I hope this new-found confidence stays. The painting is complete and still rather watercoloury! I have done more work on the building at the back of the picture, sorting out the return of the wall and giving it its sandstone plinth. The ramp is now further forward, which is a good thing as you would have to have been a very skinny person to use it before. The sandstone colour has reduced the impact of the railing,too.
The addition of the kerb edges entertains the foreground and washes on the pavements and road add weight without fuss. Then there is just general strengthening and defining to windows, roof line and doors. I added the advertising displays for a splash of colour. They make the painting more lived in, less chocolate box.
I am interested in the corner window – it’s worth a painting of its own so I shall use it a the subject of a line and wash. Aren’t I getting brave with my drawing!
The buildings in the middle and to the right are where most of the painting was done this time. I had got the light coming from two different directions last time so I have begun to correct that. It’s still not right but I didn’t want to mess with it too much at one time.
Then I began to define the windows and the door. There is a lot of white woodwork here which looks sharp and clean but the atmosphere I was seeking was softer so I’ve indicated shadows and left low “highlights”, if you see what I mean. There is a red Ruabon moulded window on the corner of the building by the door which intrigues me. It’s not a new feature, and it’s an expensive shape with only a pillar at the corner itself. I’m planning to do that in more detail in another painting. At the moment, I’ve shown where it is though it doesn’t sit happily yet.
Using a real dark and a small brush, I’ve intensified some points in the left hand building, tiny marks just to increase the contrast in places . Next week should see it finished.
I’ve been busy this week! The demonstration watercolour is coming along at my Wednesday class, and I’ve been experimenting with the black and white watercolour pencils.
First the painting – the initial washes were well dry as it was a week since I worked on this painting. This method of working strings out the painting time, but, adding up the actual time engaged comes to about 2 hours per painting, and that includes watching the paint dry. It doesn’t extend one’s powers of concentration, though.
The work is mainly on the cottage on the left. Using a darker tone of the cottage pink (Alizarin) and the browny orange of the other building , I indicated the windows, and introduced an idea of the Cheshire sandstone blocks in the wall at the front. A bit of “Calligraphy” drew in the eaves, the lamp post and the door, while the garden was splashed in using Viridian and Burnt Sienna in the tree and Viridian and Aureolin for the planting. This is turning into a watercolour as opposed to a painting in watercolour!
Now for the black and white drawing. I am thrilled to inform you that I did this freehand in the black watercolour pencil without any preliminary work in ordinary pencil first. It’s another view of Farndon (I can see another project coming on!) looking across the little lane which figured in my recent oil. Early days, of course, and I don’t know how this paper will be when I introduce water, but I am revelling in my new found freedom with pencils. I’ve started to use some white but think that most white will be in the garden. What about a cloud? I like the texture on the left hand roof, and am adventuring with the dark tree in the foreground.
I’m on Cloud nine! I have just completed the preliminary drawing for my new, rather complicated, demonstration watercolour – freehand! – and it looks accurate, and the quality of the line delights me. When I started sketching at least once a week with my students, I never thought that I would achieve this skill level so quickly. At least, it feels quick. I think it’s taken eighteen months, but when I remember that most of my life has been weighed down with a fear of drawing, with the conviction that I can’t draw, that is the blink of an eye. Now to add the paint.
I started with the sky as usual, painting loosely rather than a formal wash, and taking it down over the roofs. That avoids a sharp edge where the sky meets the roof and seems to add positively to the general atmosphere. I introduced the pink cottage, created the roof and trees in a darker shade of the sky colour, allowing the roof to bleed into the pink cottage on the shady side. Then I introduced some of the colours one sees in bricks into the wash of the more distant building. Individual bricks would be time-consuming, and rather boring, and counter-productive at this distance. But the varied colours and tones are a delight. Again, I avoided a hard edge where the building meets the pavement. I’ve painted over the windows which are largely darker than the walls, hoping to lift the paint for the white areas. It won’t matter if some of the paint remains there (I hope!) as a stark white would be too eye-catching.