Washing Day Vernazza

Washing day vernazza

Vernazza, Italy, 15" x 11"

Hope to see you Vernazza in October (I'm a tutor on a weeks painting workshop in the area)!  Washing hanging out to dry across tall buildings really gives an opportunity to sneak in some lovely shadows and contrasts (white bed sheets are best!).  A lovely location to paint.  Visitor numbers might be a bit lower this year assuming no big cruise ships visiting the area.

Livorno Port Fishing Boats

Livorno port fishing boats

Livorno, Italy, Watercolour, 15" x 11"

I think it's good to have a bit of foreground in a harbour scene where there might be distant boats and a horizontal shape to the background.  And then get the foreground in at a slight angle, plus a few smaller boats, painted loosely.  I think I did a video of me painting this one...

Painted on Saunders Waterford, Cold Press



Watermill Tuscany 2018 watercolour course painting #1

Watermill tuscany 2018 #1

Fivizzano, Italy, 15" x 11"

The very first plein air picture from last years painting holiday where I was the tutor for a week in the lovely Tuscany countryside (Watermill at Posara).  So this was an easy composition to get everyone on my course into the swing of things with a few simple shapes and colours, and if you wanted to, insert a few figures.  Well, I had to put in an artist and easel, of course, this being a painting holiday.  More details of the workshops I run, please click on the menu item above.

Painted on Saunders Waterford, Cold Press 300 gms


Beach Bar La Cala

Beach bar la cala

La Cala Mijas, Spain, 15" x 11"

A study of a beach bar in the seaside town of La Cala on the Costa del Sol.  A large area like the sandy beach has to have something added to it as regards subtle changes in colour, tone and texture (maybe dry brush strokes or some splattering).  Here also I have dragged some shadows across the beach.  Those shadows along the side of the bar, connect with the silhouetted shapes of seated figures inside.  The last touch was to go in with some real dark darks to add a bit more detail to shadows and the building.

Painted on Saunders Waterford, Cold Press, 300 gms

Calle Larga, Venice

Calle Larga venice

Venice, Italy, 22" x 15".

The Calle Larga and looking at the State Archive building with those horizontal lines.  This was a plein air demo to my group at the recent Painting Holiday I ran in Venice.  This was an early morning painting and not too many crowds to contend with.  Another nice spot in this square is to go on the other side of the bridge and do a contra jour scene looking up the canal.  I took a photo so I might do that sometime!


Second Plein Air from Fondamenta dei Penini, Venice

Bridge Fondamenta dei Penini Venice

Venice, Italy, 22" x 15"

A second plein air from the first days painting on the recent Venice Painting Holiday I ran.  This is the footbridge over to the Fondamenta dei Penini, just a short walk from the Arsenale Ferry Station.  Looking around this area, there were a dozen possible scenes within 50 metres or so - lots of choices.  But for the second one I decided on personal comfort and positioned myself in the shade and out of people's way.


Mountains beyond Monte dei Bianchi, Tuscany

Monte del Bianchi mountains

Tuscany, Italy, 22" x 15"

A quickie done in about 30 minutes as a demo on the last day of the workshop I held in Tuscany this year.  The village of Monte dei Bianchi is up there somewhere.  Lovely majestic peaks of the mountains in the distance and the sweeping shadows of the nearby trees I thought made for an ideal watercolour demo without too much detail and the need to put in figures etc.  Also done with a 3 colour palette consisting of a blue, yellow and red of course and a neutral tint.

Painted on Saunders Waterford Cold Press, 300 gms


Posara plein air

Main street posara

Posara, Italy, 15" x 22"

My first plein air demo at Posara, Tuscany in Italy.  A quiet village location with the only interruption at 11am with church goers leaving the local church behind us.  Well it got so busy we had to put out a warning triangle on the road to warn drivers of us all painting on the roadside.  Luckily no accidents and all painters returned safely to base.

Painted on Saunders Waterford, Cold Press, 300 gms paper.


Venice Practice #8 - Using my 3-colour palette

Venice 2017 practice #8

Venice, Italy, 11" x 15".

Another practice for my up and coming Venice Workshop.  Looking down a canal with high buildings either side, I had to do a portrait orientation sooner or later.  I don't mind that and it's one of the first decision I make about a scene - landscape or portrait, and painting quarter imperial lends itself to either.  Here I have a bot of foreground, middle and background interest for a bit of balance

Venice Practice #7 - Using my 3-colour palette

Venice 2017 practice #7

Venice, Italy, 15" x 11".

Well I tried not to get the bridge dead centre, and I think it's just off.  Maybe distracted by the left hand boat and figures.  With the narrow canals and bright sunshine, reflected light can light up buildings which otherwise could be quite dark compared to the values on the other side of the canal.  I decided right at the end to have a foreground shadow crossing the whole scene - just a very faint glaze of a greyish wash when everything was dry.