A rose macro painted loosely in watercolour. It was painted on Arches paper. The colours I chose to use were Naples Yellow, Quinacridone Rose and Rhodonite Genuine ~ all by Daniel Smith. This painting is my interpretation of one of my own photos shown below…
Painting an exact copy of the photo is not what I wanted to do – Hazel Soan’s words ring in my ears “you are using the subject matter to create a watercolour, not using watercolour to recreate the subject”. Just capturing the essence of what’s in the photo or my own interpretation is enough. At the end of the day, for me it’s all about getting lots of practice at painting with watercolours and this was very good practice for me…
My earliest childhood memories of playing with colours was with Carolyn sitting at our kitchen table, probably around 1970 give or take a bit (I’m showing my age!!). We would have our paints and colouring books out and we were very happy. Our paintboxes were very basic – we had a red, a blue, a yellow and a green! And when our paintboxes got a bit posher we also had a white and a black!! So if we wanted an orange, a purple or a brown we had to mix it! We didn’t worry about getting it wrong or making a mess – it was fun, we loved it. Little did we know that such innocent childhood fun would set us up for artistic adventures later in life…
Why am I mentioning this? Well, in this post I’m, in effect, going back to my childhood days and I’m starting off with just the basics – a red, a yellow and a blue. And with just those colours to hand I’m going start exploring… and I’m not going to worry about getting it wrong or making a mess… and it’s going to be fun…
These are my starting colours – the Daniel Smith Primary Colour Set. One red, one yellow and one blue. No more. The primary colours. So with paints, palette, paper, water and brush in front of me I’m ready to have some fun mixing colour…
This is the result of a fun evening playing with Daniel Smith primary colours. At the very top of the chart you will see the primary colours on their own ~ all individually gorgeous colours in their own right. At the bottom of the chart you will notice a black colour – this was created by mixing small amounts of each undiluted colour together in my palette. Not all combinations of red, yellow and blue will reach black. But these did, although it did take me 3 attempts to get the ratio of pigments right! Now all the squares in between – 48 of them in total – are all the different colours I created by just mixing together different amounts of the three primary colours. Please view the chart larger by clicking on it as you will get a more detailed view of the lovely colours. So in total on this sheet of paper (19.5 cm x 28 cm) there are 52 colours! I could have created more but I ran out of space…
Now, why don’t I try some different reds, yellows and blues?
In my triangular colour wheel above I’ve used Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow and Prussian Blue. Notice that the Cadmium Red when mixed with a little Prussian Blue makes a rich brown colour and adding more Prussian Blue to the mix makes black – no purple… !
In this triangular colour wheel I’ve used Permanent Rose, Naples Yellow and Cerulean Blue. Notice how adding just a little Permanent Rose to the Cerulean Blue makes a gorgeous dark lavender blue. And Cerulean Blue mixed with a little Naples Yellow makes a lovely pale turquoise and adding more Naples Yellow makes a lovely soft sage green.
These are just two examples but the different combinations of red, yellow and blue you could mix are almost endless. I will continue my colour exploration in another post. There’s a huge exciting world of colour out there to explore and this is only the beginning… !
No, I’m not talking about the laundry…. ! When watercolour painting, the expression “wash day” takes on a whole new meaning. Practicing initial washes is an exercise in Jean Haines’ Atmospheric Watercolours book. And I have to say it’s a lovely, relaxing and therapeutic exercise to do.
Here’s my first wash, loosely based on the exercise in Jean’s book in the link above:
A loose, light and colourful wash. This will be the base on which I will eventually build on and create a lovely painting.
My next wash is based specifically upon one of my own photos. A floral photo:
Again, in time, I will build upon this initial wash to create a watercolour painting based upon my photo.
When I have built upon these washes and turned them into finished paintings I will post the results. Not sure when that will be yet but, hey, there’s no rush…. ! They will sit patiently in my studio till I’m ready to work on them. I will know when the time is right….
There is always a lovely selection of colours and textures at the beach and harbour….
Above are two sections lovely peeling paint from the same boat, beautifully weathered by the salty sea air. Also on the beach today was something slightly unusual for the UK coast…. Portuguese man o’ war…..
They are very beautiful but very toxic….
I was very careful not to touch them….
The colours are just lovely….
Portuguese man o’war are not commonly found in UK coastal waters, they prefer warmer waters….
I was interested to learn that Portuguese man o’ war are not a jellyfish they are a siphonophore, a colonial organism – a colony of organisms all working together….
I’m always amazed what you find washed up on the beach….
Well I’ve managed to get myself a bit behind with the Surface Treatment Workshop, so I’m posting 2 weeks together today and still hope to get this weeks workshop done to post later in the week!
Week 18 was about using ventilation tape. Basically it’s a thick self adhesive tin foil and it has a backing you peel off. This is probably something I would never have thought of using for art work…..
This is ventilation tape just screwed up and the backing peeled off and stuck down. I then applied several washes of thinned acrylic paint. The paint sits very nicely in the grooves.
For the above I made marks in the ventilation tape, then peeled the backing off and stuck them down. I made more marks and then applied acrylic paint over the top.
