Monday, 27 February 2012

Another new book!

As if my book shelf was not already bursting at the seams, I have just bought Shirley Trevina's new book 'Breaking The Rules Of Watercolour'. I pre-ordered it from Amazon, so it was eagerly awaited, as she has been a great inspiration to me in the past. I have also been to a couple of her demonstrations at the craft fair at Patchings Farm in Nottinghamshire, and I found her a most charismatic speaker and demonstrator!

There is lots to read and look at, some old friends and lots of new work. I have thoroughly enjoyed my initial delve into the pages, but I do have a couple of comments.... I feel that some of the paintings are photoed just a tad too close for me, they take something away from the work, which I feel should be viewed from a bit of a distance to get the full effect, and her green work in France is not really to my taste. I hope she does not go too far along this route, and lose sight of the style of painting that I so much admire. That said the book is gloriously colourful and does exactly what it says on the jacket!

The arrival of the book reminded me of how complex some of her paintings are, especially the backgrounds, and what an amazing amount of resources she must have collected over the years. I thought I might have a go at something in her style! My attempts are far too tightly produced, I so wish I could get the hang of this free approach to watercolour, but instantly the subject is complex and contains lots of small elements everything tightens again. Must keep trying harder!

Here is the resultant painting, hope you enjoy looking.

                                                        'Spring Flowers'   Watercolour on
                                                        140lb Fabriano Artistico Extra

I am pleased with the way in which all the weight is in the top part of the painting and the bottom left area fades away to very little. Will try that again, we so often do it the other way around. I do find yellow flowers difficult to get right, I think it is something to do with choosing what colour to use for the shadow areas. They so quickly look dirty.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Daniel Smith Paints

Time to start a new painting, and I had a determination to see exactly what I could do with the new range of paints that I have recently acquired. That makes it sound as if I have bought the whole range all in one go, but that is far from the truth. Daniel Smith Watercolours are, in my experience, beautifully textured paints with lots of exciting colours, but they come with a heafty price tag. I already have a goodly stock of artist quality paints bought over time, 'just in case I cannot afford to replace in the future' which I must use up before they begin to deteriorate, but I cannot help but be tempted by the Daniel Smith range, so I have been buying one or two slowly over a few months every time Peter does us a mass order at Art Group (avoids postage costs). As others need replacing I will certainly acquire more!
At the moment I have seven or eight tubes with names such as 'Moonglow' and 'Rose of Ultramarine' and so I set about painting  something predominantly with these paints and only using the likes of Winsor and Newton or Graham and Co if I didn't have what I needed in Daniel Smith. It was lovely to mix the creamy paints on the palette, and also use them straight from the tube. The colours are really vibrant so they give the whole range from pale to really dark depending on the amount of water that is added. I have a green called 'Green Apatite Genuine' which I find a really natural green, and when mixed with Indigo, Paynes Grey or Burnt Sienna works well for my dark areas of background.

The full list of  of colours that I have at the moment comprises: Hookers Green, Pyrol Red, Green Apatite, Opera Pink, Quinachridone Magenta, Rose of Ultramarine, and Moonglow. I used the last five of these in the Iris painting below, together with a few others to produce a painting with which I am very pleased.

In order to concentrate on the effects of the paints, and to test them effectively, I am afraid that it was back to the comfort zone, and away with the freer experimental approach!

'Pink Iris'  35 x 50cm
Fabriano Extra White Rough 300gms

Maybe the shadows should be a bit darker, but I hadn't the courage to mix the colour any deeper, I was afraid of over doing it. I find this the hardest part of the painting, and as it has to be the last thing I do I am always afraid that all the preceding hard work will be for nothing if I mess it up, so I lack the courage to be really bold. Thank you for looking, hope you enjoy it.