Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sky Washes 3 and 4

Sky Wash 3
Watercolour on Paper
26.5cm x 19cm (10.5" x 7.5")

These are another two demonstrations from John Lovett’s Splashing Paint DVD.

The skies are atmospheric and direct the eye towards the centre of interest rather than accurately portraying a specific skyscape.

In both exercises the bulk of the foreground is painted first, the sky is painted around it and finally some details are added to the foreground.

Sky Wash 3 is painted as two wet in wet washes. The first wash is a light pink wash in the centre of the paper. Once this is dry, the blue wash is added, leaving a patch of light pink in the middle.

Sky Wash 4 is painted as a single wet in wet wash. The indigo is painted first - leaving a space for the white gouache. When this is added, it spreads out and fuses with the indigo.

I had a couple of goes at both these skies and I am tempted to repeat them again, but the Painting and Drawing channel is providing an ever expanding list of skies for me to try.

Sky Wash 4
Watercolour on Paper
26.5cm x 19cm (10.5" x 7.5")

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Watercolour on Paper
54.5cm x 35.5cm (21.5" x 14")

Elaine and I visit Brixham whenever we holiday in Dartmouth. It is a small fishing port and holiday town in the south west of England.

Historically, Brixham was divided into Fishtown (on the coast where the fishermen lived) and Cowtown (on the hill where the farmers lived).

Last year Sky Atlantic showed a 10-part documentary about life in Brixham called Fish Town (see This is where I got the idea for the name, but I’ve called it Fishtown because it is usually written as one word.

This picture has taken ages. I started it at the end of November and finished it today. While I’ve been working on it, I’ve started and finished four other paintings (Blakemere Moss, Beach Huts, Snowy Lane and Ye Old Dog and Partridge).

The little details take forever. Initially, they are quite therapeutic, but as I get closer to the end, there is a nagging desire not to do anything to spoil the picture.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sky Wash 2

Sky Wash 2
Watercolour on Paper
26.5cm x 19cm (10.5" x 7.5")

This is an exercise from John Lovett’s Splashing Paint DVD.

I painted this as a warm up at the beginning of a painting session with the intention of loosening up and learning a bit more about painting with watercolour (see Sky Wash 1).

The sky is painted with two graded washes.  First, a pink wash is painted from the bottom of the paper and faded out towards the middle. After this is dry, a blue wash is painted down from the top.

The foreground is added after the sky is dry. It is really just a token gesture to put the sky in context.

The sky is quite pleasant but I haven’t made a great job of the washes – particularly the blue. Graded washes should be subtle - there should be a gradual lessening in intensity until the colour eventually fades away. My blue has quite an abrupt transition from a dark to light.

I am going to look for some advice and then try a few more experiments based on perfecting a graded wash.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Modelled Drawing of Drapery

Modelled Drawing of Drapery
Modelled Drawing - 3 February 2012
Lithograph Crayon on Paper
47cm x 34.5cm (18.5" x 13.5")

Section 12 from the Natural Way to Draw features the return of modelled drawing – the subject for the drawings is the model with drapery.

On Friday, I drew the drapery without the model - I thought this would be an interesting exercise and I felt guilty about asking Elaine to pose because she had already posed for a modelled drawing and all the gesture drawings.

This drawing was a challenge because of the delicacy of some of the folds. I fell in to the trap of going too dark too early and reached a point where I was close to giving up and starting again.

This is a familiar experience for me with modelled drawing. I have to pause and remind myself the purpose of these exercises isn’t to create works of art and I can learn just as much from carrying on as from starting again.

It is usually a prompt for me to think less about the paper and to focus more intently on the subject. At the end of the exercise, there are always some positive aspects in the drawing.