Chinese Garden Water Lilies (Lotus)

Water Lilies (Watercolour)

Lotus Water Lilies (Watercolour)

While it may seem like I’m missing in action this week, I’m happy to say I have managed to fit in some painting each day so far and, as I mentioned in my last post, I’m working on a submission for the Summer Member’s Show at Project Gallery in Wollongong… entries have to be delivered by the end of the coming weekend, so I don’t have much time to complete something.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share another of the pieces I started at the Jean Haines workshop recently… this is based on a photo I took of the water lilies in the lake at the Chinese Friendship Garden in Sydney. I think they’re actually Lotus plants, but there were no flowers at the time. It’s nice and loose and I love the colours, which were a complete accident… the water in the photo was dull in comparison and generally I have difficulty not simply painting what I see 🙂

I think it’s probably nearly there and illustrates a problem stage for me – is it finished, and if not, what shall I do to finish it?

I personally like it just as it is, but also feel it might be a bit too loose to get away with. However, I don’t know exactly what to add to give that bit extra without tightening it up too much. Any ideas??

Messy, Loose Bluebells

Sketchy Bluebells (Watercolour Crayon)

Sketchy Bluebells (Watercolour Crayon)

I received some Pentel waterbrushes a couple of weeks ago and decided to try them out tonight (boo! to another birthday, but thank you Mum & Dad for the prezzie 🙂 ) . The Bluebells in the front garden came under attack again, and this time they get to be displayed for you. It was a totally experimental play, just a small sketchpad and a couple of watercolour crayons, plus the new brushes which hold water in the barrel. They’ll be really useful for travelling I think, when I can get the hang of them!

I tried a couple of techniques: drawing with the crayons and then wetting the paper with the brushes, touching the wet brush to the crayon to lift paint from it and then painting normally, using the crayon on still wet parts of the paper… there were some very interesting effects.

So far I’m not fully sold on the result, but it was quite difficult to judge how much pigment you were going to pick up, or how much water, so I do think it deserves more time and practise to see where it might lead.

Brancaster Beach, Pt. 1

Brancaster Beach (Watercolour)

Brancaster Beach (Watercolour)

First stage of a (hopefully) looser, more abstract wash based beach scene: this is from a photo I took while on Brancaster Beach in North Norfolk recently. There isn’t very much to see there except sky, sand, sea and a few grassy dunes.

I stopped early on this as, after a great sky, the strip of darker water across the middle was already not progressing very loosely. Maybe the brushtrokes will be more flowing tomorrow 🙂 .

Muskrat in the Snow, Pt. 3

Muskrat (Watercolour)

Muskrat (Watercolour)

Today wasn’t such a good one for painting… it was pretty good for Excel spreadsheets and database work but I think that put my mind in a Left brain kind of state that I couldn’t get out of. Despite studying the photo for some time before beginning and being as patient as I could nothing was working well.

As a result this is looking a lot more like a pencil drawing than a loose crisp watercolour. I washed out the upper portion as the background was too bright and wasn’t receding, then used dry brush strokes to reintroduce some texture.

Generally it’s a bit over worked… and my sticks are disappointingly unstick like. Time to start again 😛 .

Snow & Ice… and a Muskrat?

Muskrat (Watercolour)

Muskrat (Watercolour)

As I add more depth to the snowy areas I’m more & more convinced I’ve overdone the colours with this painting… it’s looking very vibrant and maybe just a bit over powering, but it’s a little late to worry that I didn’t leave enough lighter areas 🙂 .

I’ve begun to add the muskrat this afternoon with a mix of Raw Sienna and Ultramarine Blue – and some of the Sap Green is still showing through from the first wash which makes for an interesting colour mix. It doesn’t look much like a Muskrat yet, though it has potential. I’ve also tried to deepen the blue background snow, so that I could try and generate some texture with salt while it was wet.