"Towards Kenbane"

"Towards Kenbane"
Spectacular Irish coastline on a stormy day

Friday, 9 August 2013


I have finally put brush to paper and started not one but two new watercolours. So, while the paint is drying, I decided it would be a good time to update the Blog and start sharing the painting process.

 PAINTING I "Ebb and Flow"

 This first painting is a SEASCAPE and this is the reference photo I am working with.

You will notice that the painting isn't exactly like the photo - this is because, since I know this area of the coastline so well, I can carry a lot in my head. I have also used some of that magic 'artistic license' to pick out and move around parts of the scene!

 This second pic shows Stage One of the painting process and goes some way to explain how I go about it.

I used a 2B pencil to lightly draw out a few of the key shapes [use a light touch so you do not mark the paper] and then applied a pale 'undercoat'. This was a very watery mixture of Verditer Blue for the sky, then adding Phthalo Blue and Indigo to this, I used a 'hit and miss' technique over the shadow areas of the water. As you will see [or not!], the wash has dried so pale that it is almost impossible to see in the pic!  This is because it is only the first of many glazes which will be added as the painting progresses and will actually work as one of the varied subtle colours of the deeper water and the foam.... keep watching and you will see what I mean!

The rocks were laid down with a watery Yellow Ochre. The reason I chose this as the underpainting is because there is an 'ochrey' tone shining through some of the rocks in this area.  Again, local knowledge and keen observation are key.  I haven't used any masking fluid by the way, although you can if you find that easier.

 PAINTING II "Sea Pinks"

 This second painting is taken from the same area and is of our pretty native flowers, 'Sea Pinks', which bloom during the early summer. The flowers are set against the beautiful grey blue local rocks and are interspersed with bright yellow litchens.

 In order to permit free 'washes' without having to fiddle around small areas, I used masking fluid [I personally like Pebeo Drawing Gum, applied with the tip of a plastic palette knife] to preserve the flowers, stems, grasses and a few other light marks on the rocks. The first pale wash is purely very watery Indigo Blue, and, as the 'shine' leaves the wet paint, I can safely drop in a thicker mix of the same colour to start adding depth.

Tip: do NOT shake your masking fluid before using - you will only add 'bubbles' to your painting surface which will ultimately burst, leaving a weird round masked mark once it's removed.

Both paintings have been left to dry completely overnight. Tomorrow I will continue on both and will post progress.