World Watercolour Month Catch up – Days 9 to 12

Day 9 Cooks River, Tempe

Day 9 Cooks River, Tempe

Just a very quick catch up on some of this weeks paintings for the World Watercolour Month Challenge. My days have been busy with work so most have been done in the evening. It’s always interesting the next day to see exactly what colours you’ve used after painting in artificial light!

I’ll try and write a few lines for each one, but I’m running out of steam a bit. I’ll also split them over two days so tonight will be days 9 to 12.

Day 9 would have been last Saturday, and a rare foray into landscape painting. Until Christmas last year I lived near the Cook’s river and still miss walking the dog along the banks every day. I actually still live near now, but further upstream, and the river here is basically just a 20ft wide concrete storm drain.

Day 10 Cuckoo

Day 10 Cuckoo

I was flagging a bit by Day 10  and wanted something simpler. So I chose a Cuckoo from a book we used while learning to paint Chinese Spontaneous style. This is the first of two in this style completed this week, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the other one. I did cheat a bit because it’s just on a normal watercolour block, not on the proper paper which is harder to use.

Day-11-Seamus

Day 11 Seamus

The following day, Monday and Day 11, was the birthday of a very special friend so I took the opportunity to paint something for her. May I introduce Seamus, her border terrier. He’s a little guy with a big character who’s sadly no longer with us. This was a rare picture that just worked, straight off the brush, and I’m extremely happy with the result!

Finally for this post, Day 12 is a study of the leaves of The Chinese Tallow tree. It’s a beautiful tree I had never seen before moving to this house. It has small heart shaped leaves that turn the most amazing colours during Autumn. The one just around the corner still has a few leaves even though we’re well into winter now, and to be honest I haven’t really done it justice – the reds are much redder than I have them!Day-12-Chinese-Tallow

Watercolour Month Challenge Day: 2 & 3

Challenge Day 2: Banana (Watercolour)

Challenge Day 2: Banana (Watercolour)

I suspect I’m not going to have time to write a post everyday during World Watercolour Month. I’ll be too busy painting every day! However, I’d still like to share my efforts with you and will definitely write every few days or so. Just to share how it’s going, whether I’ve run out of steam or ideas yet (is it too soon to write about that yet?) 😛 !

Also, apologies in advance to anyone following me on Facebook and Instagram as well… you are going to see a bit of repetition!

Formalities out of the way, here are my efforts for day two and three. #‎WorldWatercolorMonth‬

Challenge Day 3: Bramble Rose (Watercolour)

Challenge Day 3: Bramble Rose (Watercolour)

A New Year with Old Resolutions… John’s Rose

John's Rose (Watercolour)

John’s Rose (Watercolour)

Happy New Year, and an enormous Thank You! to everyone who has joined and supported me on my journey so far. As many of us do at this time of year I’ve been thinking during the Christmas break about resolutions, goals and ambitions for last year and the coming one… what I’ve achieved and which slipped out of focus.

I certainly lost some of my drive to paint over the final weeks of the year, in part due to a surge in workload from my job and the added stress that came with it. So, close to the top of my list this year is an old resolution to try and manage that aspect of life better and always make a little time to relax and enjoy the things I love to do.

Above all, I’d like to work on playing more and worrying less, especially about results… I know I can learn so much from experimenting and letting go, but it’s going to be tricky if I continue to be critical. I had so much fun at the Jean Haines workshop in November, sharing ideas and trying new things in a safe environment… I have to find a way to capture that and keep it alive!

I’ve already discovered a new and exciting blog to follow this year: “The Wash a Week Challenge”, which features seven watercolourists from around the world who call themselves the Washing Girls. They have made a pact to paint and post a wash each week, for the whole year. This should offer me lots of inspiration 🙂 .

To start my new year with enthusiasm I had a search in last year’s ‘Inspiration’ folder and found a photo from our trip to the UK in June. Jim’s Dad, John, has created a beautiful garden and beside the front door is a magnificent pale peach rose with very dark green leaves… I love the way the rose compliments the colour of the brickwork behind it. Here is a beginning, on the paper I don’t really like (but Will be used 😛 ). The absorbency of the paper has given the first washes a very soft effect.

The Pressure of Handmade Christmas Cards

Robin Christmas Card (Watercolour)

Robin Christmas Card (Watercolour)

Before the weekend I was anticipating spending two whole days creating lots of Christmas Cards to send out to friends and family… I did manage to spend quite a lot of time painting, but a change in the weather and a change of watercolour paper made the results rather unpredictable.

Today we’ve celebrated our sixth day in a row of spectacular thunderstorms and thirty degree heat – I had forgotten how hard it is to paint when it gets hot over here, you have to be so much quicker! Despite many tries I’ve also really struggled to get a salt effect to work at all, probably due to the extra humidity. You can see here that the salt didn’t soak up the pigment to leave white starburst effects as you’d expect. Instead I’ve just got little dark blue dots… not exactly what I hoped for as a snow effect.

On top of that I started using some new watercolour paper for the first time: SAA’s own practice paper, 140lbs, rough. And I’m afraid I don’t like it very much – it ‘s a little less white than the Bockingford I’ve been using, and seems to carry less size as well, meaning that paint soaks in more readily and is harder to move around or lift off.

Despite all that this little guy is slowly coming along. His eye needs lots of work and a few other details need putting in, such as the branch, but it’s better than I expected after such a trial.

I also started to paint a gorgeous red cardinal but I didn’t get very far so I’ll have to share that with you next time 😉

 

Technicolour Rainbow Lorikeet – watercolour painting in progress

Technicolor - Rainbow Lorikeet (Watercolour)

Technicolour Rainbow Lorikeet (Watercolour)

The deadline for Project Member’s Show is looming (2 days to go) and I still don’t have a finished painting to enter… and what did I do today? I went out for 3 hours paddling down the Cook’s river. Mind you it was a beautiful day, and perfect for a paddle. We’re also out all day tomorrow too, so not much chance of a last minute charge for the finish line 😛 .

Here’s what I have so far and I’m pretty pleased with it, but it’s funny how you see things differently once they’re scanned in the computer or on a web page. I hadn’t realised how abruptly the bird suddenly disappeared into nothing after having so much detail!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it yet… do I build up the lower half a bit, or fade out some of the already painted bits? Tricky… Maybe if I head off to bed now I can get an early start & have another go 😛