Thursday, 18 July 2013

Here comes the rain! Nr Widemouth Bay.

I have to admit I have had a tendency to "bottle it" when it comes to skies in watercolour in the past. To me, they require a good, confident technique and a degree of courage, I find it very easy to stay in my comfort zone, limiting the space in the composition for a sky and therefore, getting away with a safe, simple wash of Ultramarine or Cobalt. This can become a problem if you wish to paint atmospheric landscapes, as the sky dictates the whole tone, colour and mood of the picture. Also, if it goes wrong, the picture fails before it's hardly begun. So here I am, freshly delivered from safety, into the zone of the bold, or even chaos!! I had a devil of a job with this and more than once I was tempted to introduce it to the bin. The photograph was taken from a raised vantage point, pushing the horizon up to that dreaded halfway line, so I had to compress the rocks, sea and beach into a smaller space. Just to make things even harder for myself, I used an unfamiliar palette, namely Windsor blue, Burnt Umber, Cadmium Yellow, Paynes Grey, White Gouache and Alizarin Crimson. I found the blue very powerful and particularily hard to handle compared to Ultramarine or Cobalt Blue. The picture has been cropped a fair bit due to another bit of old Langton 140lb NOT (the same pad as for the previous picture, thankfully that's the last of it), which had a problem with the sizing. Once again, I've learned a lot and I'm really glad I stuck with it!!!