Saturday, 19 July 2014

Texture and watercolour - granulation

I love the effect of granulation, creating visual texture for particular areas of sketches e.g. buildings in shade.  The colour I use most that has this quality is Ultramarine Blue.   The pigment settles on the paper in a way that isn't completely smooth but textured.  This happens particularly with traditional colour like earth colours and cobalts and doesn't usually happen with modern, organic colours.

If you don't want the effect of granulation though, there are many other colours to choose from or you could use distilled water, instead of tap water, to reduce the effects of granulation.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

How difficult is it to remove watercolour paint once you have got it on your paper?

If you apply some paint to your watercolour paper and then decide that the tone is too dark and you want to remove some of it to make it look lighter it can be quite easy or almost impossible!  The kind of paper that you have used makes a difference but the biggest factor is the staining quality of the paint.

Paynes Grey is a staining colour and it's very easy to get too much of it onto your paper!  I proceed cautiously with this colour, adding a lot of water.   If I want a light grey, I more often use Davy's Grey now - a light, non-staining colour.   Another favourite colour, particularly for seaside sketches is Prussian Blue and this too is staining.

You can find the information about staining colours before you buy your paint by checking the maker's information - usually marked st for staining colours.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Vibrant watercolour - how can you make your watercolour sketches and paintings more vibrant?

Vibrant watercolour

How can you make watercolour sketches and paintings more vibrant? Careful colour mixing is one way and, of course, this goes for all types of painting. If you mix more than 2 colours together then there's a chance that your colours will become duller or even muddy looking. This can be made worse if you are using student quality paint which has less pigment and more filler.

I've recently been checking the transparency of each colour I use.   (I have a mixture of Schmincke and Winsor and Newton artist quality watercolours.) Currently, I'm experimenting, particularly with flower sketches, using all transparent colours and, not surprisingly, there's quite a difference in vibrancy. There are a number of reds, blues, yellows etc to choose between and I've removed the opaque ones and put them to one side for now.

You can check paint transparency before you buy a half pan or tube by checking the maker's info. A small square symbol that is completely black indicates that the paint is totally opaque. Totally clear means it's transparent, an so on...

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Drawing in a Walsall saddlery

I've been drawing in a Walsall saddlery to produce work for an 'Echoes' project run by Walsall Leather Museum.  It was a fascinating time gaining a glimpse into this small business.  The building was used as a leather horse collar workshop in the early 1800s but with the growth of other means of transport, this died out and it's fitting that a leather business continues to be in the same premises.
I'm wondering whether to create an etching or drypoint from my sketches.

More botanical approach to plants and flowers

I'm enjoying exploring the shapes and colours of plants - pencil drawings and watercolour.  .

Matisse inspired collages

I've had a lot of fun creating collages relating to a garden theme, inspired by Matisse's collages, seen at Tate Modern recently.

Art exhibition at Burton upon Trent

Some of the prints now showing at the Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.

 Photo: Exhibiting 3 July-9 August at The Brewhouse Union Street, Burton on Trent.