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September 2016

Local village shop, St Meard de Gurcon, France


St Meard de Gurcon, France, 15" x 11"

The village of Saint-Méard-de-Gurçon is a small village located in the south west of France.  So on the right is the local village shop in shade in my picture.  I was using a reference photo of mine which was taken on an overcast day, so I had to imagine where the shadows would be.  I decided to throw a bit of light across the front of the shop and have that 'A' board in a bright yellow for a bit of contrast.


Saunders Waterford Paper - Which side to paint on?

Saunders Waterford is my paper of choice.  I could paint on others, but I am familiar now with it's behaviour to my painting style.  Now I prefer the 'Rough' texture paper to either NOT or Hot Pressed.  There are tow quite different sides to this paper, not smooth of course but one being rougher and having a grid like pattern compared to the other side being more random in texture and not so rough.  So taking a similar subject, I paint on both sides...


Saunders Waterford Rough - non mesh side

First painting on the non mesh side, a slightly smoother side.  You can get smoother edges on this side and wet in wet tends to be more controllable.


Sanders Waterford Rough - Mesh Side

The rough side is the more normal side to paint on.  The watermark in the paper will be on the correct side, so not show below any washes.  This side is best for loose style painting.  However in my experience, because of the mesh texture, when doing wet in wet you have to be very careful with your timing or some nasty edges appear where paint is creeping into the little troughs in the paper surface.  

So it all depends on your painting sytle and what techniques you'll be using to best decide which side to use.


Footbridge over the River Frome, Chipping Sodbury, 2


Chipping Sodbury, England, 22" x 15".

Near to my home, a small footbridge running over the river Frome from the town car park to the main High Street.  A fairly mundane scene and I take it as a challenge to make some kind of half decent picture out of it.  I could not resist putting in 'man and dog' walking along the river side.  Watercolour techniques in this painting - wet in wet, lifting out of colour and some scraping on the left with a small palette knife.


The road to Ste Foy la Grande - second painting and from a different angle


Montpon Menesterol, France, 15" x 11".

A second attempt and a slightly different angle from more previous effort.  Quite simply a first was is applied over the whole painting, leaving out people and car highlights.  After totally dry, I apply the shadows starting from the left, going weaker into the distance, then quite dark on the right.  A few splattering marks are made with clear water and a small synthetic brush (timing is important - leaving it to late can leave 'cauliflowers').  Window details are applied after that was dry and the right hand figures with shadows.  I managed to resist the temptation to use any white gouache for highlights in this one.


San Sebastian, La Gomera, Spain, 2


La Gomera, Spain, 15" x 11".

An fun painting to do and experimenting with warm and cool, plus a limited palette of colours.  So on the left I have a weak wash of cadmium red and on the right in the shadows is some strong cobalt blue, and in the darkest areas around the cars some neutral tint mixed with ultramarine blue.  And in those cool areas a few dabs of red for the car tail lights.  In some areas, while the paint is still damp, I lift out patches with some paper towel. 


Road to Santa Foy la Grande, France


Montpon Menesterol, France, 15" x 11".

Apologies for the slightly out of focus photo on this one.  So the painting is one of a typical street scene and some late afternoon sunshine coming though gaps between the buildings.  I think the figure on the left could have had a bit more definition and/or movement in relation to the shadow behind.  I was happy though with the way the two figures on the left came out - merging  into the shadows.  The shadows were painted first, then the figures next, allowing their legs to blend into the still moist wash lower down.