Watercolour

One Of Your Five A Day?

We all know that we’re supposed to try and eat at least portions of fruit and veg a day but how about painting them instead… ?

Cherry Tomatoes - NB
Cherry Tomatoes

This was a really fun way of getting “one of your 5 a day”.  This watercolour is only small – 14cm x 17cm. It was painted on Arches Aquarelle NOT paper, 140lb. Paints used were Aussie Red Gold, Perylene Red, Green Gold and Undersea Green – all by Daniel Smith. I used two sable brushes by Rosemary & Co for the tomatoes and a Silver Black Velvet Script Liner for the green stuff.

The colour of the tomatoes was built up gradually in about 3 layers, letting each layer of colour dry before applying the next. Letting areas of a painting dry before continuing is a lesson that’s taken time for me to learn. Watercolour painting requires patience and I have to work at it continually!

Also, red is a colour I don’t often use in my watercolour painting so it made a nice change to paint these vibrant red cherry tomatoes. Why not see what veggies you’ve got and have a go at painting them – just for fun… !

Watercolour

Pebbles, Patterns & Positivity

I have three very different watercolour offerings to show you today. The first is a watercolour sketch painted on my recent holiday to the Scottish Highlands…

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Grey Pebbles – a watercolour sketch

Our holiday home in Scotland was right on the seafront in a very quiet little village in the Highlands. I enjoyed walking along the beach early each morning. It was so quiet and peaceful, very relaxing and soothing to the soul. On these walks I enjoyed picking up sea shells (see previous post), pebbles and other items of interest.  Above is a watercolour sketch of some grey pebbles I found on the beach. All the pebbles were grey but all different shades of grey. I tried to capture all the differing shades of grey by mixing all my own grey’s in the palette first and testing them out on a piece of scrap paper before painting. Each of the pebbles were different shapes and had very different patterns and markings, which I also tried to capture in my watercolour sketch. They were very enjoyable to paint.

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Dark Patterns

Above are patterns made by dropping dark watercolour shades into circles of water on watercolour paper. This was an exercise from Jean Haines’ latest book Paint Yourself Positive. I’m not going to explain the purpose of this exercise (you’ll have to buy the book to find out that… !) but it was a very simple and fun exercise to do. The colours I chose to use were Lunar Black, Paynes Blue Gray and Sepia – all by Daniel Smith. I love how the Lunar Black granulates – it’s a very useful shade of black to have in your palette. I love these darker colours but I also love brighter ones too…

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Squashed – a watercolour

Above is a watercolour painting of three bright, colourful squashes and was inspired by the veggie section in Jean Haines’ Paint Yourself Positive book (link above). I bought these squashes from my local supermarket (Morrison’s to be exact) – they are such wonderful colours and shapes. They were just begging to be painted! But I do have to add that no food was wasted in the creation of this watercolour – these squashes are absolutely delicious roasted… !

Three very different watercolour offerings here today but all beautiful in their own way and much fun to paint.

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

It’s Time…

It’s Time….

“It’s Time” is a small watercolour interpretation of one of my own images. It measures 19 cm x 17 cm and was painted on Arches rough paper. I used Daniel Smith watercolours. Just 4 colours were used, namely, Quinacridone Gold, Transparent Red Oxide, Lunar Black and Cobalt Teal Blue. No preliminary pencil sketch was used.

This watercolour nearly ended up in the bin. I was working on one particular section and as soon as I’d done it I knew instantly that it was wrong. It wouldn’t lift off. I’m stuck with it. My heart sank. I’ve ruined it… and it was going so well. It was at this point I spent a couple of minutes seriously considering whether or not I should just bin it and start again. I decided not to bin it. I simply left it on the desk in my studio and walked away. I shut the studio door and didn’t return to it till the next morning. Looking at it with fresh eyes I could see that maybe there was a way to recover the situation. I’m glad I didn’t throw it away now and I like how it finished up.

“It’s Time…” is an appropriate title for this watercolour as I’ve decided it’s time I knuckled down to some more intensive watercolour practice… !

