Tuesday, 17 September 2013

On The Beach.

The dull mornings following cold, clear nights, the almost daily visitations of rain and the changing colour of wind-blown leaves. All this almost certainly signals the end of summer. Warm days on the beach are already a receding memory. I couldn't resist one final visit to those times before we grudgingly switch on the central heating. And don't listen to members of my household, this never actually happened and these are most certainly not self portraits!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Crab Apples.

The reason for doing this picture was to test some new paper. This is the first time I have used 100% cotton paper as opposed to wood pulp and it was really refreshing to just slap paint on without worrying too much about the result. I didn't really know what to expect from the paper, probably not a lot but i have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Washes seemed to be slightly easier to control but the main difference was the paper's resilience when lifting colour. Wow it's so tough!! I watched Hazel Soan do a picture of apples like this which is what inspired me to have a go. I love her watercolour style and will admit I tried to copy it a bit. Mental note to self, "Admire other artists by all means but don't imitate - it doesn't work"!!! I'm very pleased with this paper and the results and will probably try a landscape with it soon. Watercolour on Saunders Waterford 140lb Rough. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Cornish Cliffs

From a photograph taken somewhere in Cornwall, this is my best effort yet in terms of using an image for information as opposed to being enslaved by it. More and more I've come to believe that simplifying and selecting source material is a technical skill in it's own right, one that requires hard work and determination if it is to be mastered, unless of course it comes naturally. With me it certainly doesn't!! In terms of tone, I lost my way a little at times, there were some frenetic and at times, desperate running repairs going on at certain points. It's a strange thing this confidence factor, enabling an artist to surprise even himself one moment, evaporating like a ghost the very next. I use the word "ghost" deliberately, a loss of confidence can haunt you for a very long time. Well, as you can see, the struggle ended eventually. My desk at the finish was piled high with colour-stained kitchen roll, paint tubes and brushes languished forlornly in puddles of murky water an I, breathing hard, finally recovered from my nervous breakdown. I reflected on how something which is supposed to be such a pleasure can, at times, be so damned stressful! The whole event must have been very entertaining to watch though. Time to relax with some doodling.....  Watercolour and gouache on Langton 140lb NOT.