When I returned to the UK from the States in 1993, I moved to Crickhowell (the Magical Town of Crickadoon) in Wales.
Crickhowell, sits in the beautiful Usk Valley where the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons meet.
Having living and worked in the States for 28 years, I needed a place where I could immerse myself in nature and get back to basics.
The following landscape exercise reminds me of the surrounding hills where I walked just about every day that I lived there.
I start out by painting over an old sketch….I am using a mix of watercolour and gouache to give necessary coverage.
Using Winsor & Newton Designer Gouache, Permanent White, I indicate the sky next to the mountains.
When I first arrived in Wales, I didn’t consider myself to be a landscape painter, however the drama of light play against the hills was far too exciting for me not to record it.
Note that some of the underlying original sketch is showing through….this helps to give the image a sense of luminosity, and depth.
I now add some darker clouds and blue into the sky and add the same colours into the foreground.
Moving colour around an image, brings a sense of balance and harmony.
Using a wash brush, I drag some of the white from the sky into the mountain area. This is a spontaneous watercolour and so this is done while the paint is still wet.
I use a smaller brush to indicate the sun’s rays over the dark hills. Note that the underlying original sketch is showing throughout the painting….just hints of it, but enough to give the desired effect.
Remember to allow your brush to dance across the image. This is all about warming up and PLAY.
Here’s a Magical Hummingbird for the day.