Tag Archives: watercolour gouache mix

Painting over old sketches. Time to PLAY and WARM UP….

I am often asked the question – When is a painting finished?   

This quote from Jidda Krishnamurti is my jumping off point for thoughts on this subject.

‘There is no end to education.   It is not that you read a book,  pass an examination and finish education.    The whole of life,  from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.’

The piano – rapid watercolour/gouacheOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEach painting we work on (including preliminary sketches and warm up exercises) is connected to all the work we have produced in the past and any work we will produce in the future…….Everything is interconnected.

Unlike many jobs where there is a clear beginning, middle and finish – a painting can take minutes, hours or years to complete…….and even when the painting is not being worked on – the seed of it’s idea is still sprouting information, even if at a subliminal level.

I painted a ground over an old watercolour to make this image…A great way to recycle old paintings that haven’t worked.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASomething to consider is that striving for perfection can sometimes cripple the creative process.

As artists we seek to attain technical prowess, however it’s important to remember that warming up,  playfulness and risk taking are all part of the exploration and creative processOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlways try to work on more than one image at a time.     This can prevent overworking the painting and producing mud, particularly when working with watercolour!

When the question is asked – ‘where do I go next with this painting?’  It is time to stop.   Move onto the next painting and  invariably at a later date the answer will be revealed to your initial question.     Paintings communicate with us if we allow enough space and time…….            OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  When working on canvases….it is customary to turn paintings to the wall – sometimes for long periods.     This helps an artist to see the painting in a fresh light at a later date.    Any work produced in the interim feeds the artist with new information, which is often relevant to the original piece.          OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARegardless of the end goal…rapid sketches in any medium, along with honing observational skills help an artist to focus the mind.

Many years ago, I gave a workshop in Wales where a group of us walked the Brecon/ Monmouthshire Canal for one day.      Every fifteen minutes we stopped and sketched for fifteen minutes.….Initially, this was daunting to some of the participants….however, by the end of the day…people were producing quick sketches, filled with information.

The point of this story is that sketches had to be finished within fifteen minutes – which again was an excellent way of focusing the mind and also removing the desire to achieve the ‘perfect’ sketch.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen we focus on the journey and not the destination – we are freed from restraints which might otherwise interfere with the creative flow.   The joy and learning will be  found in the doing, and answers will be revealed in their own good time.

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Tutorial. Working from a colour ground, using watercolour/Gouache – The Piano

Given that we have entered a truly Brave New World, it is time to re-think everything.

Like everyone else my plans have been changed and so I will not be giving a course at the School in Portugal this April….however, what I plan to do is mimic my course here during the week of 15th til 22nd April which will include daily demonstrations  and tutorials. 

We will need to use our collective imaginations with regards to the wonderful atmosphere of the school, the fabulous people, food,  (including wine and ice cream:) and of course sunshine.   (http://www.artinthealgarve.com)

A watercolour of  courtyard from my course at the School last October…20191104_091721Meanwhile I will continue to give tutorials to hopefully keep everyone’s creative juices flowing during these most difficult of times.

 

Here I am using watercolour and designer gouache.

Watercolour is a transparent medium….Designer Gouache is an opaque watercolour medium. 

In this instance, using cadmium orange, and whatever else was on my palette, I painted over an old watercolour that didn’t work for me.     This is a great way to use old sketches/paintings. Image

In this frame I have begun to sketch out the piano and stool using, a mix of prussian blue and burnt sienna watercolour.

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In frame 3, I add highlights, using Winsor & Newton Designers Gouache, Permanent White.

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In frame 4,  I add the chair, using Naples Yellow, designer gouache ….and at the same time emphasised the light streaming in from the window.     I use a wash brush to achieve the broad strokes of light.

 

You will note that in the final frame, I have chosen to focus on the piano.   I have heightened the reds and oranges, and also moved some of the naples yellow around the images, to achieve a sense of harmony.   Note that I have added some violet for shadow tones.

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This is a very quick sketch…capturing the drama of light and dark.       Painting over old sketches and using them as a colour ground is an excellent way to warm up, and use up papers.

A Bientôt