Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Morning, Sennen Cove, watercolour using photos and plein air sketches

Across the Bay, Early Morning, Still Day. watercolour, approx 8 in sq, Vivien Blackburn
One of my classes had been piling the pressure on to do a painting as a demo, explaining whys and hows. This is the one I did, based loosely on the photo below, with colour from memory of sketching and observing while I was there. 15 people watching closely ........... no pressure! not.
Cameras simply don't show the subtle colours in greys, Though I like this image as a photograph with its steely colour, in reality there was far more colour than that. Soft gentle jades and lavenders and colours in the rocks.

The accuracy of Cape Cornwall and the Brisons isn't very good in my painting - they are too pointed! I was working fast and talking to the group and not looking hard enough at the shapes of the Cape and rocks - that's my excuse anyway!!! it was more from memory than from the photograph - but I really liked the cloud formation and light and took some of it into the work.
I used watercolour very loosely and while it was still damp drew into the wet washes with the end of the paintbrush along the horizon and a watercolour pencil in the rocky foreshore.
When it was dry I glazed small areas with soft coloured pencil - polychromos, not watercolour pencils. Watercolour pencils don't work well dry and polychromos is great over watercolour, melding with it so that it's hard to know where it has been used.
Below is the whole image. When painting something I know will be cropped to a square-ish format I tend to carry the image on beyond what will be its final edges - the gestural marks then stay free in the final crop.

I'm not a photorealist painter and don't want to copy a photograph - I like the 'language' of the various media, the marks of the paint itself and I'm trying to catch the feel of the light and the place.
The painters I like most are also about this - artists like Turner, Monet, Cezanne, Ross Loveday, Kurt Jackson, Whistler, Steve Slimm, Pissaro or David Tress - they create a strong sense of place and light with beautifully painterly marks.

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7 comments:

Kari Gibson said...

This is fabulous and I agree about working beyond your expected crop - it does keep the lines/paint strokes more fluid and true.

Your list of inspirational artists is a very fine list indeed.

Annie said...

This is one of my favorites, Vivien.
So many lovely colors and tints.
Beautiful sky.

Interesting that polychromos pencils work better than water color pencils on a watercolor painting.

annie

Jeanette said...

Oooh, I like this a lot. Lovely capture of light. The colours are great.

Robyn said...

Gorgeous, Vivien! I love the perspective your sky gives the painting. How on earth you did this as a demonstration fills me with awe.

I can see watercolours playing a bigger role in your future work. Your colours are so sensitive.

vivien said...

thanks everyone :>)


It's only when using the cp's over DRY paint that they work better - if the wash is still damp then I'd be using w'col pencils - each method for very different effects Annie - something to experiment with ? I think you'd enjoy it :>)

Robyn you are right! I've really enjoyed using w'cols a lot during our exchange and I think they will feature a lot more in my work. Also it's made me do a bit of collage and that's something else I want to do more of

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

This is beautiful Vivien! I love your loose interpretation of what you see. A real artist's eye!
ronell

vivien said...

thank you Ronell :>)


Robyn's FPP book will be on its way to you in a couple of days - hope you are feeling better.