Tag Archives: wet brush no paint

Another excellent week at the School in Olhao Portugal…http://www.artinthealgarve.com

For those who have followed my blog they will have seen mention of the Faulty Towers element to the School in Olhao.       When I say this I mean it in a very positive way.    The School and all who work to keep it running are wonderful individuals and the whole place has an element of quirkiness to it…..Just one of the many reasons why it is perfect for  exploring the creative process and why I love to return each year.

Here are  Larry and Margaret in one of the courtyards looking through to Pauline in another…..20190421_123852    This year a couple more events added to the Faulty Towers element    The narrow alleys around the School had been dug up for utility maintenance, plus for our first two days and then last day, the now sandy lanes were inundated with rain.      Regardless, it didn’t seem to deter anyone from having a good time with much laughter.

A lovely picture of Mitsuyo as we waited for Nuno boat driver to pick us up. 20190419_101419In total we numbered thirteen…however, in this group picture taken in the studio on the last evening, we are missing three of our company – Elizabeth who unfortunately became ill early on, and then Inara from Norway and her daughter Eva from Latvia who had to leave a little earlier because of flights.       IMG-20190428-WA0000Inara from Norway produced some beautiful work.    This quick study of me teaching is superb,20190423_113931And this lovely piece from Eva – who lives in Latvia…..This was a totally new experience for her. 

20190423_115753Another different element to this year was the addition of tutor Dora Keogh.    Dora and her husband John are Canadians who also have a home in Olhao…Dora joined us for all the painting and some of the messing around stuff as well:)       I really enjoyed this, and hope that we are able to work together again.

After a full on week with us, Dora went on to teach her group….who I was fortunate enough to meet.

Dora sketching, 20190423_145539As is often the case, by the fourth day, people are getting into a flow.         This gem was painted by Jayanthi…..and is a clear example of what happens when a flow is achieved. IMG-0501These two beauties came from Mitsuyo’s brush.      Mitsuyo and Larry live in Kaikoura New Zealand.        During one evening Larry showed some slides of this beautiful part of the world, plus some of Mitzuyo’s magnificent jewellery. 20190423_120224It is important to remember that my courses are all about loosening up and letting go of preconceived notions.      I can say that everyone stepped up to the challenge. 

A completely different experience was to enjoy Celia’s and Oswald’s ceramics studio 4Elementos Ceramica & Azulejo in the middle of Olhao.      Our group and all the other groups coming to the School this year will make individual tiles to line the walls of the downstairs loo at the School……A fun idea that was enjoyed by everyone. 

20190420_111958Celia explaining to us how the colour of the glazes aren’t necessarily what they appear to be!IMG_5035The tiles produced by some of my group……what fun. 20190422_182605Demonstrating a loosening up exercise working from a colour ground. IMG_5135Boat driver Nuno taking us to Armona Island.     Note to the left is his beautiful dog who is always there to greet us. 20190419_102133One of many fine meals….this one at the Beach Cafe on Armona….fresh grilled fish and vegetables….and lots of lovely fresh air. 20190419_141944On this day we ate at a really good Indian restaurant in one of the Alleys in the middle of old Olhao.     I am no connoisseur of Indian food but this was delicious and Jaynthi, who knows all about India said it was very good.    I look forward to returning there.     IMG-0440Love Moira’s quick sketch on Armona Island.     My photograph does not do it justiceIMG-20190427-WA0009-2It’s important to recognise that many of these artists are used to working in a much tighter way…..It’s always gratifying to me to see when the looseness starts to show.     IMG-20190427-WA0004

I believe that by PLAYING every day and allowing ourselves to loosen up we benefit our expressive work as well as our more considered paintings.       It’s also more difficult that one might initially think.     To get into the preverbal flow, it is both a technical, physical and emotional challenge.     A week at the School is an excellent way to begin this process.

A beauty from Dora..     Capturing the shadow play and light on the pool in the Pool House courtyard.

20190423_125701There are so many more paintings to show…..Please check Art in the Algarve FB page…plus my FB page, twitter and instagram.

I had to include three of the School’s children.     The twins belong to wonderful Joanna who does all the housekeeping,……wonderful to see them growing every year….20190420_083126Carlotta is Margarida’s youngest……Unfortunately I didn’t get any of Beatrice this time.

All part of the School’s quirkiness……and special charm. 20190423_130149And wonderful Dora inviting everyone for a beer…..This was the biggest beer container i have ever seen:)

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Focusing on the loosening up element.     This time I took a roll of white wall paper lining, which we pinned to the studio wall.     The perfect place to make marks, PLAY and see what our brushes are capable of doing.

Making marks on wall paper lining……20190423_083506

Sketch books as always were key to this workshop.      We carried them with us everywhere we went……

I loved this from Eva. 20190423_094401Sketching at the Saturday market. 20190423_115913Famous for the storks that nest there every year, this little tree is right across from the Ceramics studio.    A great place to sit and sketch. 20-11-15 - 1 (491)

As always I want to thank Margarida and Joanna for all their tireless work…..and Camilla and the girls that added to the fun….plus the two Nunos…..:)      None of this would work without them.

Also a very special thanks to Margaret for having us all in fits of laughter  with her updated nursery rhymes during the last meal at the school.      I am sure they can be found on instagram.

Another sketchbook delight from the Saturday market. 20190423_115917

One more thing that made this week very special.     I met a lovely American couple on the plane from London to Faro.    Laura is a superb artist and her husband Marty, a doctor.     The day after we met they came to visit the school and brought with them their children and grandchildren.    How wonderful is that.    These are people I will definitely be keeping in touch with.