Watercolour

Lavender Whispers

Lavender Whispers

Whispers of lavender in watercolour. Simple, loose watercolour sketches. I picked some lavender from my garden and took it to my studio. I selected what I felt were the right watercolour pigments from my collection. I chose Daniel Smith’s Lavender, Carbazole Violet and Cascade Green – they were just right for the paler shade of lavender in my garden. Just simple sketches but much fun to do…

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

Daffodils

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Bunch of Daffodils

Painting daffodils was on the agenda this morning, making the most of them while they’re still blooming…

Daffodil Study - NB
Single Daffodil Study

I practiced painting this single daffodil first before painting the bunch above…

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Daffodil Colours

My daffodil colours are Winsor Lemon, Indian Yellow and Permanent Sap Green, all by Winsor & Newton. Paper used is Arches rough 140lb. It wasn’t till I started painting daffodils that I noticed what a lovely sweet smell they have and I enjoyed painting them…

Watercolour

Tulips

 

Tulips - NBTulip Test Colours - NB

 

Above are two tulips, painted loosely in watercolour, inspired by Jean Haines Atmospheric Flowers in Watercolour book. Paper used was Fabriano Artistico Extra White Rough paper, 100% cotton & 140 lb.  No preliminary pencil sketch was made on the watercolour paper.

On the left is a scrap of watercolour paper I used to test out some colours on before painting my tulips.  The yellow is Winsor Lemon – a good choice for the slightly delicate yellow of my tulips. The greens are Green Gold (DS),  Olive Green (W & N), Prussian Green (DS) and Prussian Green mixed with Green Gold. The grey shades at the bottom were mixed from Indigo and Buff Titanium.

This was my first ever attempt at painting tulips. Painting the glass jar the tulips are in was tricky – I need to work on that…

I enjoyed painting these tulips – they’re bright and cheerful and much fun to paint…

 

Watercolour

Just Opening

Just Opening - NB
Just Opening – a daffodil study in watercolour

I don’t have any daffodils in my garden so I had to buy some from my local supermarket. They were all tightly in bud when I bought them but very soon started to open. I decided to paint some watercolour studies of them in bud first and then I will do some more of them open. I did some quick pencil sketches first in my sketchbook before committing brush to watercolour paper.

Inspiration came from Jean Haines Atmospheric Flowers book. Of course, no pencil sketch was made on the watercolour paper before painting. This is my first ever attempt at painting daffodils and I’m quite pleased with them. But of course there’s always plenty of room for improvement…

Paper used is Fabriano Artistico extra white rough, 140 lb cotton and watercolour paints are by Daniel Smith.

Watercolour

Colour Play

Some watercolour play is on the agenda today…

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Colour Play 1

In this first colour experiment I have some beautiful Daniel Smith pigments painted on beautiful Fabriano Artistico Extra White Rough paper. The rough texture of the paper really exaggerates the granulating characteristic of the paint – I love that. Colours used are: Raw Sienna Light, Cobalt Teal Blue, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Cascade Green. The Cascade Green, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Cobalt Teal Blue complement each other superbly…

Colour Play - Green Envy - NB

Colour Play – Green Envy

In my second colour play sample I have used just six different shades of green. From the left the colours are: Phthalo Green Blue Shade, Viridian, Prussian Green, Cascade Green, Rich Green Gold (all by Daniel Smith) and Olive Green (Windsor & Newton). I just painted the colours on the paper randomly – no over thinking it. Straight away I notice that the Prussian Green and Cascade Green work together beautifully. And I like how the Rich Green Gold and Olive Green contrast and complement each other really well. This is what these colour experiments are all about – discovering how pigments react and mix together, discovering what I like, what works well and what doesn’t….

Colour Play 2 - NB
Colour Play 2

My third set of colour play samples were painted on Arches cold pressed paper. Slightly softer colours this time. Colours used, from the left, are: Manganese Blue Hue, Buff Titanium. French Ultramarine, Naples Yellow, Cascade Green, Cerulean Blue Chromium and Paynes Blue Gray, all from Daniel Smith. I like the Naples Yellow and the Cascade Green together – they’re lovely! And I also particularly like the Manganese Blue Hue and Buff Titanium together.

Three successful colour experiments accomplished. I think it’s important to allow yourself time to just play with colour – with no pressure to paint “a masterpiece” or to be successful. If you don’t like the colours you’ve chosen you just put it down to experience, turn the paper over and start again… ! This is the way to learn about colour and discover wonderful colour combinations…