Thursday 2 February 2017

Being creative on these short Winter Days

This time of year can be difficult with low light and short days, however, its nice to realise that I am not closing the curtains at 4pm now but 5pm! Hooray! 

Since having my super duper new studio built last Summer with its lovely day-light lights, the lighting is now fantastic which extends my day, and on these grey days I supplement the daylight with artificial. It still means photographing art work is a bit dodgy, but its great for painting indoors.

If you have similar problems, day-light bulbs can be really useful however, a good tip for you is to put the light on during the day, don't switch it on as it begins to get dark in the afternoon, because the lighting is different and by working with it all day you won't be tempted to alter any of your colours once you switch the light on! Its a simple tip, but I learnt a valuable lesson a number of years ago, working into the evening on a painting which I was so enjoying but when I came to view it in the morning I was SO disappointed, it looked so much duller than I had expected.
A bit like looking at a view with Polaroid sunglasses on, all that fabulous aqua blue which seems to vanish if you lift your glasses off!

I have been working on a series of loose watercolour paintings, well, when I say loose, I mean, I let the watercolour do its own thing and encourage it to flow by tilting the paper, flicking in colours, and dropping in stuff. I still like to know where I am going with things and what I'm hoping to achieve. These techniques I will be offering in workshops later in the year.

If you are curious and want to have a look at some more, I have just added eight new watercolours flower paintings to my website gallery

Winter is a good time to set yourself tasks, so why not challenge yourself and paint a series of paintings. Its all too easy to let these days slip by so try the following-

  • Choose a subject to work from and select either one photo or alternatively buy one type of flower to concentrate on.
  • Begin by selecting just one flower, using a soluble coloured watercolour pencil (something like pale green or ochre) lightly position the flower shape onto your paper. This will dissolve if you keep it pale enough. Consider where you want the flower and how much space you want to leave around it.
  • Think about the colours you want to use and make a few colour mixes to check they work well together. Choose a limited number of colours - a maximum of 5
  • Think about the brushes you will use and the techniques you will try.
  • Your first painting should be totally experimental. Expect to discard it, and learn from it, avoid thinking it may be a winner, then go for it and have some fun.
  • Be prepared to paint that same subject at least 3 times and try something different each time.

Let me know how you get on!