Keep painting, and remember ‘wet brush no paint’ – it can do wonders……….

A Bientot

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

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Colourful landscape exercise

This colourful landscape is inspired from when I lived in the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales where the light is so dramatic.

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The following landscape exercise is excellent for warming up and uses the same techniques.

Working on white paper, I add lots of water to the top half of the paper and then add juicy red and orange watercolour paint into the wet area….allowing it to bleed.      Feel free to use any colour combination you like.

Note that the bottom part of the paper is still dry.

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In this frame, I use a clean wet brush to  gently pull down some of the paint from the horizon line, making sure to leave some dry white areas between the foreground and the horizon.

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I now add some of the same intense dark shown on the horizon line to the bottom of the image to give the image a sense of balance.   I have also indicated the boundaries of fields…leaving dry white areas.

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Given that the sky reflects directly onto the land, I brought the same colours from the sky into the foreground.   Note that there are still dry white areas showing…..

Also I have allowed the paint to settle and do its own thing which is one of the exciting elements of watercolour painting.    

Using a knife I scraped out some paint in the foreground.

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Floating free of time like the Magical Hummingbird

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A Bientôt

Playing and Doodling using old paintings

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I needed to play and doodle yesterday, and so I pulled out a piece of watercolour paper which I had already thrown some paint on.    Not sure what I originally intended, but that’s not important.

If you look closely you can see that I have sketched the profile of Claudia, with a blue water colour pencil.   I used a photograph of Claudia as my jumping off point.

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Anyone who has taken one of my workshops will know how important I consider the warming up process to be.    Like dancers, musicians and athletes, painters need to warm up at the beginning of the day.    Playful exercises using newspaper, wall paper lining or painting over old sketches is freeing. 

In this frame, it’s all about the negative space.applying colour into the area surrounding the profile, which immediately reveals the face.   Even though I am working over a colour ground, I have applied juicy watercolour next to the face, and then with a clean, wet brush, I have pulled the paint out.

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Remember when working from a photograph, it’s not about copying – rather using it as a jumping off point.

I decided to add some Indian Red water colour to the hair and into the negative space.   If asked why….my answer would be because the colour was on my palette and I felt like it:)

Given that I am working off a colour ground, I have applied some Winsor & Newton gouache, permanent white…Had I been working  on white paper….I would have left dry white paper for my highlights. 

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I have added some Cadmium Orange water colour which brings a vibrancy to the image.

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In the final frame I decided to use the Permanent White, along with some Naples Yellow gouache around the image to bring a sense of interesting light and movement.

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An artist who was recently visiting, talked about the problem of feeling that everything she did had to be a finished painting, even in her sketch book.       In our discussion she realised how this attitude prevented her from playing, doodling and freeing up.  

Happy Doodle Day….

http://www.janetweightreed.co.uk

A Bientôt

 

 

Portrait (2) using three colours

Here is another portrait where I have used three colours.  Winsor & Newton – Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre, and Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolours – Raw Umber Violet.

Once again I am using a photograph of Peter Deunov as my jumping off point.   

Even though the subject’s eyes are closed….I still begin my sketch with the eyes.

ImageNote that all the white in the image is dry, white paper, and again I am using the technique of wet brush no paint….which means that after applying paint to the shadow areas, I then pull the colour out using a clean wet brush. 

ImageObservation is of course key, however, I tend to see the world as a jigsaw puzzle….a kaleidoscope of shadow, light, and colour.  

In her book, Drawing on the Artist Within, Better Edwards, suggested an excellent exercise for those who believe that they can never draw or paint  a face.

Take a portrait – it can be a photograph or painting, and turn it upside down.     Remove the logic of what it is, and just copy the shapes you see.     You will be surprised.

ImageFollow the map of the face. 

ImageWhen tutoring portrait painting workshops, over the years I have seen people get hung up on a nose, regardless of the medium used. They tend to keep adjusting it, adding more colour, and ultimately ending up with a mess….when often all that’s needed is a shadow next to the nose……which points out the importance of always being aware of the whole subject,  not just one portion.   Remember everything is interconnected. 

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I am leaving white paper for the beard and hair allowing the viewer fill the gaps in.    Note how the yellow ochre wash to the left of the face, reveals  the highlight on the eyelid, nose and beard. 

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Final image.

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A Bientôt

Portrait in three colours

Since returning from Portugal I haven’t had much extra time to post demos and so here is the breakdown of a watercolour portrait using just three colours – Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and Raw Umber Violet.

I always, without exception, begin a portrait with the eyes…..the window to the soul.  

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At this early stage in the watercolour, I will know whether or  not I have captured my subject.    

 

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I don’t usually work from photographs….however, in this instance, I was so drawn to the face of Peter Deunov, (1864 – 1944) I decided to do so.    When working from a photograph, no matter what the subject – the key is to use the image as the jumping off point, and to then make the painting your own. 

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Peter Deunov had a lot of white hair and a beard, and so in this image, I will simply suggest the hair by leaving white paper, allowing the viewers imagination to fill in the gaps.     

It’s key in this image to leave the emphasis on the depth and intensity of his eyes. 

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Throughout this portrait, I have used simple techniques.    Applying colour in the shadow areas, and then with a wet brush and no paint, I have pulled out the colour.     This gives me soft edges and alleviates the age old issue of mud in a watercolour. 

The finished image….

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Wishing all my friends in the States and other countries a very Happy Mother’s Day this coming Sunday.    This is the one holiday that continues to confuse me.    In the UK we celebrate a month earlier!

A Bientôt