Saturday, May 18, 2013

A quick sunset demo in watercolour


A very quick sunset demo in watercolour

One of my students was painting a sunset and had started with the dark clouds, planning to add the colour later.   This was a really quick demo to show her how it is better to get in the luminous colours first, so that they then shine through thin layers of cloud - just as it works in life.

So ....  messy and rushed!  but hopefully it showed what I meant, with the underlying glow shining through the clouds.   If elements have to be luminous and full of light then I try to get them down first whenever possible, whether it's sky or leaves against the light.

This was done in the S&B Zeta sketchbook.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Spring at last! Spring landscape in watercolour and mixed media

Spring at Hartshill Hayes, watercolour and mixed media in Stillman & Birn A4 Beta Hardback sketchbook

The family went off walking through the bluebell woods. which are looking absolutely gorgeous at the moment,   I sat at the top of the steep hill sketching.   Spring - a month late - is finally here and we had a few beautiful days.  It was warm and a bank holiday, bringing out lots of walkers, picknickers and those just wanting to sit in the sunshine - I left them out as it's the landscape that interests me.

I used watercolour, coloured pencil, conte pencil, Derwent sienna drawing pencil, white Daler Rowney acrylic ink, touch of gouache .......and the kitchen sink!

I have a few bottles of the FW acrylic ink and really like it but hadn't bought the white.   I asked one of my students how opaq.ue it is - I think he has the full set - and he said very.  So I ordered one - and it is :>)/   Just what I needed.  Even white gouache often isn't quite opaque enough to cover as I want and this is.

It was so nice to be out in the fresh air sketching after the long long winter this year.  Now I need to get out with my oils - so much quicker!

What medium do you prefer for sketchiing plein air?

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Trees and Moon at Dusk, winter, Grey ink and XL tinted charcoal in the S&B Zeta sketchbook

Dusk, winter, Grey ink and XL tinted charcoal in the S&B Zeta sketchbook

An experiment across 2 pages of the new Zeta sketchbook with Grey ink and bamboo pen and Derwent's new XL tinted charcoal blocks.  Their new willow charcoal sticks are very nice too, really velvety unlike some that can be irritatingly scratchy.

The charcoal is luscious and so are the tinted graphite blocks - well worth trying if you like to work larger and more freely.

The Zeta sketchbook has very very smooth paper for those who use pen a lot and don't like texture.  It's also extremely heavy weight and can take a lot of pushing around, lifting out, washes etc

The S&B sketchbooks are now available in the UK via Amazon and soon through Jackson's for anyone interested, I know a few people asked me for information.

It's fun trying out new products :>)

Now the weather is improving at long last I may manage to get out a little more to sketch.

For those near the Cotswolds there is a great exhibition ending - Kurt Jackson at the Campden Gallery in Chipping Campden - don't miss it if you are near, it was great.

And another good one coming up at the John Davies gallery in Moreton in Marsh - David Prentice.  I have to go and see that one as well.

They are both top of my shopping list when I win the lottery!