Sunday, 30 December 2012

Coverack Harbour

Coverack Harbour
Watercolour on Paper
19cm x 28cm (7.5" x 11")

This is a view of Coverack harbour for which I posted some preliminary sketches in October (see Preparations for Coverack Harbour). In the original post, I was hopeful the painting would be finished by the next weekend. In retrospect, this was slightly optimistic.

It has been great to have some time over Christmas to finish this off and to catch up with some other painting.

Coverack is a fishing village on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall. Elaine and I are planning a visit in the summer as part of our excursion to Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. The picture is based on some of David and Jane’s holiday photographs.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Happy Christmas 2012

Bearing Gifts
Watercolour on Paper
8cm x 11.5cm (3" x 4.5")

Wishing you peace and joy for Christmas and the New Year

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Winter Landscapes

Snow On Old Hill
Watercolour on Paper
28cm x 18cm (11" x 7")

This is a view from the top of the hill that is the backdrop for Farm Boy Racer. It is further along the same track.

I painted this yesterday at the December meeting of the Shelford Group of Artists. The December get together is a good one to attend because everyone brings food to share. Elaine made some Raspberry Blondies (like brownies, but with white chocolate) for me to take, which went down very well.

Norwegian Island
Watercolour on Paper
28cm x 16cm (11" x 6.25")
The theme for the day was Winter Landscapes. Tony Slater provided his usual mix of wit and wisdom. He suggested chopping the bottom off Norwegian Island to move the horizon further away from the centre line.

The big news for the week is I’ve bought a work of art to celebrate my birthday. Its taken 6 months to find the right piece, but the wait was worthwhile. Thank you to everyone in my family who contributed – I appreciate your generosity.

Bright light to Samson by Stewart Edmondson
73cm x 73cm (29.75" 29.75")

This is Bright light to Samson by Stewart Edmondson, we bought it from the D'Art Gallery in Dartmouth.

Samson is a small, uninhabited island off the Scilly Isles. Elaine and I were thinking of visiting the Scillies next summer. Now we have even more of a reason.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Head in Crayon

Head in Crayon - Section 20
4 December 2012
Conté Crayon on Paper
32cm x 41cm (12.5" x 16")

This isn’t a belated Halloween post and no, I am not recruiting the undead to pose for drawings.

This is my latest attempt at the Head in Crayon exercise from the Natural Way to Draw. The exercise uses the same tools and modelling techniques as the sustained study in crayon (see Sustained Study in Crayon and Try and Try Again), but does not include the preliminary gesture and contour studies.

The objective is to model the complexities of the human face, which is a challenge because you only have an hour. I focus on trying to create the impression of a three dimensional object and don’t bother too much about the accurate measurement and alignment of the features – which is my excuse for why the eyes are too close together.

I have a bit of a mental block about modelling with the white crayon, so I’ve struck a deal (with myself) that allows me to minimise the amount of white crayon in the sustained studies as long as I use it extensively in the head in crayon studies.

Christmas Cards 2012

Wendy Hedges has made Christmas cards from some of my paintings. They look stunning and really demonstrate how the right mount and frame can complete a picture. Thanks Wendy.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Scratching and Scraping

Winter Twigs
(Based on Geoff Kersey's Trees, Woodlands and Forests)
Watercolour on Paper
18cm x 15cm (7" x 6")

This is my interpretation of another demonstration from Geoff Kersey's third programme about “Trees, Woodlands and Forests” on The Painting and Drawing Channel.

In this demonstration, Geoff painted a dark background and then used a craft knife to scrape the branches and twigs out of the wet paint. He finished by continuing the branches on the white paper.

Timing is everything with this technique. If you scrape too early, the paint fills up the line. If you leave it too late the paint dries and will not scrape out in the same way.

Geoff used the craft knife to create a variety of line thicknesses, but I found it easier to use a pointed piece of plastic to scrape out the thicker lines. This is a tool recommended for the technique by Ann Blockley in her book “Watercolour Textures”.

Ann differentiates between the techniques of scraping (removing wet paint) and scratching (removing dry paint). Scraping wet paint creates the types of marks shown in the picture on this post.  Scratching off dry paint leaves a bright white highlight and requires a delicate touch to avoid gouging chunks out of the paper.