A pine tree amongst some palms in this pretty little square in Tavira, Portugal. There's a lovely sweeping curve of the buildings on the left, up to the chapel/church at the end of the square. Very loose treatment (sorry) to the souvenir shop on the left - all their products on stands outside were just greatly simplified (I can't paint every postcard). Two figures, centre, almost blend into their background, helped by the limited palette in this one.
My central plan with the painting was to get those 3 reflections on the shiny pavement surface from the 2 white vehicles and the front of the right hand building. And another dynamic to deal with is the colour of the buildings. Yes they're white, but look more closely and there's a myriad of tones in there, especially on the older ones maybe in need of a lick of paint.
I got a bit carried away with the main colour theme here - the purple/lavender of the flowers seemed to have spread into the neighbouring shadows. Anyway, I am pleased with the overall effect. I have also used some consistent brush stroke styles here in the trees and shadows to make it a bit more harmonious. Blue skies always seem to work well butted up against warm terracotta roof tops.
I painted this scene some time ago and this is my second attempt. I also videoed the whole thing, so I might post it up on YouTube sometime. I think the scene makes a good study of tonal values and how to get maximum contrast in a picture with for example the reflections from a car windscreen against a dark background. In the foreground, the random spots of paper left unpainted make good rocks with a little shadow behind them.
Here's my latest demonstration video up on my YouTube channel. This time another boat scene. In this one I have gone for some brighter colours and taking on a difficult background and trying to simplify lots of details on the boats. I hope you like it.
A town on the Algarve coast, and not a touristic sort of place but more for the locals. The scene is a residential area. I can't remember exactly how I found myself in this spot, but I thought my reference photo would make a good watercolour subject and I decided to add a few cars and a couple of figures to the composition. Some people have asked me about me leaving in the pencil marks from my outline drawing. I use a think 2B or 3B pencil and those lines still show. I personally don't mind them and they add something to the painting. I very rarely rub them out where I've left paper. Also on this painting I've not used so much white gouache for highlights - you can overdo it sometimes.
A backstreet in Tavira, a coastal town in the eastern Algarve area. What makes the composition for me are the road signs and their shadows, plus the balance of the two figures. Those figures are the focal point and have deep contrast with the dark shadows behind them. I am still painting on old T H Saunders paper which has quite a yellow tint to it, so sometimes difficult to get some bright whites but ideal for this scene where yes there are whites of the building walls but they are tainted with other colours and inherit tones from around them.
The "Praça Ferreira de Almeida" and a view towards the waterfront in Faro. Another Faro sketch and one more on the ancient T H Saunders watercolour paper which has the creamy tone which shows up quite well in the foreground. There's a small square to the left. My reference photo was taken in the early morning, nobody was about, so I had to invent some figures here for scale, and introduce a vehicle. The scene would have been to stark without.
A central small church in the centre of Tavira on the Algarve. I have painted this chapel a number of times, but this is from a different angle. I changed the angle of the cars parked so the weren't sideways on (always a bit tricky to get right and look good). Then to balance out the cars I have a couple of figures on the left. I made the base of the buildings quite dark to emphasize the light, made stronger with the contrast up against the cars and parasol.