Ned Hanlan II
Watercolour on Paper
34cm x 24cm (13.5" x 9.5")
During our holiday in Canada, Elaine and I spent a sunny afternoon cycling on the Toronto Islands with Lori and Peter. The Ned Hanlan II was moored in front of the bike hire shop. It is a Toronto Works Department tug and is named after a famous 19th century Toronto resident and world champion rower (thank you Wikipedia).
I set out to paint a stormy scene instead of the wonderfully sunny reality because I wanted to simplify the background and experiment with an inclement sky for some paintings I have planned for the winter.
Last week, I posted a work in progress (see Works In Progress). At the time, I thought it was going to be reasonably easy to finish, but it took more effort than I anticipated.
I wanted to darken the sky around the boats, but leave the top of the painting light and cloud like. Unfortunately, I ended up with an ugly dark halo around the boats (I’ve had this problem before - see Short Tempered Swan). I kept adding more and more indigo and eventually, I managed to get rid of the halo, but I had lost all the light from the top of the painting. Fortunately, I was able to restore this by adding washes of gouache and feathering them out with a hake brush – a technique I learnt from the books and DVDs of John Lovett (see http://www.johnlovett.com/default.htm).
It has ended up more of a nighttime picture than a stormy picture, but it is not too far away from what I intended.
One of the most important skills I am learning is not to give up on a painting - there is usually something you can do to salvage them. The discipline of blogging every Sunday is a major incentive to stick with a painting because I always need something to post.