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February 2017

January 2017

Dartmouth Inner Harbour #7


Dartmouth, England, 15" x 11".

Another attempt at this popular subject for me.  Low tide again and a looser approach than previous.  It's nice to get in both the row of cars and the row of small craft below - contrasting each other as regards modes of transport and the new modern cars with the slightly older small boats.  So it has a bit of everything - even the inclusion of a few figures.  Quite a simple execution after the initial outline drawing with wash #1 starting at the top and getting richer for the foreground, painting around the boats.  Then after that was dry, adding in the dark background and again working down the paper to the tops of the boats.  Then the sides of the boats and shadows.  Lastly white highlights and rigging lines.


A bend in the street - Bergerac, France

Around the bend bergerac france

Bergerac, France, 15" x 11"

A lovely bend in one of the quite narrow streets in the old part of Bergerac, South West France.  Buildings are characterised with shutters and oak timber cladding.  I like this composition because of the bend in the street leading you into the scene, and the framing of the high buildings left and right.  I introduced a shard of light to add a bit of drama and some figures in the background, melting into the shadows.  


Trying out Canson Moulin du Roy paper - 2nd experiment - Mijas scene

Mijas calle malaga towards souvenir shop

Mijas, Spain, 15" x 11".

A second experiment with some Canson Moulin du Roy paper.  Very nice paper, and takes watercolour very well.  I did give it a bit of abuse - some plenty of dropping in water as you can see on the left hand side.  This town is the quintessential Spanish town with white washed buildings.  But they are never really true white.  Look more closely and they are like water, inheriting colours from around them.


Pedestrian crossing by the White Swan Pub, Yate

White swan yate pedestrian crossing yate

Yate, England, 15" x 11".

A scene I have done many times before over the last few years, and interesting to go back and repeat a subject just to see how I might approach it differently.  So I find that now, I perhaps have a looser style of painting and I happily change some of the objects to suit the composition.  So for example I have grouped the buildings more closely together to fit then all in, changed the position of the pub sign and position the street furniture & bollards to help with the balance.  Overall a useful exercise.


Barges, Pinmill

Barges pinmill

Pinmill, England, 15" x 11"

An artist friend kindly sent me some photos of a very popular location with painters - Pinmill in the UK.  A place I have never visited and I am not one to commonly paint somewhere I haven't been.  A painting seems more special when you were actually there yourself.  But sometimes having little knowledge of a location has advantages - It does help, for me anyway, to simplfy the scene.  I am not preoccupied with having to make sure I get every detail in like well known land marks.  So for example, the background here is very easy - it's just a wavy band across the picture!



St Meard de Gurcon, France, main square

St Meard de Gurcon main square france

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

The main square in St Meard de Gurcon, South West France.  A quickish sketch and another minor struggle with the Saunders Waterford rough paper (I am sure the surface properties have been changed by the manufacturers recently).  On the left of the square is an old building supported by sturdy oak timbers.  That would make a good spot to paint - in the shade there and looking towards the light, over towards the town hall.


Two and a half boats and a painting from imagination

Two and a half boats and two figures

Watercolour 15" x 11"

Now and again I do a painting from imagination (maybe my resource of reference photos is drying up!), sticking with a subject I am familiar with.  Well I have done boats at low tide many times before, so this is just an exercise.  Better to paint something rather than nothing at all, and it's a good exercise to call on your memory and let your imagination go.  Watercolour being watercolour, it does odd things (which sometimes come out looking half decent), especially when working in a loose and quickish way.


New Town Fishing Harbour, Chania, Crete 6

New Town Fishing Harbour Chania Crete 6

Chania, Crete, 15" x 11".

The New Town Harbour (yes, I have done a few of these!) and a different angle and group of boats.  Aiming for softer reflections of the mainly white boats, I have lifted out the darker wash below the boats to hopefully get that impression.  I often use a paper towel for lifting out, and usually 'shape' or fold the paper towel so that it approximates to the shape I am trying to expose.  Also, thicker paper towels I find work best - thin/cheap ones can disintegrate with too much moisture!


Walk along an empty boatyard - Hotwells Bristol

Walk along an ampty boatyard in hotwells bristol

Bristol, UK, 15" x 11".

The boatyard at the end of the Bristol waterfront in the area of 'Hotwells'.  An unusual day when there's no boats in - either in the water or on dry dock.  I think with hindsight I could have included one or two boats moored up on the left side.  Anyway, the scene for me made a good subject for watercolour with tonal contrasts - the light roof tops and docks up against the dark background of the buildings.  I liked the grey of the background building walls, but just can't remember what the mix was!