Saturday, 30 April 2016

Brushoing Up!!

I actually did 3 paintings yesterday and wasn't happy with any, yet today another 3 and I like them all. Now whether that is simply due to more practice or subject matter I have yet to discover... I have a feeling it is actually the subject matter and also having an idea as to how to approach something.

The first painting was an elephant (by ESP from Paint my Photo) which I have painted in watercolour many moons ago. As I am preparing for an animal workshop in May I am working on different types of animal and most people like elephants and it was a good image to choose as not too much drawing and not too difficult to draw either.

Working very loosely, I splattered the Brusho then sprayed, splattered a bit more then used the bleach to bring back some highlights. It actually bleached too much and I thought I had ruined it at this stage however once dry I went back in, splattered and sprayed a bit more and this is the result, 22x15 Bockingford extra rough 140lb.

Next I decided to try a hedgehog, photo by Max Hemingway from PMP. This has been on my to do list in watercolour for a while and it suddenly struck me it would make a great Brusho painting. I used colours which were fairly realistic, I also used masking fluid though not sure if it worked very well as I did use bleach afterwards.....

15x11 Bockingford extra rough 140lb

The final piece is one I have been wanting to do for over 2 years. A photo I took myself while we were on a family holiday to Anglesey. We were out walking when we came across these two standing on the hillside below the gorse.... I am not too convinced about my watercolour landscapes so again as I am working on an animal theme though it would be good to try this one in Brusho instead... the texture is so much easier to achieve than in watercolour... it just happens right before your eyes!! 22x15 Bockingford extra rough 140lb.

I will work on a few more before the workshop, as I have a one or two more images to tackle, Obviously there is a lot of preparation for workshops especially if it is one you haven't run before, many hours in fact, but I do hesitate to call it work as it is just a pleasure to do it!! Nevertheless it is time spent behind the scenes enabling me to run a good workshop which people will enjoy, learn from and hopefully gain some tools and skills to take home and practice with.....

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Back in the Brusho "Zone"

Well to start with this is my second go at this....lost my way with the first having not played with Brusho for a while. I am always torn by whether to use Brusho or watercolour and watercolour always seems to win unless of course I am conducting a workshop and I need to get some practice in.

I have done 3 paintings this afternoon, and 2 not so good until this one which I am quite happy with. The first two were like warm ups to get me back in the zone. I really do need to work more with Brusho, as it is just so satisfying when you get a good result, the challenge being that it is so unpredictable.

I started with a quick sketch and didn't realise I had his nose too long (more of that later) so I plodded on and sprinkled and sprayed to my hearts content!! I keep meaning to photograph these as to sho step by steps but also keep forgetting... one day!! Anyway I painted a few bits negatively and a few positively and it was when I came to the details on his nose, it wasn't working and then of course I realised his nose wasn't right so out came the bleach which I also used with gay abandon and wiped out the right side of his face!!

As the other painting is on the back I had nothing to lose and by working further on pieces the likelihood is you will learn more even if they still don't turn out. In this case I was glad I did as I really quite like the final result....just three colours, orange, brown and a teeny bit of black.

Next will be to try with a different palette and maybe do one or two more animals as the next workshop I am thinking will have an animal theme...can't wait!!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Recent Trip to Switzerland

My son and his partner have been living in Switzerland for a year now and though we miss them terribly we are lucky that we have the opportunity to visit them often and spend lovely time with them. The weather is usually really good and so much better than the UK which when I realised how far South in comparison Switzerland is makes a lot of sense!! Not to be on this trip however as we had rain for virtually the whole time we were there. Which leads me on nicely to my painting efforts there.....that age old dilemma, plein air or not!!

So I painted from their house looking out into the courtyard with one of the doors slightly open.... now that's close...isn't it?

