Art · 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…

Art · Watercolour

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose - NB

My mission when I got up this morning was to paint roses… after doing a few household chores first of course! I started by following a YouTube video (I wont say which one) but after three failed attempts it clearly wasn’t working for me. So I stopped for a tea break and regrouped. I decided to go back to what I know works really well – Jean Haines tutorials… ! I found the rose tutorial in Jean Haines Colour & Light in Watercolour New Edition book and got started. I didn’t follow the tutorial to the letter but Jean’s instructions got me back on the right track.

So my Rambling Rose above is completely my own creation but created after following Jeans sound advice. It measures approx. 5″ x 5.5″ and was painted on Fabriano Artistico 100% cotton cold pressed paper. The colours I chose to use were Permanent Rose (W & N) and Naples Yellow (DS). The green for the stem and leaves was some left over mixed green left in my palette. The brush I used was a Silver Black Velvet size 10 Round – this is one of my most favourite brushes.

My Rambling Rose was painted loose, wet in wet, with just a few details and definition added after the first wash had dried. This is one of those paintings that looks better if you stand back a a few feet. I’m much happier with this attempt and am now inspired to try some more loose roses…

I hope you all have a creative week ahead!

Art · Watercolour

Today’s Watercolour Inspiration…

Today a lovely post appeared in my blog reader from watercolour artist Edo Hannema. He posted a beautiful watercolour landscape followed by a video of how he painted it. I was completely mesmerised. Here’s a link to the post: http://www.edohannema.nl/wordpress/painting-a-dutch-landscape/. If you love watercolour please check out his blog and YouTube channel. I love the gentle palette he uses and his technique – I can see myself learning a lot about watercolour from him…

Meanwhile, I found time this afternoon to paint a simple watercolour of lavender in a pot. I know it’s been done many times before by many people but I’ve never done it before. And I need to practice…

Lavender Pot - NB

I’m always ever critical of my own work (but much less so of other people’s work… ) and the pot is slightly too big and the lavender not quite big enough. But I’ll put that down to experience. It was painted fast and loose and most importantly it was fun to do… !

Inspired by Edo’s lovely watercolour painting demonstration in the link above, I’m now off to plan some watercolour landscape painting for tomorrow. I need to think about what I’m going to paint, what colours to use, whether I need to sketch anything or a least have an idea of where everything is going to be placed. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend…

Art · Watercolour

Blossom Time

Blossom Time - NB

A watercolour sketch of spring blossom. This was based on a video from Maria Raczynska’s YouTube Channel. This was very simple to do and lots of fun… !

It was painted on Arches cold pressed paper and measures 10″ x 7″. The colour used for the blossom was Alizarin Crimson and a little white gouache.

Art · Watercolour

Feathers

Feathers - With Border - NB

I had a little fun flexing my watercolour wings yesterday by doing some watercolour feather sketches. Both were painted on Arches 140 lb Cold Pressed paper. Colours used were Payne’s Grey and Sepia.

I love being by the sea and there’s always plenty of seagull feathers to gather from the beach and harbour. I have a little collection in a pot in my studio. Payne’s Grey is a perfect seagull colour, whereas Sepia is a perfect colour for the young seagulls which are soft light brown colours…

Art · Watercolour

The Blue Fuchsia

The Blue Fuschia - NB

I bet you’ve never seen a fuchsia quite like this before. If you could buy a fuchsia this colour at the garden centre it would probably cost you a lot of money… !

This painting is based upon an exercise in Jean Haines Colour & Light In Watercolour New Edition but I used totally different colours – creative license… ! Rather than conventional fuchsia colours I used Winsor & Newton’s Cobalt Turquoise Light and Indanthrene Blue. They contrast beautifully. This was painted on Arches Cold Pressed paper and measures 6″ x 9″.

Indanthrene Blue is a new colour in my palette. I have to admit I would have bought the Daniel Smith equivalent but it was out of stock. That said, I’m not disappointed with the Winsor & Newton version – it’s a gorgeous, rich dark blue colour. But it also fades to a lovely pale blue with the addition of lots of water. It also mixes well with other colours and I did a few quick tests in my khadi paper sketchbook:

Indanthrene Blue Mixes - NB

I love all these colour mixes but I especially love the purple shade in the top left corner and the colours in the Cadmium Orange line…

So that’s my watercolour fun for today. Wishing everyone a great creative week ahead…

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 · Collage

Spring Collages

It’s collage time! Welcome to weeks 10 and 11 of the collage project I’m doing with my sister, Carolyn, following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman.

The week 10 prompt is Decollage. We had to glue down lots of layers of paper and then when the glue is nearly dry rip the top layers of papers away to reveal what’s underneath. Here’s what I did:

Spring Style Decollage - NB

I used soft pastel coloured papers and also added some dried pressed flowers – a little hint of spring….

The week 11 prompt is numbers – create a collage with numbers as the focus. Here’s my offering:

Numbers - NB

A vintage blue collage with a spring twist with the added dried pressed flowers. And of course the numbers were included and I used vintage ephemera for that. Some erosion bundle papers went into this collage as well….

I had fun creating these collages. Next weeks theme is typography – something a little different for me. Looking forward to it…. !

Instagram

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

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….