Last week, my art group was lucky enough to receive a demonstration from a wonderful artist, Barry Herniman. If you have been a regular reader of this blog you will know that I paint what are described as "loose" watercolours. I do not usually include a lot of what I think of as unnecessary detail. Seeing Barry demonstrating as given me a new perspective. As he approached a stagae which I would have considered as the finished work, he then went on to add the details. STILL painting quite loosely, he bought the painting to life. I was absolutely inspired to get down to some watercolour painting of my own. His technique/methods are not unique and I have used most of them but his approach to putting the paint on to the paper and allowing the colours to mix right there instead of in the palette was a joy to watch. He is also a great performer (??LOL) and everybody enjoyed the evening even a friend who came along for the evening but does not really take to paintings in his style.
I had some very heavy papers handy, which I had been worried about using (spoiling them?) and decided that these would be just right to try oput the method which needs a substantial watercolour paper to stand up to the treatment. I had purchased one of his books at the evening, in order to have something to refer to, and thought that I was ready to begin. My first attempt was of a scene in the Lake District, as a work in progress here it is....
Actually, the scene is Wasdale Head. I may have chose this because it felt comfortable !!! It was very like a liot of my previous work although for the past couple of years whilst I have been painting aceo's and collaging I have not done anything approaching this size, somewhat larger than A3. I have been quite conservative about the colours, except for the sky which is an unaturally deep blue, but they were mixed directly on to the paper so a bit of a success, I think. I would have probably considered this complete........... BUT I now think I should add more detail and "random" marks to bring the whole thing together, add life and finish it off. I will repost this painting when it is completed.
I did not complete it straight away as I wanted to play with this new method of mixing colours on the paper. So For my next attempt, I chose a painting by Jaume Muxart. It was a colourful mountain scene, actually on a set of coasters bought as a gift for my wife by some friends who had just been on holiday in spain. I saw the image and I was immediately inspired, and just what I needed as a refernce for this next painting. I often find when learning a new technique/method that using a painting I like, allows me to concentrate on the techniques involved. This painting definitely had some very strong and unusual colour combinations, just right for what I intended to do. I do not know if this an actual location, it was on a gift sold at the Museo de Montserrat, and I simply have not been able to track it down on the internet, so I don't even know its title. My version, after the first stages - it is still a WIP - is given here
I have not mentioned that mixing the paint on the paper requires wet-into-wet, but I hope that is obvious. Using only three (well...? alright, I cheated with an additional blue and an earth colour) primary colours I mixed up a quantity of the each colour with water in a deep palette. Took a large brush and started appling the colour to a very minimal drawing. Apart from adding colour, using tissue to remove it from some areas, making marks with the wrong end of the brush and a little spattering were all employed. I am now ready to complete the painting and add the detail. Again I will post the work again when it is completed.
However, tonight I am starting a third, so watch this space for developments