They have a magnificent magnolia tree which we were hoping would still be in bloom when we arrived and they had actually taken some close up photos of the individual flowers at it's peak so I didn't miss out and it was still looking good though the ground was full of petals with the rain and wind. This is the outlook showing the tree and their shed

Another view where you can just see Riehen Church in the background

A close up from one of the photos

and finally an intepretation of some gerbera from a floral arrangement ( have to admit this was inside!!)

I don't normally get chance to paint much in Basel as we go out sightseeing to the lovely areas nearby and in the past have visited France, Germany, Lake Lucerne and of course Basel and their lovely little village Riehen, but as the weather was so awful we were somewhat confined to barracks which for us was absolutely fine.....the reason for our visits is to see our son and partner so it really doesn't matter to us where we are!! Having said that, next time we visit we are hoping to go to Zurich, only an hour away by train and a lovely city... looking forward to it already!!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Wishy Washy Watercolour... I Don't Think So!!

As a painter there are almost too many subjects to paint and then I find I can't make a decision as to what to paint next as I have too many "pending!" I also have two things to consider when choosing images, first is it something I would like to paint and second is it a subject which will make a good workshop. I have been chatting with a fellow teacher at my art group tonight and he has been practicing a painting he is going to deliver in his next workshop. We got to talking about how we are always choosing subjects which we think will be good to teach and which students will get good results from and how painting for ourselves gets put on the back burner.

I tend to use my art group to paint for myself so tonight I went along with an image I have been wanting to paint for a week or two. I visited Arnside Art group earlier this month and as I was travelling home along the windy lane towards the A6, I came to a junction where a pheasant was standing right in front of me. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera to hand and there was a car directly behind me so I didn't get to capture the moment but it did make me feel like painting a pheasant and seeing what I could make of the fantastic colours. I searched PMP for images and printed off a few and ended up painting this one taken by Dave Webb. I liked the angle and the vivid colours,

 And here is the finished painting....I actually did two during the session but liked this one better and may try the other image again another time. I think this shows that the finished result in watercolour doesn't need to be wishy washy and can have rich vibrant colour,...just why I love it so much!!

I broke a few of my rules of not using too many colours in a painting (those who follow my blog will know I rarely use more than 5 and at most 6 colours in a painting) and I have absolutely no idea why either, so a longer list than usual for this one

SAA Quin Gold (gorgeous colour not like W&N Quin gold, a different colour but absolutely beautiful!!)
Lemon Yellow
Cerulean Blue
Winsor Purple
Cad Red
Touch of Indigo
Touch of Pthalo Turq
Burnt Sienna
Touch or Permanent Rose... phew think that was it!!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Brusho Playtime

Continuing with the daffodils I decided to try Brusho... I love that stuff but tend to always gravitate to watercolour? Not sure why, anyway, I have a couple of workshops coming up so  thought I had better Brusho up my skills!!

I still have my bunch on the window so just used a single bloom and did two slightly different positions to get two fairly similar compositions and use slightly different colour schemes and techniques.

For the first I used Lime Green, UB, yellow, orange and scarlet and instead of creating a textured wash ended up with a smooth but colourful light wash using lots of water to wash away the crystals. At this stage I wasn't too keen as it seemed a little flat and uninteresting. I then worked in a more traditional watercolour way dropping colour in, washing away creating little channels of colour down the paper then also worked around the flower making negative, postive, soft, lost and found edges and I think it has produced a lovely soft fresh piece.

For this next one I swapped the scarlet for purple..... my thinking was it would give me more contrast with the yellow though I like the blue and blue/green I 've  used in the previous one.

I left the initial wash with more much texture stopping the mixing before it went too far and then worked more purple into the background against the yellow. I much preferred this one at this stage and it looked more like the normal Brusho work I do. I did go back in before the orange in the centre was dry and I think that is why I partly don't like it as much as it has got a little bit muddy around the flower and to me the flower head looks a bit overworked. I also haven't lost the edges on this........ no particular reason why.... but I think also adds to the feeling it is overworked. Hubby prefers this one by the way, says it has more going on... we are sooooo compatible!!