Saturday, 19 July 2014

Painting in Sorrento

The Grande Harbour in Sorrento is actually the smallest of three harbours which has the old fishing boats in it as well as hundreds of people all packed under  bright coloured umbrellas.
I had been the afternoon before and chosen where I would sit, in the quiet section, out of the sun and away from the people, a nice little spot in-between the finishing nets.

This is what I painted in the morning.

Then I walked along the harbour front and found a nice little sheltered place in a tiny bay (still in the harbour) but here it was quieter and I managed to paint some of the people. 

I keep the shapes really simple and the colours nice and fresh. Although the paint was drying quickly, there is no time for laying washes and multi layering watercolour, I just get in the figures then add a simple background. If I was painting this in the studio I would have put the background all over first, right over the figures, then painted the figures on top, but outdoors, they would have gone for their lunch by the time the first wash had dried!

These are the same three figures with the addition of some boats. 

I went back to this little bay the following day and did this quick little study.

I saw this lovely couple they stood for ages (which was great for me) there is more to this little sketch than at first appears.

Then the quiet was broken by some lads who decided to play football. Well, one lad filled his bucket with water and proceeded to create a 'pitch' by wetting the sand.
I managed to remember to take a photo of my original drawing to show you how very simple my contour drawings are.

I am afraid the quality isn't great but you get the idea.

This was it once the paint was added. It became very rowdy shortly afterwards so it was time to move on.
I returned once more on my final day to my original spot by the boats and saw these two sorting out the nets. I couldn't rest it, they were there such a long time, working away and I must have been about 20 yards from them. They didn't see me but I know had I moved to paint them from the front view, they would have spotted me and I may not have managed a little painting after all.

I use a palette of Daniel Smith watercolours which I love. The bronze is a fabulous colour for skin tones and the slight shimmer (which you can't see here) is wonderful for skin. 

If you manage to come to my Open Studio later this year (September 10th - 13th) you will be able to see these originals as well as watch me paint. 
I did some sketching and have some ideas for some paintings which I hope to complete this summer which I will have on display too. I had a great week in Sorrento, lots of lovely painting subjects.

The things I learnt in Sorrento this week
The price on the menu is never the price you payIf you order a drink and sit down, you pay for the table.If you order a drink and don't sit down, you still pay for the table.Three euros is never three eurosThe price of a beer in the same cafe can be different from day to dayIf the sign outside the restaurant says 'recommended by Jamie Oliver' remember it doesn't say which Jamie OliverMost two drinks seem to come to10 euros (8 if you are lucky).Take more spending money on holiday than you think you will need.A 10 minute walk is going to be at least 20
If the bus I'd due to arrive at 8.45 it won't.
In Italy you need to smile and go with the flow, it is what it is.

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