Tag Archives: allowing the subject to be revealed

Vignettes – a brief evocative description

Vignettes – a brief evocative description…


I took this photograph of the alley behind the School House, Olhao – where the calla lily caught my eye.     http://www.artinthealgarve.com


It’s so easy to become overwhelmed when plein air painting.   So much to observe – where to begin?

To overcome this, I suggest painting details – or vignettes of the subject.       These rapid sketches help to focus the eye and mind.

Rapid watercolour sketch….focusing on the negative space.  


Consider that making these quick sketches is like an athlete or dancer warming up.    Along with providing information they hone observational skills.

Note that all the whites in this image, including the calla lily are dry, white paper.    

By adding darks around the Calla Lily into the negative space – the lily is revealed.     


I can hardly believe that another weekend is upon us….reminding me once again that time is our most precious commodity.

Have a lovely weekend, filled with magical hummingbirds:)

P1150606A Bientôt

Fizzy watercolour exercise

Fizzy, belongs to my friends in Kent…and although quite elderly she maintains the look of a fluffy kitten.

In this study of dramatic lights and darks – Fizzy sits in a sun spot.


With my human and animal subjects, I always start with the eye placement.


A little like making a map I then seek out the darks.


Because I am working with watercolour on white paper, all the whites in this picture are dry white paper. 


As I indicate the dark shadows surrounding Fizzy…the light areas of the picture are revealed.   For example the top of her head which is dry white paper.


In the final frame, I bring some of the yellows from the background or negative space, into the body of Fizzy….


This print  of another cat sitting in a sun spot – ‘Content Afternoon’ is available at HummingbirdHQ.com



A  Bientôt