Art · Sketchbooks · Watercolour

Shading

Shading Exercise - NB

As you can see,  this is not a watercolour masterpiece! But what it is, is an exercise in creating 3 dimensional shapes in watercolour by Hazel Soan on YouTube.

As instructed, I started with very simple pencil outlines of the 3 items and then tried to follow Hazel’s on screen instructions on getting the shading in the right places to give the impression of  three dimensional objects. I know this is something I need to improve upon… alot! So for me this was a good place to start and I found the exercise very useful.

I used just one colour for simplicity – Prussian Blue (in the video Hazel used Indigo) and I painted this straight into my Khadi paper sketchbook. I’m reasonably happy with how this turned out – it’s not a bad start. And I’m reasonably happy with the shapes of my objects. Drawing things in perspective was the only useful thing I remember learning in art class at school.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of the bank holiday weekend – I’m off now to fill my head with more watercolour fluff… !!

Art · Watercolour

Ocean

Ocean - NB
Ocean

The beauty and power of the ocean captured in watercolour….

Loose, abstract swooshes of blue and green paint across the paper….

Prussian Blue, Phthalo Blue, Sap Green, White Gouache & touches of Cobalt Teal Blue on  Fabriano Artistico paper (100% cotton)….

I love the sea and painting it with beautiful watercolours on lovely paper makes me happy….

Art · Watercolour

New Colours….

in my palette….

New Colours - NB

Don’t all these colours look good together?

All the colours are Daniel Smith watercolours and from the top the colours are:

Quinacridone Gold – a beautiful rich orange colour

Ultramarine Turquoise ~ a beautiful granulating colour which creates lovely texture with flecks of blue in it….

A mix of Quinacridone Gold & Ultramarine Turquoise

Rich Green Gold ~ I love this colour! It mixes with blues to create lovely ocean greens and on it’s own I would describe it as a seaweed colour (being a person who loves the ocean and everything associated with it). I used this colour in my Stormy Seas painting – all the green shades you can see in this painting were created by the Rich Green Gold mixing with the blues

Prussian Blue ~ my old Winsor & Newton Prussian Blue finally ran out so I replaced it with a Daniel Smith one – a very good replacement!

Colour runs….

Colour Runs - NB

The left hand colour runs are Prussian Blue + Rich Green Gold. The middle colour runs are Ultramarine Turquoise +Rich Green Gold. And the right hand colour runs are Ultramarine Turquoise + Quinacridone Gold – you can see the granulating effect of the Ultramarine Turquoise more clearly here….

More colour runs….

Ultramarine Turquoise Colour Runs - NB

Above left we have Buff Titanium + Ultramarine Turquoise and on the right we have Naples Yellow + Ultramarine Turquoise. The Ultramarine Turquoise is a gorgeous colour – I love it and will feature in many future paintings…

Colour play like this is so much fun and is a good way for me to learn how colours mix and react with each other.

But most of all…. I love colour and seeing beautiful coloured watercolour paints mingle on lovely 100% cotton watercolour paper excites me and makes me want to paint….

Art · Collage

Colour Plunge

This is week 5 of a collage project I’m doing with my sister Carolyn, we’re following the prompts in The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman. This week’s prompt is colour plunge – create a collage using only different shades of one (or almost one) colour. I did three collages in total…

Vintage Pale Blue - NB
Vintage Pale Blue

The first collage is made up from vintage pale blue papers and some fabric from an erosion bundle….

Prussian Blue - NB
Prussian Blue

This collage is again blue but totally different blues – rich dark Prussian blue tones to this one. The fabrics in this came from my erosion bundles….

Roman Baths - NB
Roman Baths

The last collage is made using vintage pale green papers, with tiny hints of turquoise here and there. I used some erosion bundle papers in this one. There’s a tiny piece of scrim on the left and some vintage cellotape on the right to add extra vintage touches.

All three collages measure 8″ x 8″. They all turned out completely different to how I originally intended them to be but I like them. Next week’s prompt is image pairings – I need to think about this one….

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

Learning Control

This is another exercise from Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. This exercise is all about learning to control watercolour – getting it to move in the directions you wish it to…..

I started with a blank piece of paper and imagine a white circle in the middle.  I next painted two lines around the edge of this imaginary circle, roughly top and bottom with gaps….

Watercolour Control 1 - NB

I then bleed the colour away from the circle with a wet brush. I dropped in more pigment and then bleed the colour away again in the direction you wish it to go. The colour only goes in the direction you invite it to with the brush and water….

Watercolour Control 2 - NB

Watercolour Control 3 - NB

The colour will not enter the white circle unless you “invite” it to with your brush and water….

Watercolour Control 4 - NB

Above you can see that the edges of the circle are blurred because I invited the pigment into the circle with a wet brush.

This was a very simple exercise but I found it very useful. Again, this was not about producing a “masterpiece” or finished piece of work, but simply to learn how we can control watercolour using brushstrokes, placement of water and pigment….

I like my circles and I used Khadi paper for these exercises. From the top, the colours I used were Yellow Ochre, Phthalo Turquoise, Phthalo Blue, Indigo and Prussian Blue.

Art · Watercolour

Creating Watercolour Textures

A little colour mixing fun with watercolours….

Watercolour Textures - NB

I started off with Windsor Blue (red shade) and Indian Yellow. Then I added some Buff Titanium, Prussian Blue and Indigo into the mix. Puddles of colour layered together and left to dry.  Drying took well over 12 hours. You don’t know what your going to end up with till the paint has completely dried. I love the colour mixes and textures – especially the top two ones in the right hand column! These were purely experimental. I actually used a thick smooth surfaced cartridge paper for these but I will try doing more of these colour mixing samples using hot pressed watercolour paper. A fun watercolour experiment which turned out really well. Please click on the image to view it larger or view it in my Art Gallery….

Just as a side note, I will not be doing any more Surface Treatment Workshop due to current family responsibilities.  I’ve really enjoyed this project, learnt a lot from it and experimented with lots of different art mediums which I would not otherwise have done.  It forced me out of my comfort zone! But it is a time consuming project and I don’t have the available time at the moment to commit to it. However, I’m still hoping to start an exciting new project in January with Carolyn, all being well. More info about that later in the year….

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 · 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….