have done three different was of painting trees. I will explore many more ways of creating trees as I continue on my watercolour journey….

Art · Watercolour

The Blue Rose

The Blue Rose - NB
watercolour on 140lb 100% cotton Saunders Waterford watercolour paper

This is my very first attempt at painting a rose. And you will notice that I have used a large dollop of artistic license with the colour. It measures 7″ x 10″, which also makes it the largest watercolour painting I’ve done to date – I’m getting adventurous…. haha!

I’ve wanted to paint some roses for a while now but haven’t felt confident enough to do it. But last week a friend bought me a bunch of roses, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a go. I started off by doing a pencil sketch first. I’ve tried drawing roses before and made a complete pigs ear of it but this time I actually made quite a good job of of the drawing. I guess practice pays off….

Rose - NB

I told myself “if I can draw it, I can paint it… “. I didn’t paint my drawing, I’ve left it in my sketchbook. I got my watercolour paper out and based on my sketch, I drew faint pencil outlines of the rose on my watercolour paper to use as a guide. Then it was just a case of letting the painting begin….

I know in reality blue roses don’t exist but I think it’s high time someone produced a hybrid…. ! The colours for my rose were Cerulean Blue, Phthalo Blue and Chinese White and the stem and leaves were Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna and a touch of Sap Green.

My rose watercolour isn’t perfect by any means but I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. I’m going to paint more roses but probably in slightly more traditional colours….

Art · Watercolour

Flower Fun

I had a little fun painting some flowers for my watercolour sketchbook….

The Blue Flower - NB
THE BLUE FLOWER

The watercolour above is not any particular kind of flower – it just came straight out of my imagination…

I used Phthalo Blue for the majority of it and just added a few tiny dots of Permanent Rose. My mum fell in love with my bright blue flower so I’m going to find a nice frame for it and give it to her…

Lavender Watercolour Sketch - NB
LAVENDER WATERCOLOUR SKETCH

Fast and loose washes of colour. For the flowers I used Phthalo blue mixed with Permanent Rose for the mauve colour and I used Phthalo Blue mixed with Yellow Ochre for the stems and leaves.

After I painted this I asked my mum (who was with me at the time) if she could tell what they are… straight away she replied “lavender!”, so I’m taking that as a positive… !

I had great fun doing these and I am definitely going to do some more… !

By The Sea · Photography · Still Life · Textured

Creative Photography

I’ve had quite a busy creative week so far. I’ve produced this image with some of my newest textures:

Moody Blue Harbour - RN

The image is of the lovely St. Ives, in Cornwall, UK.

I found some lovely vintage images in my archives a few days ago:

Simply Vintage - RN

Vintage Paper & Stamp - RN

Vintage Ephemera - RN

I have also added four new textures to my collection on Flickr this week:

Misty Morning Basic - FREE TEXTURE

Gelli Print Grunge - FREE TEXTURE

Grungy Blue Fog - FREE TEXTURE

Cracked Ice 2 - FREE TEXTURE

They’re all free to download and use – just click on the Download button (arrow with a line underneath it) in the bottom right corner of the black picture viewing area on Flickr!

Also you may have noticed I have changed the name of this blog and given it a new look to brighten it a bit! That’s all for now – more creative stuff soon!