Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Using a Khadi Paper sketchbook

The thing with sketchbooks, is you need good paper.  It really does make all the difference to a decent sketch.  So you can image how challenging a Khadi-paper  sketchbook can be.  Not only is the paper roughly textured, but it swallows up watercolour like there is no tomorrow!

However, there is always a Solution 

and for this sketchbook I prepared some pages with gesso.

This will enable me to use acrylics for sketching ideas.

Prep with grey gesso and below
white/burnt sienna mix

As the gesso dries permanent, this makes it an ideal surface for acrylic paints -
of course, you could also prepare the pages with White gesso, I just chose not to.

Not all pages are gessoed though.
I have also painted directly on the white pages with acrylics -
 rough 'blocking in' idea for a future painting.

They remind me where I want to go with a large canvas.

This sketchbook is proving to be worth its weight in gold.


Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Starting a sketch

Sketching a subject that may seem complicated,
can actually be split down into simple lines.

As with this painting of William in the sea.

Here's my initial outline, I kept it Simple

then outlined William with ink pen

and then added watercolour

As you see, it is a simple sketch.

With the sea, I put on one layer of watercolour and waited for that to dry,
then added a slightly darker tone - again waited for that to dry 
and finally a few dabs of much darker blue.


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Stop and sketch

I had a little time to spare in town the other day, so decided to stop for  coffee.  That gave me a chance to OBSERVE people...and get some quick sketches done.  Certainly focuses the hand eye co-ordination when people constantly move AND move quickly.  You just have to go for it.  If you don't achieve the sketch, then be happy with what you have on paper, but try to REMEMBER  the person, then very often you can complete the sketch.

My sketch below was just the initial outline, enough information on shape and angle.  As the two people I had decided to capture, were still at their table, it gave me time to put in more detail.

However, if they had moved away, my initial sketch was enough for me to go from that and get at least something reasonable.

So with the extra detail - then watercolour added when I got home - here's my completed drawing 

Where I originally put the first figures, is where they remained, I built up the rest of the sketch from them.

🎨 🎨 🎨

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Blocking in Shapes

Wow!!!   I took a break from adding Tips and Techniques  - Hadn't realised it was so long...


It can get rather confusing when you are faced with drawing something busy ~
like this scene

Don't get caught up in DETAIL,


When you have the Block shapes in place,
you can THEN go in with the Detail.

Friday, 29 December 2017

It's a strange but true fact.......

..... the MORE you try to get something RIGHT in a painting



if you paint something WRONG

the more it looks


~ go figure ~

Monday, 16 October 2017

It has been a while since I posted a TIP AND TECHNIQUE

Here's a question somebody asked recently about skin tone

Question: "What colours do you use in watercolour for skin tones?"

For me, it is always BURNT SIENNA

(Winsor & Newton in my opinion have the best tone of this colour and 
I use it regularly.

In the above example I have tried to show the varying tones that can be achieved with clear water added.

(please note that some artists find other manufacturers just as good,
but in my humble honest opinion the W & N one wins hands down)


Thursday, 3 August 2017

Another technique for painting trees

Everyone has their own method for painting trees,
but getting started for some can be difficult.

Here's one of my techniques,
which in fact is used a great deal by watercolour artists, in the past Wesson and Seago used this style
and current days,  J. Bowden and John Hoar.

The technique is to add JUST SUFFICIENT PAINT to you brush, so as not to swamp it.
If you feel there is TOO MUCH pigment on the brush, then just wipe it
gently over a piece of tissue paper...WITHOUT REMOVING too much.
This all comes down to practise and getting
that 'Feel' for your paint brush.


 paint with the SIDE OF THE BRUSH, not the tip.

You are after a DRY BRUSH EFFECT without it being too dry.

Here's a quick demo showing you,
but in the end it all comes down to