Wise painters stay away from pretty photographs of ocean sunsets. I know this is true as I tried years back and yes, I failed. The watercolour turned out to be cheesy, a classic motif to sell to tourists maybe but not a work of art that I was proud of. Nothing I would wish to show to others.
William Turner, he painted many sunsets, he had a certain attitude, he was a rebel, a hero to many, an inspiration to me.
I snapped an evening photo while sailing off the coast of Sicily, I thought to myself, this is not your typical sunset. So dramatic. It’s badass. I had a go at trying to capture the moment. 36 x 26 cm.
I was recently lucky enough to be sailing along the coast of Sicily not far from Palermo. There was this beautiful town called Cefalu that hugged an impressive rock. It just had to be painted. 36 x 26 cm
It’s here at last, Episode 29. I really enjoyed this watercolour. It took two days to film. I did a pencil sketch on the first day but then had to wait a day to paint the final watercolour because I ran out of daylight. I talk a lot about composition and my approach to simplifying the subject. I hope you find it interesting.
I have been using perspex plastic on my watercolour sketching board. I wet the back of the paper then tape it down. After that I wet the front of the paper and let it settle. This isn’t actually my new technique. I am placing a damp cotton sheet between the paper and the perspex before I tape it down. This gives me lots of time to work on my clouds but I have to get used to it. My watercolours are a little pale at the moment but I’m working on it. Practice, practice.
Yes, it’s been a bit of a break. I think it was September or October last year when I last published a video. I have had a tough winter. I stopped producing videos as I couldn’t cope with the workload. I focused instead on painting and my life drawing classes. But now I feel good, my energy levels are back to what a 57 year old should be. I’m not a teenager for sure but I have regained my curiosity and enthusiasm to explore and achieve. I hope you enjoy the video, I kept it short (6.30 minutes). It was filmed on Djurgården last August. Cheers, David
I am experimenting with damp watercolour paper techniques. There are many ways to keep the paper damp for a longer period so that one has time to paint a scene. I am not going to get into that in this post as I am in a bit of a rush. The most important thing for me is that my watercolours blend well on the paper and the edges stay soft, having more time to work is also a plus. Since being accepted into The Water Colour Society of Ireland I have felt an urge to do a few watercolours of the emerald isle. I’d love to travel there but Covid is still restricting travel. I get my first jab this Friday, feels like a relief that I’m finally getting it.
My first day at Björnö was an amazing experience but I wasn’t happy with the watercolours I created. Rather than get all depressed about it I decided to just return to Björnö and try again. The important factor being that I was alone and so I could relax and really think about what I wanted to achieve. Basically, I wanted to paint better. Some important things I learned from the day before was to take my time, be precise and paint in the shade. I had a wonderful day, it was colder but the sky was a summer blue. ( As I write this it is snowing outside my window, April weather in Sweden is pretty damn extreme. ) By the end of the day I had three nice little paintings and I went home with a smile on my face. It’s a nice sensation to feel one is progressing.
I spent two beautiful days in glorious sunshine painting on Björnö which is my favourite place to visit right now. On Monday I was with a friend who is much better than I am. I learned a lot by just watching his approach to painting a scene. I was a bit stressed to be in his presence to tell you the truth and so I rushed my work. I wasn’t so happy with my day’s efforts so I returned on Tuesday. Link to day 2 here. It’s important to say, I really enjoyed the day, I learned so much and probably the most important takeaway was to relax and take one’s time.