Friday, May 12, 2017

Landscape with subdued colours

I'm still reading Ray Campbell Smith's book on watercolours, picking up lots of useful tips on the way.

Here I simply copied one of his paintings (omitting the shed and boats to the right!), using ultramarine blue, yellow ochre and venetian red (all from a Schmincke set). Amazing what you can achieve with just three colours. I painted this on cheap paper and found that it didn't stay wet long enough for my sky colours to blend smoothly.  The overall result is quite pleasing, but it still lacks punch - too much of a quiet English countryside feeling (which is what it is). I would like something brighter. Maybe I should stop pussy-footing around and try it on good paper!

Note that the colours look much brighter on the screen than on paper - something to be aware of if you ever buy paintings online without seeing them in the flesh first!

And then, not content with one attempt, I had to try again, on slightly better paper (Fabriano student-grade paper - be warned that the glue around the block doesn't hold well!). I think this time, I used yellow ochre, ultramarine and PV19 as a red - much less subtle than Venetian red, but definitely more to my liking! Although I made one big mistake with the sky (memo to self: never, ever ever, think that you can add a second layer to a sky and end up with a good result), I had a lot more fun with this one, except for the tree on the left, which is too blocky. I do love bright colours. I am not a subtle girl!

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