Sunday, February 7, 2016

Coastal Defences

"A Defended Coast, Keiss", watercolour, 25 x 36 cm

This scene interested me because of the time-scale represented by the different buildings. The distant castle was built around the beginning of the Seventeenth Century, whereas the foreground structure is a pillbox gun emplacement from World War II. In fact there is even more history covered: although they don't appear in the view, two brochs*, take us back to before 100 AD.

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Reminder of Home

"Tongside Farmyard", watercolour, 25 x 36 cm

A recent commission, for friends to give to a son who has moved to the other side of the World. I enjoyed painting this one, with its contrast of strong sunlight and shade. I had to paint the dogs from memory, but I think they made all the difference to the final result.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Highland 'Postie'

"Highland 'Postie'", watercolour, 25 x 36 cm

This was one of those subjects that turn up by chance sometimes. I had been out sketching this view and was walking back, when a post van passed me. I had seen him coming across the moor in the distance, and the striking colour of the vehicle in the vast, empty, landscape gave me the idea for an unusual painting. My own van happens to be the same make and model, so I was able to use that to get a drawing at the right angle. Then I just had to combine my sketches into one drawing to paint from.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Having Fun with Watercolours




In order to paint in the impressionistic style of watercolours that I prefer, a bold and confident approach is required. This causes problems for beginners, and even experienced painters if they have a break from working. Worrying too much about the process can lead to a cautious approach, which often produces a stiff and uninspired watercolour.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Venetian Red

"The Old Man of Stoer", watercolour, 17 x 14 cm

For many years I have used the same palette of colours, mostly based on the Sienna and Umber earth pigments with a few primaries for mixing. However, recently I have been looking at new options to see whether I can make my paintings a bit brighter. One addition I have been considering is a red oxide. In the past I've used Light Red, but it didn't seem to offer much more than I could get with Burnt Sienna. In this painting I used Venetian Red and it seems more useful: it makes a nice muted pink, and a purple/grey with French Ultramarine. It was perfect for the red sandstone rock in this subject.