Posted on 4 Comments

The big French challenge

Watercolour of home in Paimpol, France by David Meldum
Paimpol, Brittany, France

Yes, I finished it, the biggest watercolour I’ve ever painted, 56x76cm or 22×30″.
I’m proud that I stuck with it, I learned so much by the endless mistakes I made. As a complete painting I am not totally happy, it is stiff and the uncertainty in my strokes is clear to see. Too much white gouache for highlights almost ruining it in the end. But, I learned so much by not giving up.
Buy good watercolour paper, the one I used was very poor, not cotton, it was closer to toilet paper in quality. I ran out and bought Arches 300g because of the poor nature of the paper I used, so I learned. There was one million things I had never experienced; like how does one paint stones walls? It’s really hard but it will be easier next time. Flowers, I had never painted them before either, not seriously, they were also difficult to master. Ah well, on I go to the next pigmented challenge …

4 thoughts on “The big French challenge

  1. No need been so negative, love the greens, the colors of the roofs.and yes, it´s quite stiff, but it´s dificult not to been when you´ve got so much details. It´s a very good begining in large format.

  2. Thanks setxu, I'm not so disappointed with it really, like I said, I learned a lot. It has helped form an image in my head of how I want and what I want to paint in future. Many positive developments have come from this watercolour. 🙂

  3. Nice going, David! It is so much fun to paint big! Once I started, I had to buy some bigger paintbrushes, and a much bigger palette, and then even bigger papers… it became a wonderful growing spiral. When I paint on big sheets like this, I use a fishing tool box as palette, where each "cup" or paint well is about 4 x 10 cm. Very effective. 🙂

  4. Hi Nina! Yes, I like the large format, I just finished a large nude on Arches paper, great fun. I feel very nervous before I start, I guess that feeling will always be there. Having good quality paper certainly makes a big difference, I'm using 100% cotton for the first time, what a blast! 🙂

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