“Don’t paint pretty sunsets”, they said.

Sicilian sunset

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.

Click the thumbnail below for a full sized image.

Sicilian sunset
Sicilian sunset

Painting watercolours where I live – New YouTube video

Painting a Tugboat and talking about composition

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.

Practicing painting my skies with a new technique

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.

A new video at last.

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.

Using wet on wet watercolour techniques

Donaghadee lighthouse

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.

This watercolour is of Donaghadee lighthouse, which lies southeast of Belfast. 52 x 34 cm

To view a full sized image please click the thumbnail below.

Donaghadee lighthouse
Donaghadee lighthouse

My second day at Björnö: Mission – to paint better

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.

Two wonderful days on Björnö: Day 1

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.