Week 19 of the Surface Treatment Workshop is about embossing. I’ve used molding paste for embossing before and it worked really well, so this time I decided to try something different. I decided to use acrylic Matte Gel Medium and also Fiber Paste.
For the above sample I started with a painted background and then applied a thin layer of Matte Gel over the top. I left it to start to dry for about an hour or so. Then I pressed a piece of patterned vintage fabric into it. I carefully peeled it off and left it to dry. The Matte Gel dried transparent so I applied some thin washes of pearl mica over the top to make the pattern stand out more.
Next is the Fiber paste sample…
Again I started with a painted background and then applied a layer of Golden Fiber Paste. I left it to start to dry, about an hour or so. Then I pressed a piece of wallpaper onto the left side of the sample, it had a lined pattern on it. It didn’t work quite a well as I hoped but did create some extra texture. On the right hand side I pressed some rubber grip (the stuff you place under mats to stop them slipping) into the Fiber Paste, used some paper to press it into the paste and then peeled it off. This worked a bit better, you can see the square patterns. I finished with washes of pearl mica to add some extra colour.
So it was an interesting couple of weeks in the workshop, trying different things and covering new ground (well, new ground for me!). The next surface Treatment Workshop is about using glazing mediums – looking forward to this….
Do you like eating your greens? Personally I love eating my greens BUT…. painting them is a whole lot more fun….. !!
I did these watercolour samples back in the spring (hence the title of this post). These lovely shades of green (and some neutrals) were created by mixing 2 blues and 2 yellows. The blues were indigo and Cobalt Teal Blue. The yellows were Lemon Yellow and Raw Sienna. There’s a lovely assortment of beautiful greens here but notice the lovely neutral tones in the two bottom left colour samples – they’re edging toward the grey side which I love….
Above we have mixes of Daniel Smith’s Buff Titanium and Cobalt Teal Blue…
On the top line from the left: Buff Titanium, Buff Titanium + White, Buff Titanium + Cobalt Teal Blue
On the bottom line from the left: Cobalt Teal Blue, Cobalt Teal Blue + White, Cobalt Teal Blue + more White
I love mixing colours, it’s such a fun thing to do and so relaxing. But it’s also a great way for me to learn how colours mix and react with each other. These colour samples will go into my watercolour workbook…
Today I spent a couple of hours redesigning my blog. I’ve been fiddling with different blog designs on and off for months now but I finally found one I liked. A simple clean light design that I can easily customize if I feel the need for a change. I hope you like the changes here….
Here are four post card size creative seascapes. Just loose washes of watercolour in some bright and some pastel seaside colours and they are best viewed large (click on the images)….
Phthalo Blue, Emerald, Raw Sienna….A touch of permanent Rose for a slightly evening, dusk touch…and a little Prussian Blue ~ one of my favourite blues….These will all assume their rightful places in my watercolour sketchbook….
Welcome to week 9 of the Surface Treatment Workshop. This week my sister Carolyn and I are experimenting with Fiber Paste. We used Golden Fiber Paste – I couldn’t find any alternatives that claimed to have the same properties. I read through the prompts in the book decided I was going to begin with printing on fiber paste.
I used a cheap sheet of A5 copy paper and skimmed a very thin layer of fiber paste over it with a wet palette knife. I let it dry for a couple of hours and prepared 2 photos in Photoshop ready to print onto the fiber paste. Now, my printer has been a bit temperamental of late so I wasn’t too sure how it was going to react to having Fiber Paste put through it – I was fully prepared for a paper jam, print errors and that nasty little flashing red light on the front of the printer. But to my surprise fiber paste went through the printer fairly easily…
Fiber paste has the feel and texture of hand made paper when it’s dry – it’s lovely! The prints printed out slightly softer and lighter in colour than they would had they been printed on photo paper. If you click the images to view them larger you can see the texture of the fiber paste through the prints.
The fiber paste ended up making the cheap copy paper very strong and flexible once the paste had dried. It is a lovely surface to paint on, draw on or stitch into. I LOVE fiber paste and I’m very pleased with how my fiber paste prints turned out! This is how they appear in my STW Sketchbook:
Next I simply painted a watercolour wash over some fiber paste:
The watercolour paint has highlighted the texture of the fiber paste quite well but here’s a macro view for more detail:
You can really see the texture of the fiber paste in this image! Next I did another watercolour wash over fiber paste but this time I overlaid it with some pearl mica once the watercolour had dried:
And I also did a macro view too so you can really see the texture of the fiber paste in detail:
In conclusion the end result of this weeks Surface Treatment Workshop is that I LOVE Golden Fiber Paste! I especially like printing on fiber paste. Once you’ve printed on fiber paste you can easily incorporate the fiber paste print into mixed media art, paint on it, draw on it, stitch into it – anything really! I will be doing more fiber paste prints…
Carolyn should be posting all her workshop samples this week so please do pop over and have a look! Next weeks workshop is focusing on drawing grounds, so I need to get my drawing head on….
It only occurred to me the other day that I have never posted the full version of my profile image here on my blog – so that situation is now remedied! Just a few of my collection of used and loved paint brushes in a glass jar.
I used my Canon EOS 7D with a 60 mm macro lens. I love the shallow focus and the colours…