Watercolour

The Kingfisher

Kingfisher - NB
The Kingfisher

A kingfisher in watercolour based on both my own image (found amongst some collage material) and the demonstration in Jean Haines’ World Of Watercolour book. This is my very first attempt at the kingfisher – a trial run – and I have to say it turned out better than I thought it would.

I will do another kingfisher and I will change a couple of things. My next one needs to be a bit shorter and fatter. And also I seem to have this bad habit of starting my painting in the wrong place and ending up too near the edge of the paper, as above… !! I must address this…

All in all a successful and fun hour spent painting this afternoon!

Watercolour

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas - NB
Sweet Peas

A loose watercolour sketch of some Sweet Peas from a demonstration in Jean Haines’ World of Watercolour book. It was painted on Arches cold pressed paper. The colours I used were Rhodonite Genuine for the flowers and Prussian Green, Hansa Yellow Medium and a small touch of Yellow Ochre for the foliage – all Daniel Smith watercolours. I love Rhodonite Genuine – it’s a beautiful pink with just a small hint of granulation (although it’s not classed as a granulating paint). My sketch measures 11.5 cm x 28 cm (4.5 x 11 inches).

It’s lovely to be back painting again after not having much time for it lately. Although I dabble with a little mixed media art, collage and acrylics my passion is for watercolour. For me there’s nothing to rival it, there’s no other art medium that excites me like watercolour painting does. Magical things happen when you mix beautiful pigments with water on beautiful cotton paper. My watercolour journey continues…

Watercolour

Watercolour Rose Macro

Watercolour Macro Rose - NB
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

Watercolour

New Colours & Rosebud Sketch

Introducing new colours in my watercolour collection:

New DS Colours 1 - nb

On the left of the chart the colours, from the top, are: Cadmium Yellow Medium, Rhodonite Genuine, Cobalt Violet Deep and Viridian. All from Daniel Smith.

I already have a Winsor & Newton Cadmium Yellow, so why do I need a Daniel Smith one too? I’ll tell you: it’s because the properties of the different brands are different; Daniel Smith Cadmium Yellow Medium is semi-transparent, whereas the Winsor & Newton Cadmium Yellow is opaque.  The DS semi-transparent Cadmium Yellow is going to allow more light to reflect off the surface of the paper resulting in a more luminous painting, whereas the W & N opaque will block more light resulting in a more solid colour. My personal preference is the DS semi-transparent Cadmium Yellow as I’m always irresistibly drawn to the light. But the bottom line I guess is that I need to know the properties of all of my watercolour paints ie. whether they are transparent, semi-transparent, semi-opaque or opaque, and understand how that is going to affect my painting. It may be on occasion that an opaque watercolour paint might be a more suitable option, depending on what I’m painting…

Anyway back to my new colours ~ I love the Rhodonite Genuine, it’s a gorgeous colour! It ranges from a rich dark pink to the most delicate palest of pinks and it also mixes on paper with the DS Cadmium Yellow beautifully to create a wonderful vibrant sunset orange…

The Cobalt Violet Deep and the Viridian have a beautiful granulation. The paler colour mixes on the right of my chart are as follows (from the top):  Viridian, Cobalt Violet Deep + lots of water; Viridian, Cadmium Yellow Medium + lots of water; Rhodonite Genuine, Viridian + lots of water; Rhodonite Genuine, Viridian, Cadmium Yellow + lots of water.  So whilst all my new colours are quite rich strong colours, they will make the most beautiful delicate pale washes with the addition of lots of water…

Pink Rose Bud - NB
Rosebud In A Vase

A small watercolour sketch of a little pink rose bud in a vase ~ just simple watercolour pactice. The pink for the rose bud is Daniel Smith Rhodonite Genuine…

Why not go and have some fun with some new colours… ?

#WorldWatercolorMonth

Watercolour

Violet Study

Violets In A B;ue Glsss - NB
Violets In A Blue Glass

Following on from yesterdays post, this is another violet study. This time I used slightly different colours and varied the composition a little. The colours used this time were Winsor Violet, Winsor Blue Red Shade, Sap Green and Cadmium Yellow. It measures 19 cm x 28 cm and was painted on Arches paper.

It was a simple study to do but lots of fun and all part part of the learning process…

Watercolour

Violets In A Glass

Violets - NB
Violets In A Glass

This is my interpretation of the first step-by-step tutorial in Jean Haines new book: Atmospheric Flowers In Watercolour Painting With Energy And Life.  I have gone a little “off piste” with this as regards the step-by-step instructions so mine doesn’t look quite like the example in the book  but I think that’s okay.  I quite like my finished results.

