Sunday, 19 May 2013

Getting Ready for Summer

Watercolour on Paper
18cm x 13cm (7" x 5")

Elaine and I are planning our holidays in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. We are going to have good weather and I am going to paint pictures of sunlight sparking on the sea.

In preparation, I’ve been experimenting with different ways to describe the intense white reflections created by bright sunlight glinting on rippled water.

The works of Kurt Jackson and Stewart Edmondson are a source of inspiration for these experiments. They both paint wonderfully atmospheric studies of the interaction between light and water.

The technique that has worked best so far has been to splash white gouache into a watercolour wash and then to add more splatters of gouache after it is dry.

I need to improve the accuracy of my splattering and splashing. The whole point is to create a random pattern, but it has to be in the right sort of place, form the right sort of shape and have the right density of spots.

There are as many approaches to splattering and splashing as there are people offering advice on the subject. The only solution seems to be experimentation and practice.

On the next sunny day, I am going to stick a lot of cheap paper together, mix up a big pot of cheap watercolour, gather all my brushes together and go into the garden for some target practice.

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