Saturday, 25 January 2014

Winter :The Big Freeze

This weeks subject at AVA was 'Winter'
I have been enjoying playing with textures just recently and thought this might be a good subject to have another go,
I had no source material, so the painting is just an exercise in playing with various tools and a textured paper. Having said that, I do have a picture in my mind of a lovely village that I see from the motorway each time I go north to see my mother. It has a row of buildings, a river  and a great expanse of land in front which is frequently flooded in the winter!

I used a piece of Hahnemuhle 'Cornwall' paper. It is very white and has a distinctive texture to its surface.I prepared the paper with watercolour textured medium and some 'Fix and Grout' paste prior to putting on the wash, but this was a bit of a waste of time as the paper texture was more than good enough for what I needed and added nothing to the final result..

I started by doing a very simple drawing of the buildings in the distance. I then covered the whole sheet with a wash of pale indigo, and blotted out the cloud shapes at the top.
It was then just a case of adding the foliage and bank gradually as the wash dried to get both lost edges and more sharp grasses etc. If an area became too dry, I simply sprayed it with a little water.

I used black Indian Ink as well as watercolour and made liberal use of granulating fluid to increase the textural interest.I used a piece of twig to make most of the marks. It is much looser than using a brush.I used a brush when I needed to drop colour into a wet area of the painting. Being a snow scene, I inevitably used lots of white Acrylic Gouache!
The hardest bit was knowing when to stop.

I am quite pleased with the overall effect. It has the chill factor that I was after, and it was great fun to do


  1. Thanks Polly.Shows how cold, cold colours can be!

  2. Another nice painting with some very good textural effects. The only other comment I would make is that - perhaps - a couple of small areas of detail would enhance it.

  3. Thanks for the comments Peter. You may be right about a bit more detail. I also wondered if something with a bit warmer tone would add to the composition.

  4. Leave well alone, it's got a lovely wintery feel to it just as it is.

  5. Thanks Jan. I think I agree it reflects the winter chill!