Art · Watercolour

Minimal Seascapes

A few simple minimal seascapes…..

Cornish Seascape Abstract 1 - NB

Swift abstract splashes of watercolour….

Cornish Seascape 2 - NB

Minimal, no fuss, no detail….

Cornish Seascape Abstract 3 - NB

Simple swipes of complementary colours across the paper in Windsor Blue Red Shade, Indigo and Buff Titanium….

Cornish Seascape - Mousehole Harbour 4 - NBAbove is a minimal abstract watercolour of Mousehole harbour (Cornwall, UK)….

And below is a soft grey sky, misty blue ocean and a sandy shore….

Cornish Seascape Abstract 8 - NB

I love the soft translucent washes of colour….

These simple minimal seascapes were a mixture of wet in wet and dry brush technique. I used Arches cold pressed paper, 140 lb.

There’s something wonderfully therapeutic about brushing beautiful watercolours over lovely watercolour paper, with no agenda or pressure to create a “masterpiece”…. it gives me a wonderful sense of peace and calm….

You can click on the images to view them larger or view them in my Art Gallery

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 · 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 · Surface Treatment Workshop · Watercolour

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 24

Welcome to week 24 of the Surface Treatment Workshop (STW). The workshop this week is about creating textures using rubbing alcohol. This is a really fun thing to do and so easy. All you need to remember is not to have your paint too thick – it needs to be a fairly runny wash – otherwise the alcohol wont break the surface of the paint. Here’s what I created….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 1 - NB

I used watercolour paints for my samples this week. I started with a wash of a light colour and then went straight over the top with a darker colour. Then while the paint is still wet I dropped in the alcohol. The alcohol breaks the surface of the paint and creates lovely patterns and textures….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 2 - NB

You can click on the images to view them larger if you wish. I used an assortment of different colours – Lemon Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Prussian Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson….

Week 24 - Rubbing Alcohol 3 - NB

The rubbing alcohol created some lovely textures and patterns in my watercolour paint. This is a great way to add some extra interest to an abstract watercolour painting. In conclusion I think rubbing alcohol is an interesting and useful item to have among my art supplies. It’s not something I would use every day but to occasionally to add some extra drama to some art – it’s great!

Larger images of my work can be viewed in my Art Gallery. The next STW is about using a bleach pen in art work…. fun times ahead!

Art · Watercolour

Colour Harmony

Some exercises in colour harmony. It’s all about mixing warm and cool colours….

Colour Harmony 1 - NB

Mixing Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red, (warm colours) with Ultramarine Blue (cool colour) to create simple sunset seascapes….

Colour Harmony 2 - NB

I have put these colour harmony exercises into my watercolour work book. Inspiration for these exercises came from the book “Tate Watercolour Manual Lessons from the Great Masters”, the section on Joseph Mallord William Turner, whose work I absolutely adore….

Time spent on simple exercises like this is a very useful learning process for me. I’ve almost finished reading this book. Then I’m going to start it again from the beginning and do more of the exercises….

Art · Watercolour

Ocean Colours

I’m going to begin this post with a little confession…… around 12 years ago I bought myself a pack of 12 Windsor & Newton professional watercolours and it’s only in the last 6 months that I have actually started making proper use of them… ! I’m also pretty sure that I’m not the only person who’s done that… !!

Out of that set of 12 colours there are 2 greens: Hookers Green and Sap Green. These are both colours that I have virtually never used. Like many artists, if I need green I prefer to mix my own from blues and yellows. Last week I decided to have a little play with those greens….

Ocean Colours 1 - NB

I started by mixing Hookers Green with Prussian Blue and some lovely ocean colours began to emerge. I continued by mixing the Hookers Green with Phthalo Blue…. more lovely ocean colours….

I went on to do exactly the same with the Sap Green….

Ocean Colours 2 - NB

 

…. even more lovely, lovely ocean colours emerged! I love these colours ~ they inspire me. I may not use those greens for foliage but they are certainly going to start featuring in some seascapes in the future.

So…. are you one of those people (like me!) who’ve had a set of paints in a drawer or cupboard for over 10 years and never used them? Why not get them out and have a play with them? Go on, you know you want to…. !! You don’t have to create a masterpiece ~ just play with them ~ mix some colours ~ let them run together, mingle ~ have some FUN with them….

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

Cornish Roof Top Sketches

When I visited my sister in Cornwall a few weeks ago I spent a little time doing some sketching outside the front of her house. As the house is quite high up on a hill you get a nice view of the Cornish roof tops. So I decided to sketch a few.

Cornish Rooftops Pencil Sketches - NB

I used a HB pencil on A4 sketchbook paper. This was good practice for me – I need lots of practice at drawing! Reasonably happy with my basic sketches I started to think about painting them….

Cornish Rooftop Colours - NB

My sketches were going to be painted with watercolours but first I needed to decide on what colours to use. After doing several tests on some spare paper, the colours above are what I chose to use. Cornish roof tops are predominantly grey with lots of yellow lichen growing on them. The chimney pots are lovely – very old fashioned terracotta pots in lots of lovely different shapes and styles…

Cornish Rooftop Painted 1a - NB

You can click on the images to see larger views. I did make a classic beginners mistake when painting these – I diluted my paint slightly too much. Hence the colours aren’t quite as strong as I would like. But I’ll put that down to experience and try to improve on that in the future! On the whole though, I like how my Cornish roof tops turned out. Here’s some closer views…

Cornish Rooftop Painted 2 - NB

Cornish Rooftop Painted 3 - NB

Lots more sketching is on the agenda in the future to hopefully improve my drawing and painting skills…..

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 22

Welcome to week 22 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week in  the workshop we were using pours. Pours are created by mixing acrylic paint with different mediums to create a pouring mixture which you then pour onto your art and let it run. Here’s my sample:

Week 22 - Pours - NB

To create pours you can mix the paint with an assortment of different acrylic mediums. I used just a little gloss gel and water with my acrylic paint. The colours I used were: Paynes Grey, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, Cerulean Blue and White. I started with a collage base and then let my diluted paint run over it. I like how the colours have run and mingled together. I particularly like how they’ve run over the textured paper in the top left corner. Here’s a closer view:

Week 22 - Pours - Macro 1 - NB

I enjoyed using pours this week and this is something I will do again in the future. Next week in the workshop we’re using shaving foam – it’s going to get messy! But I’m still looking forward to it….

Art · Surface Treatment Workshop

Surface Treatment Workshop – Week 21

Week 21 of the Surface treatment workshop is about embedding items into a work surface. Embedding helps to create interesting textures that seem to be custom made to a piece of art work.

I did just one sample for this week and kept it very simple…,

Week 21 - Embedding - NB

I attached a piece of lace fabric to some sketchbook paper with modelling paste and then blended the edges of the fabric into the surface with a bit more modelling paste. I left it to dry and painted stripes of colour over it. The fabric has blended into the paper quite well. Here’s a closer view…

Week 21 - Embedding - Macro - NB

The edge of the fabric blended quite seamlessly into the work surface….

The touch of sparkle is a touch of pearl mica in a shade called Diamond Dust – it’s one of my favourites….

This sample will be added to my growing pile of samples ready for gluing into my STW Sketchbook…..