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September 2016

August 2016

Piazza della Republica, Ancona, Italy


Ancona, Italy, 15" x 11".

Steps to this painting - 1) the sky, not to wet, mainly cerulean blue and paint down to the roof tops.  Then 2) background buildings a warmer wash of yellows and oranges, and a nice contrast to the cooler sky.  This wash is brought down into the foreground and made a little cooler with ultramarine blue and burnt sienna in a weak consistency.  3) After the wash is 100% dry, then details of the background buildings, roof tops and windows.  4) The right hand building and the dark angular shadow and the foreground shadow.  5) Cars and figures.  Some of the figures connect the background and the foreground shadows and allowed to bleed a little. Finally 6) a few highlights with white gouache.



Reflections Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura


Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, 15" x 11".

Quite a tricky one this one with many different tones in the reflections and completed in an hour or so.  Also quite a complex background with all those building details, so they needed to be simplified.  Paper used here is Saunders Waterford, rough texture.  I do notice the sides are very different from each other - one side a more grid like pattern and the normal side to paint on, and then the other a more random pattern and not so rough.  When doing wet in wet, if you're using this side, watch out for a bit of bleeding, and painting water can be easier on the 'normal' side.


Quarteira Car Park 2, Portugal


Quarteira, Portugal, 15" x 11"

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.


3 boats on the slipway, Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura


Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, 15" x 11".

A multi coloured slipway - thanks to drops of paint and dried up seaweed.  A useful backdrop with the buildings surrounding the bay here, but could have been a bit more useful if they were a few shades darker, but buildings here are mostly light and the sun's brightening everything up.  I introduced some darker area on the left. just to highlight the back of one boat.  A bit of dry brush stroke for the markings on the boats does add a bit of character to them.


Sitges Old Town promenade, Spain


Sitges, Spain, 15" x 11".

A fairly ordinary building block can be made more interesting with some diagonal shadows repeating themselves across the scene.  I have also used some high contrast on the left - see the maximum values of light and dark with the lone figure and white car against the dark background.  I must start doing some more cyclists.  I enjoy doing them and the easy angle is from the back or front, avoiding having to get 2 circular wheels just right and the distance between them (normally the radius of the wheel is about the distance between the wheels).


Harbour side view down to 5 boats at low tide - Porthleven Harbour, Cornwall


Porthleven, Cornwall, 15" x 11".

One of my last paintings on some old T H Saunders watercolour paper.  I will miss it and difficult to come by in the UK now.  Well the subject here is a view high up on the harbour wall down to 5 boats at low tide.  Somehow, I managed to get in every colour imaginable into the harbour floor.  While still damp, I lifted out the reflections of the two left hand boats and added some lemon yellow to the middle boat reflection.  White gouache was used for rigging and boat details.


Pedestrian crossing, Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, Spain


Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura. 15" x 11".

Pedestrian crossings are great things to include in a watercolour painting.  Imaging the scene without it - a fairly boring foreground and nothing leading your eye into the painting.  The lines need to be of course of centre and I normally dull down the 'white' with anything left over on my palette from a previous painting.  No pedestrian crossing is perfect - they're dirty, have missing paint and tyre marks all over them.  I made the left hand figure the focal point, leaving the top half bright to contrast heavily with the dark background.



Benalmadena Marina, Spain


Benalmadena, Spain, 15" x 11".

Quite a challenging picture for two main reasons - 1) the complexity of all the apartment buildings surrounding this enclosed marina and 2) the low light conditions with very little contrasts to work with.  The row of white yachts helps a bit to get some light against dark.  I can remember that the reflections were changing frequently - smooth one minute then a gust of wind is channeled down through the buildings producing multiple ripples.


Corso della Republica, Fabriano, Italy, 2


Fabriano, Italy, 15" x 11".

Corso della Republica running through the middle of Fabriano in Italy.  A scene crying our for warm against cool with the warn terracotta buildings and some cooler shadows.  I introduced a bit of a horizontal light band across the middle of the composition and then connect above and below with figures and some shadow extensions on the left.  I have the white car positioned against the darkest area of the painting for high contrast.