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Showing posts from September, 2013

A Rough Crossing

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"A Rough Crossing" - watercolour - 16 x 26 cm This is the ferry that runs between Scrabster, in Caithness, and Stromness, in Orkney. I didn't tie myself to a ship's mast in a storm as JMW Turner is reputed to have done, but it felt a bit like it. I was at the sea-front in Thurso and the wind was so strong that I was having trouble staying on my feet. At one point I was being blown along and could only stop myself by clinging to a lamppost. I thought the ship and the stormy conditions made a dramatic subject, but all I could do in circumstances was take a blurry photograph. It was enough though, with my memory, to make this painting in more comfortable conditions. This painting will be on show, with several others, at the Wave North Exhibition at Caithness Horizons in Thurso throughout October.

Homemade Watercolour Blocks

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Here is a tip for people who like the idea of using watercolour blocks, but don't like the price of the ones that you can buy: it's not difficult to make your own. You will need 10 to 15 sheets of watercolour paper cut to a little larger than the size you want the finished block to be; a similar-sized piece of mountboard or stiff card (it should be acid-free if possible); two more similar-sized pieces of thick card of any type; PVA adhesive; a sharp craft knife and a heavy cutting guide. Make the watercolour paper into a stack with the piece of mountboard at the bottom, and mark out on the top sheet the exact size of the block. Cut down through all of the sheets and the card to leave a clean edge. This needs to be done carefully as it's easy to let the angle of the knife drift and end up with a bevelled edge. It won't affect the function of the block, but it doesn't look so good. The best way is to use a light pressure and gradually cut through. F