I like to experiment with different techniques and I have tried adding some colour to some pen and ink drawings that I have drawn previously.
Does it look better in colour or do you prefer the black and white originals?
Wheal Francis Mine Workings, on the Great Flat Lode just outside of Piece. On this one I like it as a drawing, I feel it captures more of the essence of the place, and the atmoshere of the disused mine buildings.
A courtyard in Frigliana, Spain – this one looks better with a little bit of colour. The colour adds a splash of colour against the white spanish buildings.
Now to add some colour to my painting of Venice, which I think definitely looks better in colour, especially with that dramatic sky.
I asked whether it looked better in black and white or colour on my Facebook page I have had some good feedback. It seems the general feeling is that, whilst the black and white drawings are good, that people prefer the ones with colour.
I attended a great seascape watercolour worksho. I love painting seascapes, but there is always something new you can learn and I definitely did at this workshop.
The idea was to combine photographs to create the image that you want, after all painting isn’t mean to be a photograph, so we can paint the image we want to!
I love St Ives harbour, but on some photographs you can end up with a lot of seaweed and the sand can look rather “dirty”, especially in the harbour area where there is probably fuel spillage from the boats. The idea was to take the scene I wanted to paint but use the colours from a photograph of the sea at Porthminster beach, where the sea is a beautiful shade of blue and the sand very white.
However what to leave it and what to add? I started by painting a couple of quick thumbprint sketches, so I could work out what would work. I decided that I liked a clear sky and to have a little bit of seaweed near the shoreline.
I was also going to work with just three colours and I choose Windsor Blue (Red), Naples Yellow and Venetian Red as a cool palette. Whilst painting it I wasn’t altogether sure about the colours so as the Workshop was a full-day course I painted another one at the same time!
I used the same colours but in different quantities, I think you can see the difference but I like them both and I am delighted with the result.
Chris, who used to live in Cornwall and comes back every year to visit, asked if I could do him a painting of Godrevy, one of his favourite spots. So here is the start
What do you mean it looks like a blank sheet of paper?
Well nearly, because I need white bits on my paper for the surf I first have to start off with masking out the areas that need to remain white. I have also used a white candle, which should transform into those little white bits you get on the waters edge as the tide goes out again. If you look closely you will see my rough pencil sketches and masking fluid.
Can’t wait to add some colour, most especially a new colour, Manganese Blue, which I think will show the beautiful blue sky and clear water.
Here is how the painting of Godrevy is progressing, to reassure anyone looking at the previous photo (especially if on Facebook), that it is not just a sheet of grey paper!
This is my first wash of colour, using the lovely Manganese Blue, a new colour for me and a very much appreciated Christmas present! The sand uses Naples Yellow Deep, another new colour, it has a hint of Burnt Sienna to take off the yellow. Much as we think our sand is golden yellow, in reality it is not.
This is the second stage, where I have intensified the blue of the sea, but now starting to get some texture in the close up area, where the sea is so transparent you can see the sand below.
I am also using my new paint brush, purchased as a bargain at Arts and Graphics closing down sale for only £50 (it should have been £182), but it is wonderful at moving the paint around the paper and worth every penny!
The masking fluid and has been removed, the finishing touches added and my latest painting of Godrevy is now complete.
This is a painting done specfically for Chris and Trudy Stevens. Chris used to live in Cornwall and comes back with his family every year to visit as they love the County so much. They have fond memories of Godrevy beach, particularly one year as they stayed on the campsite just up the road.
Hopefully every time Chris looks at this painting in his home it will transport him back to sunny Cornwall.
I have decided to have another go at painting the same photograph of St Ives but using a different style!
I was quite pleased with how my painting of Venice turned out using a stippling method. I felt drawing the buildings in the background in the ink gave it some structure, then when I added the watercolour paint I didn’t need to worry too about the detail, as it was already there.
So I decided to paint St Ives using the same pen and ink method, only this time not using stippling but using my lovely old ink pens. Dipping in the pen regularly into the ink gives a different vibrancy as the pen stroke is not consistent. I am still struggling get the depth of field correct, with the boats in the water, but hey I am not going to worry about that too much!
Next stop add some colour. I am quite happy with the sky, so now just need to work on the foreground sea but already I prefer it to the other one, which is shown at the bottom of this page.
My second version of the St Ives painting is now complete, my aim was to give more definition to the background of the buildings of St Ives. However I am not sure how well it works, which one do you prefer?
Original St Ives Painting
This is the original, I suppose that is the joy of art, everyone is allowed to have their own opinion as there is no right or wrong!
I have been playing with a different technique, this involves adding texture to my watercolour painting. First of all I apply Gesso to my initial sketch, which is of the tide coming in at Godrevy, during the summer.
I have used the Gesso in the areas where the tide comes and there are small patches of white foam, and also for as the waves are breaking a little further out.
Then I put down my initial watercolour wash, painting over the Gesso.
This close-up shows the paint on top of the Gesso texture.
Then I add some more paper but also then remove some of the paint in the texture area.
Hopefully it has created that feeling of the tide coming in.
Here is another one that I have done.
What do you think? I like it and I think I could do a whole series in this style.