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August 2014

July 2014

La Joliette district of Marseilles


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

The La Joliette district of Marseilles, a business area right next to the old port.  Here a view up the hill to the centre of the city.  Steps for this painting 1) 'dirty' up white background building (not make it so white), 2) continue wash over rest of painting (I can see I went a bit red in the left corner there).  3) Sky with a rich cerulean and turquoise.  4) Shadows of buildings almost all done at once and car details - careful to paint around those two middle figures.


Sidmouth Seafront and Promenade, Devon 2


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

Maybe not the most interesting composition from an artistic viewpoint but I've tried to include all the iconic elements of this pretty seaside town - so we have the promenade and sea beyond, the row of period hotels with their classical pillars at the entrance, an ice-cream vendor, a few tourists with anoraks (it could rain at any time in a UK summer), of and a few gulls maybe.


White Lion Inn Yate 3


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

A preparation sketch for a demonstration painting of a local pub.  I changed the direction of the light for the demo and swapped out the three stooges for some more likeable characters.  On the road I have let the paint bleed a little and went in with dry brush strokes when all was bone-dry.  Around here, the pavements tend to be a warmer tone than the road.


Sorrento Piazza Tasso 2


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

Another attempt at the central Piazza Tasso in Sorrento.  Sky had a bit of cerulean blue and viridian green mixed together, and I think that worked quite well against the warm tones of the buildings which were done with yellow ochre (mainly) and bit of light red.  The shadows unders the shop canopies have bits left unpainted giving hopefully the impression of something going on there like people etc.


Fishing boats at rest in Newquay Harbour at low tide


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

5 Fishing boats in a row at low tide.  Background was left very understated and cut around the tops of the boat cabins.  The perspective of the chains and ropes leading to the bows of the boats and channels of water draining away to sea hopefully helps the composition, and leads the eye in.  One of the last things I did was painting dabs of darkish paint on the harbour floor for the seaweed.


Farmhouse Inn, Yate on Saunders Paper (No. 2 experiment)


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

A 2nd attempt at a pub local to me, this time on Saunders and larger half imperial size.  Previous painting was on some old Fabriano I had knocking about.  I think the figure with the dog and the pub sign being over on the left, helped the composition with some longish shadows stretching right.


Jake Winkle Watercolour Demonstration

My local Art Society had a demonstration from well known UK artist Jake Winkle.  Jake paints in a loose style reminiscent of John Yardley.  If anyone is offered a demo from Jake it's well worth it and Watercolour students will learn principles like

  1. Materials he uses
  2. Composition
  3. Laying down washes and dropping in colour
  4. Don't make things repetitive
  5. Think of warm and cool
  6. Think about tone
  7. Timing
  8. Colour combinations (I think an interesting one was Cobalt Turquoise and Raw Sienna for a grey)

In two hours Jake did 4 paintings.  Here they are (they are demonstration paintings and not finished art works).  Starting with Jake's iconic animal sketch, then Cadeques, figures and a bunch of flowers.


  • Jake_winkle_chickens
  • Jake_winkle_cadeques
  • Jake_winkle_people
  • Jake_winkle_flowers

 The paintings in this post are by Jake Winkle.



Swan Inn, Sidmouth, South Devon


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

The Swan Inn in Sidmouth South Devon.  A 'local's pub, located behind the main tourist streets.  My little trademark fat man and dog are making another appearance, and I slotted in the car, rght, thinking the composition needed something there, plus I could lead a foreground shadow over a more interesting line.


Quai du Port Marseille looking towards Fort Saint Jean


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

The 'Quai du Port' running down one side of the old port in Marseille, and looking towards the silhouette of the Fort Saint Jean.  A fairly easy subject for watercolour with lots of light and shade, and figures out for an afternoon walk (think it was a Sunday afternoon).  Again a nice warm wash for the road of light red and alizarin crimson.  Figures were done with almost neat pigment and little water added.


Fore Street Shops, Sidmouth, Devon


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

The fairly narrow Fore Street in this South devon town and quite a complex subject with all the shop windows, shop signs, reflections all over the place, the light at a low angle (my source photo was taken early spring) and figures - some showing, others merging into the shadows.  I made the foreground shadows fairly warm with alizarin crimson dominating the wash.