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June 2014

Horseshoe Inn, Chipping Sodbury


Watercolour of Chipping Sodbury, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300gms.

Continuing my theme of painting every pub in the area where I live, this is the recently opened Horseshoe Pub at the top of the High Street.  Perhaps not enough detail in this one and maybe I could have stepped back and had a wider view, or get one or two vehicles in there.  I invented the yellow road sign - I think it needed something on that side of the picture and needed a parallel shade line with the pub behind.



Burano Venice

A recent commission, painting from a photo of Burano near Venice.


So quiet a colourful picture of this pretty location!  And the challenge of not too many shadows which I tend to look for.


Watercolour of Burano, 22" x 15" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300gms

So my interpretation of the scene.  Not too many details changed.

A wash went over the whole picture starting with the sky of course.  Then the different buildings were painted, first the background buildings and then the main avenue.  The window surrounds were done with white gouache as a later stage.




Watercolour materials I use - Brushes, Paints and Paper

I'm often asked about what materials I use, so here's a summary of brushes, paints and paper.



Brushes I use, from left 1) the largest brush, a mop size 18 'Aquario' from Escoda.  It's a natural brush and a great point.  I always use this for washes and painting large areas on 22" x 15" size paper.  2) Size 14 Mop, from Escoda.  Used in washes.  3) Smaller mob brush size 10 'ultimo' from Escoda.  Used for detail and washes over medium sized areas.  4) Large detail brush, synthetic size 12 Perla from Escoda.  5) Small detail size 8 Perla from Escoda.  6)  Nice Rigger brush, with a sort of reservoir in the lower section, again from Escoda.  7) A cheap Ox Hair brush, I think it only cost 10 pence, used for foliage.  I butchered the tip with a pair of nail scissors to give it a rough edge.  8) A small synthetic brush with a straight edge for painting peoples legs or masts/lamp posts.  9)  Very small detail brush, mainly used for white gouache highlights.  10) A Sword or dagger brush - great when fully loaded with paint for foreground foliage detail.



I use a metal palette from Holbein.  Rarely cleaned and main pigments used - Lemon Yellow, Cad Orange, Cad Red, Light Red, Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Turquoise, Viridain Green, Yellow Ochre, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber and Neutral Tint.  Most paints come from Winsor and Newton.


I used to paint a few years ago with Bockingford rough paper, but now it's always Saunders Waterford Rough, cotton based 300 gms paper.  I paint in sizes 15" x 11" or 22" x 15", mainly.


Newquay Harbour 7, Cornwall


Watercolour of Newquay Harbour, 22" x 15" on Saunders Waterford paper, Rough 300gms.

The slipway on the harbour and Newquay town behind.  It's a popular location for shellfish.  The larger fishing boats are reached with small tender boats, stacked up here at the top of the slipway.  At low tide there's quite a large sandy beach here, round one side of the harbour just below the cliffs.  There was a fair bit of negative painting around the tops of the boats and figures which was a bit tricky.  Had to add the Cornish flag just to authenticate the scene.


Puerto del Carmen Old Town, 7


Watercolour of Lazarote, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300gms

Hopefully a feeling here of a sunny day.  With the light coming from behind, maybe a bit more of a challenge to find shadows and also handling shadows of people in motion.  I went quite vivid with that sky, but I think it helps the picture and the contrast with the warm tones of the terracotta tiles and white washed buildings.


Bus Stop, Cagliari, Sicily


Watercolour of Cagliari, Sicily, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300gms.

One side of the Piazza Yenne in Cagliari stands this rather ornate bus stop (or it might have been a tourist bus stop).  I thought it made a good subject with the highlights of a litter bin and the surrounding pavement.  Foreground was painted in two washes, with the second leaving some indication of the foreground pedestrian crossing.  Right hand tree and building were painted fairly loosely and with dry brush for making architectural details.



Brook Street Chipping Sodbury 7


Watercolour of Chipping Sodbury, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300gms.

A little incline, then a sharp right bend, and your into the main High Street in Chipping Sodbury.  I decided to leave the large shadow area, right, without too much detail and have a couple of approaching figures plus dog just merge in.  Some areas, while still damp, were lifted out with a bit of paper towel.  The dark branches of the tree in the centre were done with a 'sword' brush and thicker pigment.


Tenby Harbour, Pembrokeshire


Watercolour of Tenby, Wales, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford Rough 300gms

A painting based on a reference photo used by a fellow watercolour painter who did a demo at our local society one evening recently (if you follow my drift).  Steps were 1) sky and continued was over whole painting - blueish at the top and a bit warmer down the bottom.  2) Background buildings and roofs were allowed to bleed into the walls.  Left a highlight of a thin broken line for the top of the harbour wall.  3)  Boats, growing darker towards the bottom, then the channel of water.  Darker pigment was dropped in to create soft reflections.  4)  Figures and masts (white gouache).


Hanson Quarry Chipping Sodbury


Watercolour of Chipping Sodbury, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford 300gms rough.

A local quarry to me where lorries are busy collecting crushed aggregates and then taking them on to various local building projects I guess.  I thought this made a good subject to paint with the bold containers standing out against the dark background, the connecting conveyor belts and pipes, and a few employees wandering around in their hi viz jackets.  I had to put a little bit of effort into the preliminary drawing to ensure the details were correct and the perspective.


Perranporth Cornwall 3


Watercolour of Perranporth, Cornwall, 15" x 11" on Saunders Waterford 300gms rough.

Well this one nearly went in the bin.  I think the composition is a bit poor with nothing much happening on the left side.  Also the colours are a bit too strong, starting with that ochre sky on the left.  Maybe I could crop out the left entirely?  Hmmmm.....