Colours I used were Daniel Smith’s Cobalt Violet Deep, Ultramarine Blue, Viridian and Cadmium Yellow Medium.  Paper is Fabriano Artistico cold pressed 140 lb and it measures 19 cm x 28 cm.

My mum has been given lots of flowers from friends and family after her recent accident so I’m going to use some of them as inspiration for some more flower paintings. I like painting flowers in glasses, vases and jars etc. so I’m going to try and develop this. I need to work on my technique and practice lots and lots… and lots more… !

Watercolour

Violets: Warm Up Exercises

Those of you who’ve been visiting here for a while wont be surprised to learn that I’ve acquired Jean Haines’ new book: Jean Haines Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour: Painting With Energy And Life

It’s a beautiful book with beautiful inspiring art work on almost every page. The first exercise in the book is about painting violets. These are my warm up exercises before moving on to the step-by-step tutorial…

Warm Up Violets 1 - NB
Violets: warm up exercises – left page

All of these exercises were done as a double page spread in my khadi paper sketchbook. I like how they turned out. I can see the usefulness of doing warm up exercises before moving onto a more important piece of work. I can immediately see what works and what doesn’t, what colour combinations work best for me and what I need to improve on. I straight away noticed that I have a tendency to make my stems too fat… I’ll work on it – I clearly need to learn to have a much lighter touch with my brush… !

Warm Up Violets 2 - NB
Violets: warm up exercises – right page

I enjoyed doing these very much and I’m looking forward to doing the step-by-step tutorial. I snatched time to paint these in between looking after my lovely mum who had an accident just over a week ago and has a nasty fracture at the top of her right arm. I’ve had to take some time off work to be her full time carer for a while till she can look after herself again. Get well soon mum xx !!

I’m off now to carry on reading through Jean’s new book, enjoy what’s left of your weekend…

Watercolour

Beach Treasures

Beach Treasures - NB
Beach Treasures

I had a lovely long walk along the beach this morning. The tide had pushed the pebbles into piles and washed up some lovely interesting things. I gathered a few shells and decided that I would paint some of them when I got home. The limpets were lovely greys and redish browns and I even found one with a band of green around it…

Above you can see my painting endeavors. On the whole I’m very pleased with my sea shell sketches. I painted straight onto Arches watercolour paper, 140 lb NOT, (29 cm x 18 cm) no pencil sketches! And I do believe that my drawing skills are improving. I guess practice pays off…

Watercolour

Rambling Rose II

Rambling Rose 2 - NB
Rambling Rose II ~ WIP

This is the second painting in my rambling rose series (the first was in my previous post). I may work on this painting some more, so I guess it’s a “work in progress” but at the moment I’m enjoying it as it is…

I used the same colours as the first one – Permanent Rose and Naples Yellow. This painting measures approx. 8″ x 6.5″ and was painted on Khadi paper. And this one too looks better when viewed from  a distance – you get the “rose effect” better. It was painted loose, wet in wet and I’ve just let the watercolour paint do what it naturally likes to do – working with it, not against it…

In the summer of 2016 I planted a lovely pale pink climbing rose in my garden. This spring it has doubled in size and, although it is only early may, it has buds forming on it already! This summer I want to paint these gorgeous roses from my garden. So I’m going to take lots of photos of them and also I will cut some and bring them indoors to paint. On a nice summers day I may even do some plein air rose painting in the garden…

BACK TO BASICS

I also spent some time recently getting back to watercolour basics – basic colour mixing and practicing brush control…

Mixing Primary Colours - NB
Mixing Primary Colours

This is a very basic colour mixing exercise. I  picked one of each of the primary colours ~ I chose to use Cadmium Red, Quinacridone Gold and Indanthrene Blue (in the top line of the chart from the left). All of them are quite strong primary colours. I then randomly mixed them together using varying quantities of pigment and water. These are just a sampling of the colours I could produce. This chart measures 5.5″ x 7.5″, but if I’d used a much larger piece of paper I could have easily quadrupled the number of different colours created. This is a fun way of learning about colour – how they mix, what different colous and shades you can produce. And it illustrates that you don’t need to buy lots of different colours, when you are just starting out with watercolour – just a few will do…

Next a fun brush control exercise:

Leaves - Brush Control - NB
Leaves in Earth Colours

I used a whole range of different earth colours for the exercise above. But it’s not about the colours, it’s about brush control. I used just one brush – a Jacksons Icon Quill size3/0. It’s a lovely brush, it holds lots of water and pigment and has a superb point.  The purpose of the exercise above was to practice working from the tip of the brush to the body and then back again to the tip again. I enjoyed painting my leaves. More brush control exercises will be on the agenda in the future…