Watercolour

Abstraction

I recently attended a two part webinar hosted by Liz Hough from the St. Ives School of Painting. It was really interesting and inspiring to watch Liz explain and demonstrate a series of processes that can help inspire us to create abstract art. We were set homework and here’s my homework from the first webinar:

Abstract seascape study in watercolour
Abstract seascape study in watercolour

To create these abstract seascapes studies I chose to use watercolour paints. I painted several sheets of watercolour paper using a limited palette – I used Paynes Blue Gray, Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and Prussian Blue by Daniel Smith. The idea is that creating studies like these can help us to create more serious pieces of abstract art work. I like how these turned out. They inspire me. I will be exploring abstract art further. I also still have to do homework for the second webinar, so I will cover that in another post.

Also on the subject of abstraction, I created a collection of small abstract seascapes in indigo and arranged them in a mosaic form:

Abstract Indogo Seascapes

One of the squares in the above mosaic inspired me to paint this seascape:

Sailing Stormy Seas

I painted this stormy wild seascape in watercolour on Arches Rough watercolour paper, 140 lb. The colours I used were Winsor & Newton’s Indigo, Cascade Green and Manganese Blue Hue by Daniel Smith. Did you guess the square in the mosaic that inspired this? It’s not hard, it was the second line down and the second in from the left!

If you’re interested in my watercolour work please consider following me on instagram – @evelynflintwatercolours – as I post there a bit more frequently than here on my blog. But of course I will always post more information about my work here on my blog.

I’m concluding my post with a great quote from Oscar Wilde:

“Art only begins where imitation ends”

Hazel Soan quoted this at the end of an interview she recently gave. It got me thinking, and I hope it will get you thinking too…

Watercolour

Seascape Practice

This weekend I started some watercolour seascape practice…

Beach 1 - NB

This was just a fairly quick sketch. The wave was created from a deliberate watermark. Once dry I added a little detail and definition. The colours I used were Prussian Blue, Cobalt Turquoise Light and Raw Sienna, by Winsor & Newton. And I also used some Buff Titanium by Daniel Smith. All the white areas in the painting are white paper.

Ocean 2 - NB

In the above painting I have used masking fluid to reserve the white of the wave and sea spray – no gouache or other white medium has been used. I have to say that I’m not mad keen on masking fluid… BUT I’m even less keen about using white gouache (and other white mediums) to add whites to a watercolour. The whitest white in a watercolour painting will always be the white of the paper. The white paper in a watercolour reflects light beautifully. White gouache is less efficient at reflecting the light and will never appear a white as the original white paper; plus overusing white gouache (or similar) can make a painting look dull.

I have decided that in my watercolour work I would rather reserve the white paper for my whites as much as possible and only use Winsor & Newton’s professional Titanium White watercolour paint (not gouache) for whites when absolutely necessary. As well as masking fluid there are other ways to reserve the white paper which I will explore in another post.

Beach 2 - NB

Above is a simple sea shore. Again the white areas are white paper reserved by masking fluid. I have to say that my masking fluid application skills need to improve somewhat…! I’ll work on it. The colours used in this painting were Paynes Grey, Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue GS, Raw Umber and Raw Sienna, all by Winsor & Newton. I also used Buff Titanium and Goethite by Daniel Smith.

So to conclude, whilst I’m not mad keen about masking fluid, I can see that there are occasions when it’s advantageous or necessary to use it. I really enjoyed painting these seascapes. I have a longing to be by the sea…

Follow me on Instagram @evelynflintwatercolours

Watercolour

Simple Landscapes

Here are some simple watercolour landscapes. The emphasis here is on SIMPLICITY…

The first is inspired by a photo I took in St. Ives of Porthminster Beach from quite a high vantage point. There was a huge expanse of beach and only two people on it – how peaceful and serene it must have been for them…

All ToYourselves - NB
Having The Whole Beach All To Yourselves

My Second landscape is just a simple wave crashing on the shore. The wave was created by making deliberate watermarks in the Phthalo Blue Turquoise watercolour paint…

