Monday 28 October 2013

Workshop in Caterham

What a fun day we had on Saturday painting a street scene.
Caterham Art Group
Its a difficult subject, indeed any subject that includes figures can seem quite daunting, especially if you are fairly new to painting, and this group has mixed skill levels from beginner to advanced.

It wasn't just painting a picture though, the finished painting was just part of the day, we covered how to use photos, what to keep in and what to leave out of a composition, choosing what the actual subject is and how we emphasise this.

We covered a lot and I have to say, the group worked really hard all day and as you can see achieved great results. Wendy said at the end 'hooray I painted my first person'

We were also spoiled with some wonderful cake kindly baked by Wendy which was delicious! So you see, the day was painting, eating cake and generally having a good time.
I painted along with the group and this was my finished painting from the day. It was inspired by our recent trip to Italy and this street scene is in the lovely town of Mantova.
If you look at the painting I did of 'The Flower Market' (13 October post) it is the same market that is at the end of this street, indeed I used the same two figures.

I was in Amsterdam for a couple  of days last week and although I did not manage a painting on location this time, I have a few ideas for paintings which I hope to do fairly soon. I am itching to paint a street scene with figures crossing a bridge with reflections, but I have a busy few days ahead, three demonstrations as well as the NEC show to prepare for next week, so my own paintings will have to go on hold for now.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Inspired to paint

I just couldn't wait to get my brushes wet and use my watercolours again this week! Italy was lovely and I was longing to get some of my ideas onto paper.
I have been concentrating on using a limited palette and mixing some sumptuous darks which are wonderful to portray interesting shadow areas within a painting, I wanted granulating pigments that suggested interest and texture without my needing to fiddle about too much and this is the result.
The Flower Market
Its painted on Saunders Waterford High White Cotton rag paper and using DANIEL SMITH watercolour paints.

I love those warm buildings, the ochre's that are so sumptuous in shadow with a hint of purple, and the shaft of sunlight between the buildings. For me, this is a great composition - it wasn't an accident though, it takes a bit of planning to make something appear a coincidence but at the same time balanced. I was once looking at a lovely painting in a Gallery and overheard someone say... "oh but its SO contrived" and I thought..... isn't every painting 'contrived' to some extent, after all, we don't just stumble upon a composition do we?
Just a thought.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Back from Italy

We had a great week in Italy but the weather was very grey. I loved the pastel coloured buildings, the reflections and the wonderful array of subtle colours, we spent a lot of time travelling which was just as well as the damp conditions meant we never felt we were missing out on painting time. We enjoyed one day of sunshine and shadows and the rest was 'atmospheric' (as we arty folk say) which basically means 'overcast and grey'!

I am now planning to do some town scenes with umbrellas and archways, I love painting figures, especially with reflections on wet surfaces, so I fancy using my watercolours and splash about a bit this week, but first I need to catch up with a few things. I cant wait to get out my watercolours though and I promise to show you what I get up to. These were typically the sort of views we enjoyed.