Saturday, July 11, 2009

Three Watercolours

watercolours 28x20cm

These slightly larger pieces were done over the last three days - the plant first, then the plane, and yesterday the sofa.

In the first one I was investigating the difference between the direct and translucent lights. Not bad, but the composition is a little indecisive on the right. The wee plane is a lovely object. It’s unique. The blade-securing mechanism broke very early on, and I made the wedge replacing it myself. I’ve had it for over thirty years and know it very well. The contrast of surfaces might suit an oil study some time. The red sofa is an ambitious attempt at a more complicated watercolour. I just managed to get it done before Madam returned from work; it’s where she usually sits for Tea and Telly. Some of the painting is a bit inconsistent - the table is dull and unconvincing - but I actually surprised myself with the painting of the cushions.

I think it was Gene Kelly who said that if it looks as though you’re working hard, you’re not working hard enough. I wish these were a little more clear and effortless (looking).

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cloud Study

watercolour 20x12.5cm

Back to watercolour studies as a break from the oily paint. This is the sky developing over about fifteen – twenty minutes from our front window. Done last week.

I finally went out and bought a couple of pads of proper watercolour paper. It’s not particularly heavy at 90lbs, but at least it won’t go brown. This is done on a pad made into a block. What you do is compress the pad slightly and (with a water-resistant glue!) stick strips of paper around the edges, leaving one corner free, to make a sort of parcel. As the top sheet is always attached to the rest of the pad, the water crinkling is considerably lessened. Once your sketch is dry, slip a blade into the non-glued corner and slice it from the block. It’s worth doing, as ready-made blocks are twice the price of pads.

Payne’s grey is a gift for northern skies, with a little touch of Burnt umber for the more opaque lower cumulus.