Crashing Wave - NB
Crashing Wave

Creating waves like this is a very simple technique I’ve taught myself – it’s all about timing. I have my paper on a flat surface (not on an easel); I then carefully drop clean water into a wet wash where I want my wave to be. The wash needs to be not really wet but not too dry either – somewhere in between. Then I carefully tilt the paper so the watermarks develop in the direction I want them to go. When I can see a definite wave shape starting to form I place my paper back on a flat surface to dry – no fiddling with it !! With this technique no two waves are ever going to be the same – you will create something different and unique every single time. I like that! Something to bear in mind, if you feel like trying this, is that the smoother the paper you use the faster your watermarks will form and will the bigger they will tend to be. So controlling how much water you use and where you place it is essential. Try it – it’s so much fun…

The third landscape is inspired by by my trip to Scotland last September. This is a misty early morning view of the Moray Firth. The beach, sea and sky all gently merge into each other in the mist and everything is perfectly still and quiet…

Misty Dawn - NB
Misty Dawn

My fourth landscape is straight out of my imagination – poppies in golden fields on a beautiful summers day…

Poppies in Fields of Gold - NB
Poppies In Fields Of Gold

My fifth landscape is an abstract Cornish seascape. Stormy skies over a turquoise sea, loosely based on the unusual light and weather patterns that often occur in Cornwall…

Storm at Sea - NB
Storm At Sea

All of these landscapes I have entered into the Landscape Escape Challenge in Jean Haines online art school . They are all very different but all very easy and fun to do.

Watercolour

Ocean

Regular visitors to my blog will know how much I love the ocean and all things seaside related. I can’t be near the ocean right now but I can paint it. So this was yesterday’s “masterpiece”…

Ocean Wave - NB
Ocean

A huge curling ocean wave… ! Large sweeping strokes of bold colour very quickly covered the paper. I painted this on Arches NOT paper, 140 lb.  Daniel Smith watercolors were used, namely Phthalo Blue GS, Prussian Blue, Green Gold and Cobalt Blue. A little bit of sea spray was added at the end courtesy of a little Titanium White Winsor & Newton designer gouache. I used Rosemary & Co kolinsky sable brushes. It measures 29 cm x 19 cm.

Please click on the image to view it larger, the smaller one here doesn’t really do it justice. Also I did struggle a bit to capture the colours accurately in the photograph. The reality is much better than the photo.

This was so much fun to paint.  I love having more time to paint right now; I’m not bored being stuck at home and I don’t miss work one little bit… ! Bye for now…

Evelyn

#rosemaryandcoareopen

Watercolour

Razor Shell Study

Razor Shell Study - NB

A watercolour sketch of a razor shell I found on the beach. Daniel Smith watercolours used were Undersea Green, Yellow Ochre and Sepia. You can see my little colour mixing experiments down the right side of the paper. The paper used was Saunders Waterford high white 200 lb Rough and measures 19 cm x 29 cm.

Anything connected to the sea, beach or coast will always be a primary source of inspiration for my watercolours. No pencil sketch used – drawing done with my paint brush. Much enjoyment gained as I saw the razor shell “appear” on the paper…

Watercolour

Sea Shell Watercolours

Over the past week I’ve been gathering a modest collection of sea shells from the beach in the Scottish Highlands of the UK. Yesterday I made time to sit down and paint a selection of them…

Sea Shell Watercolour Sketches

I painted my sea shell selection on a sheet of Bokingford paper, by St Cuthberts Mill. The paper measured 14″ x 10″, 140 lb NOT. Great paper for water colour practice. Here’s a better view of the watercolour painting setup I use whilst travelling…

My travelling watercolour setup…

You can see above I had my sea shells laid out in front of me on a sheet of paper. I have two custom built paint boxes I use – one Daniel Smith (on the left) and one Windsor & Newton (on the right). Both are perfect for travelling and fit neatly in my art bag. In the bottom right corner you can just see my brush case -I just bring the essentials. On the table you can also see that I have kitchen roll to hand and a plastic container for water.

