The quarter sheet is a wonderful size to work on in watercolour (in my opinion). Watercolour was not originally a medium for large works. On the quarter sheet one has enough room for broad sweeping strokes with a one or 2 inch hake brush and to allow watercolour magic to happen, but is small enough to enable the whole surface to be monitored relatively easily. This is important as timing is critical. These are 4 recent works done as class demonstrations.
Cradle Mt, Lake Dove with buttongrass
Cloudy sky, Goat Is
Cumulus clouds along the coast
Cradle Mt, Lake Dove from boatshed beach
I did not have any left of Cradle Mt which is why there are 2 new ones here (intended to be out pre Easter…. oh well it is the painting I enjoy, not framing, delivering, pricing etc.). As long as I play with paint the subject is usually irrelevant to me.
This is a demo painting from today’s class, using quinacridone gold and Paynes grey (W&N) and Burnt Sienna (Maimeri) with a weak glaze of cyan (Maimeri) over the sky when the paint was dry. A bit of ink work with a palette knife and rigger brush on the dried painting to get the final contrast for “oomph”. My signature twiggy dead branches which are in windswept areas here. If you try it, do keep some whites with dry brush technique. Paper choice is important… soft and textured. I chose Langton 300gsm rough
As part of Burnie Shines annual celebrations in Burnie I have some silk garments in a fashion parade…. Art 2 Wear. http://www.burnieshines.com/Date/10-October-2013
Exciting. One night only. I will post some pics after the event on October 10. Hopefully showing the maodels wearing the garments, if not the items on coathangers (not quite the same).
Also 2 WORKSHOPS
on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th October at Burnie Makers Workshop. Have a go at painting on silk and create a special handmade Christmas gift while enjoying the flow of dyes on silk. If you love colour you will love this. http://www.burnieshines.com/Events/Workshop-Silk-Painting-Watercolour-Technique
Click the link for the Sunday workshop details… watercolour technique (put the image in a card or do a slightly larger one to frame.
FOR THE SATURDAY WORKSHOP… MAKE A SILK BROOCH USING SALT TECHNIQUE http://www.burnieshines.com/Events/Workshop-Silk-Painting
Busy, busy with Deloraine Craft Fair fast approaching too.
There are so many things to learn in watercolour and often choosing colours is something new painters focus on. This is understandable as we are in a very colour conscious, indeed often colour saturated, world. But to show how simple colour harmony and correct tone can result in a pleasing painting without the confusion of a barrage of different colours, I am currently working with just 2 colours with my new watercolour students on a Tuesday (which 2 colours depends on the image the painting is based on, and we discuss this choice first). This little work (card size), was done as a demonstration this week. The 2 colours used were cyan (Maimeri) and Light Red (Winsor and Newton). Working small means it is possible to watch the whole work and observe subtle intentional and incidental changes as they occur. Doing hundreds of these (they do not take long) is a great way to learn how watercolour behaves and I find them very relaxing. The location for this painting is Burnie, Tasmania. I often snap a few pictures when I work up there as a silk painter. this was a cold, wet, winter’s day. On such days we often get lovely soft changing light.
Most landscape painters will be tempted to paint a sunset at some time. One thing I tell my students is to make sure the do not just use black (I don’t actually use any black) for the very dark silhoutted shapes. I liven them with an underpainting of the brightest hues in the painting, then I bring in the darks mixed from the darkest pigments on the palette. I usually “mix” as much on the painting surface as on the palette to keep some life in the darks too. This view of Chasm Creek also had a few buildings within the dark area. This was good as it gave some relief. This painting is all about the light.
Following on from the previous post, the She Oak has been added to my Bakers Beach acrylic on stretched canvas. You can see what I mean about this twiggy windswept coastal vegetation contrasting with soft clouds and the sweep of the sand and water. The colour contrast with the sky is also appealed to me and was a reason for taking the reference photo at that spot.
She Oak, Bakers Beach, Tasmania Acrylic on canvas
This second work is an acrylic on “canvas paper” which was a demonstration for last night’s art class. My ladies deviated from watercolour to try their hand at acrylics and did a great job. My reference for this was a photo of West Point in Burnie, just behind the Makers Workshop. Last time I was there the weather was rather stormy and incredibly windy with the sea surging energetically. The lure of the subtle colour of the late afternoon sky to the west drew me out with my camera. I may still touch this up a bit but am not quite sure as working quickly often captures the vitality of such moments better than a carefully rendered and laboured work.
“Whipped Sea” West Point, Burnie, Tasmania Acrylic on canvas paper
On the easels in the studio I am back to a favourite subject… Tasmania’s coastline.
These both been started as demonstrations for students working on canvas. The large Bluff Point one is a scene which I have painted before. I want a painting of this for myself but the 4 I have done so far (oil miniature, larger acrylic on canvas and 2 quarter sheet watercolours have sold…. maybe this one will stay with me…. of course I don’t have to put them out for sale but I do like to share my creations). The source photo is one of my favourites, taken on a day when it had been raining, then the sun shone brilliantly while still the sky was dark to the west. We walked for ages towards the water along a gouged track in the sand. Such contrast of colours and the wonderful fresh air of our “wild west” coast. As I write this I can feel our rugged coastline beckoning again…. instead I will go to the studio and try to capture those intense feelings on canvas.
Bluff Point unfinished
The second work is almost complete but will have a she oak (Casurina) on the lhs. I have pencilled this twiggy, wind blown specimen in. Such vegetation is typical of our coastal areas and its many little twigs are a contrast to the sweeping curves of the beach and sand beyond. I was happy with the broken shells and pebbles to the fore…… as I look I can “feel” them under my feet and you do sense they are on a raised area above the sweeping
Bakers Beach Tasmania unfinished… acrylic on canvas
beach. Bakers Beach is a magnificent long stretch near Devonport Tasmania. Part of the State National Park System it is a haven for wildlife (wombats abound and there is a large area for waterbirds). Often there are few if any people on the beach this side of Griffith Point……. you can walk along and sing with the wind and no-one will even know. Love it.
Art for relaxation and meditation… it does not get better than painting on silk.
WORKING SMALL ON SILK is a short introduction to the freedom of painting on silk for relaxation and meditation.
We will work on little images…. abstracted and/or more realistic. Just letting the colours flow, working with varying amounts of water, creating texture with salt, “building” a little landscape …..
and, if you like,making one of your works into a brooch (like the children in the previous post …. Kids for a creative future workshop).
Saturday 24 th August 10a.m. till 12.30 pm
Materials supplied $30
Forth Art Studio
These colourful cards contain silk paintings using the salt technique, done at a small workshop at Eastern Shore Community House, East Devonport, Tasmania today. Lovely people… all co-operative, so involved, very polite …. just loved it. I think it is nice for everyone to go home with a finished product and, as we made badges last time, this time we put the paintings into cards. Most of the children give them to their parents. I just love that parents are so special to them. They are nearly always the first people the youngsters think of when sharing something special. And wouldn’t any parent feel special receiving any of these? Thank you to ESCH for asking me to tutor this session and thank you to TRA for funding this successful project……..Children for a Creative Future.