Watercolours are so easy to travel with. I really had fun painting these. Maybe some plein air sketching on the beach might be in order next…

Watercolour

A Beach Adventure

A Beach Adventure - NB
A Beach Adventure

This watercolour painting evokes many happy childhood memories of holidays at the seaside with my brother and sister.  We were very fortunate children really, as many of my friends at school never had any holidays at the sea at all and we went every year at least two or three times.

We loved building sandcastles, paddling in the sea, finding shells and searching rock pools for fish and crabs. It clearly left a lasting impression on me as I still love being by the sea today.

My watercolour above measres 19 cm x 29 cm and was painted on Fabriano Artistico extra white rough paper, 100% cotton & 140 lb. I used a limited palette, just five colours – Cobalt Blue, Winsor Blue Red Shade, Quinacridone Coral, Raw Umber and Buff Titanium. The photograph doesn’t really do the painting justice, the reality is much better. It is worth clicking on the image to view it larger.

I enjoyed painting this and as always it has been a learning curve. If I painted this scene again there are things I would do differently.  But I like this watercolour – it puts a smile on my face…

Watercolour

Simple Seascape

Seascape - NB

Well, it’s been a little while since my last post. I’m not going to bore you with a list of excuses but I decided it’s high time I got back in my little home studio and got painting again!

Here we have a simple seascape practice piece to get myself back into the swing of things. It’s just loose layers of colour and a little bit of splatter for some pebbles on the beach. I like how the sea gently blends into the sky, just how it does when it’s misty on the horizon.

It measures 28 cm x 19 cm and was painted on Saunders Waterford High White paper, 100% cotton and 140 lb NOT. I used an assortment of colours – Manganese Blue Hue, Cobalt Teal Blue, Ultramarine Turquoise, Prussian Green for the sea. French Ultramarine and Indigo for the sky. Naples yellow for the sand and  earth colours for the  splattered pebbles. Paynes Gray and Paynes Blue Gray for the land and rocks.

Whilst I haven’t painted much lately, I have have been gathering lots of lovely inspiration for future watercolours and I’ve also been practicing my drawing as well. It’s lovely to be painting again. I wont leave it so long till my next post…

Watercolour

Ocean Inspiration

A little more seascape practice was on the agenda for me…

The Power Of Thge Ocean - NB
The Power Of The Ocean

I’ve been trying out yet more different techniques for painting the ocean. I’m slowly but surely grasping how important it is to reserve the white paper where necessary. Yes I can add highlights with white gouache but the original white of the paper is much better. The majority of the white in this seascape is the white of the paper. I have also used a spray bottle to add water in specific areas to help create the waves and sea spray. I’m happy with some areas of this seascape and not so happy with others. But I guess that’s all part of the learning process, as long as I understand why I don’t like certain areas and have an idea of what I would do different next time…

Ocean Inspiration Mosaic - NB
Ocean Inspiration

Above is the remnants of a seascape that went wrong! So I decided to cut it up into abstract squares and glued them to a piece of cartridge paper. Carefully arranged, these abstract squares look lovely together and I find them inspirational. Straight away I noticed how lovely the colours are that I used – Daniel Smith’s Ultramarine Turquoise, Prussian Blue and touches of Indigo. So as a complete seascape this didn’t make the grade but as small abstract pieces of inspirational art they work really well!

Watercolour

Rock Pile

Rock Pile - NB

A rock pile on the beach. This is a watercolour sketch created as an interpretation of one of my own photos. I’ve been watching Hazel Soan’s DVD “On The Rocks”. It’s inspirational – she makes it look so easy. This is my first attempt at putting into practice some of the techniques she demonstrates on the DVD.

My rock pile was painted on Saunders Waterford High White paper, 140lb Cold Pressed & 100% cotton. It measures 19 cm x x29 cm. The bulk of the rocks were painted with only two colours – Monte Amiata Natural Sienna and French Ultramarine. I love how they granulate. Tiny amounts of other colours were used for the shadows.

I started with a very basic pencil sketch. This was lots of fun to paint and I’m inspired to try some more…