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One persons attempt to become a good artist painting in watercolour, experiences along the way and discussion of all things connected with it.

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    I imagine many will wonder what this title means. In a nutshell it was the latest AVA session and I painted an Amerindian called Beaver Tail.

    Fourteen present today, which is almost as many as we get with the official programme. We have two more weeks of `do it yourself' painting then the official programme starts.

    Just to prove I was there!

    Yvonne Harry

    Jan Weeks unfinished.

    Yvonne and Jan have just returned from their highly successful ten day exhibition  at Wells Cathedral, where combined sales of framed and unframed paintings exceeded 60.

    Some of today's paintings.

    And some more.

    The last portrait I painted was at Stow with Charles Reid. That was in May. Problems and distractions since then reduced my painting time considerably but I did attempt one last week - unfortunately a disaster on hot press paper. My normal policy is, rather than brood about failures, to go straight back in and it usually works - at least I think so. This week I attempted to paint an Amerindian called Beaver Tail, an Assiniboine Indian as photographed by Edward Curtis in 1908.

    Beaver Tail 16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White 300gsm Not

    I began with a careful but not over detailed drawing, taking measurements to ensure things were in the right place. For this I used a mechanical 07 pencil with 2B lead. You can see the sequence of events so I won't elaborate. The actual painting is a little darker than it appears on here, especially the shadow areas where I added a second wash. I'm sure Hap will say I haven't got the skin colour right but on this occasion I just wanted to get the show on the road again.   I'll do better next time Hap.

    Colours used were limited. Cadmium Red Light, Raw Umber and Cobalt Blue for the skin colours. The hair Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber. His clothing Raw Umber. The cap is Raw Umber and Raw Sienna. I used three brushes. Escoda 1212 retractables sizes 10 and 12 plus the Isabey retractable size 6.

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  • 08/19/13--09:51: Beaver Tail before & after
  • When I posted Beaver Tail a comment by Ray was that the finished painting had lost something compared to the earlier stages. Yvonne agreed so I thought I'd play about with it and see if I could address that problem.

    Beaver Tail - First version

    Beaver Tail - Corrected Version.

    My friend Hap from near Seattle in Oregon knows many Native Americans and always says my skin colour isn't dark enough. My `corrections' are on the crude side but that is deliberate.

    The main colour loaded on was Schminke Translucent Brown (Pbr41) with some Cerulean and Ultramarine Violet PV15) either Graham or Rowney.. The Schminke is a great colour and could easily replace Burnt Sienna. What do you think? Is it better or worse. I'm not sure although I agree the first version is on the dull side.

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  • 08/22/13--07:38: Chief Washington
  • After the mixed - very mixed - response to my Beaver Tail portrait I thought I'd try another this week. The subject is Chief Washington of the Coquilles, who took part in the Rogue River War in the Pacific Northwest. The guide photo shows him with a very bitter expression. I suspect it was taken against his will while in captivity. When I `googled' him all I got was a reference to a `Chief Seattle', who was obviously a different person, but referring to a book called  `Indian Wars of the Pacific Northwest' by Ray Glassley, there were two short references. Before starting our AVA leader Yvonne suggested I try to impart more colour into my Indian portraits rather than copy the rather dull sepia monotones of these original photographs which she thought were inclining to look `dirty'. Yvonne suggested I find some colour photographs of Amerindians so I get a better idea of the skin colours. My friend Hap always says mine are not dark enough.

    Chief Washington 16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White  300gsm not

    I think you can  easily see the colours I've introduced, if you compare it with the previous portrait, which include brighter yellows and Quinacridone Burnt Orange (Daniel Smith PO48). I also used more Cadmium Red mixed with a little Raw Umber for the skin tones, Cerulean or Cobalt Blue to darken , and Translucent Brown (Schminke PBr41). The hair is various mixes of Ultramarine Blue with either Translucent Brown or Burnt Sienna. It is on the rough side but I persist in my creed of `being cruder' espoused by Charles Reid. This will make the perfectionists blanch  but I will keep trying if still some way from producing work I am completely happy with. My wife took one look at it and said she preferred the previous one! This was very much experimental and I shall have to ponder how to approach the next one.

    Brushes used were the Isabey retractable Size 6 for the facial detail and the Escoda sizes 8 and 10 Kolinsky retractables for the rest.

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    For some time I've felt that the 16 well insert for my Paintbox is not ideal for me. Recently I asked Craig to make me a 24 well insert to replace the current 16 wells. It arrived by post today. 

    My well-used Paintbox with new 24 well insert.

    I'm not a limited palette person. I like as many options as possible and paint a range of subjects that often require different colours. Not for me the half dozen or even dozen paints of the limited palette. Many will disagree with my approach but plenty will agree and I think in general there is a tendency to have more paints available rather than less.

    I've had the above palette for some years now and seeing Charles Reid's paint box at Stow this year prompted me to do something. See the small amounts of paint in each well.  

    Charles Reid's Palette at Stow

    Charles recommends you squeeze out fresh paint each day you paint. The above is the normal 16 well palette and each well can hold a considerable amount of paint - far more than is needed for my` first try for a finish' Reid approach. I rarely achieve this `first try' thing but that's another matter! The new wells are smaller - obviously - but will still hold a lot of paint and unless you use wide flats or very large rounds are perfectly adequate. I've modified my current insert by sticking in some half pans and count 28 (!) but that can be cut down, and the next task is to carefully consider what paints to make up the palette. The first dozen or so are fairly obvious but it then gets trickier. I do hedge my bets in that I have a secondary small palette with 12 additional paints but I think that will also have to be pruned.

    I'm not rushing things as I'm still stuck in the moving house problem but will report further when this is resolved and am settled in my new painting abode.

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    Not being really satisfied with my first attempt at Chief Washington I thought I'd have another try. I decided not to be too hung up over how close the resemblance was and re-visited one of my favourite Charles Reid books `The Natural Way to Paint'. When I told Charles this was one of my favourites he seemed surprised but I can only say the chapter on features is one I've studied many times.

    Chief Washington 16" x 12" Fabriano Extra White Artistico 140lb (300gsm) not

    I approached the previous version in a different way to my normal practice and this is even more `way out' if that's the right word. Actually I'm somewhat apprehensive about possible reactions. These Indian portraits are tough using these old monochrome photographs, with so much detail obscured and I find it hard to know what to do with these `missing' areas. 

    Skin colours were Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber and Cobalt Blue/ Cerulean. Also some Cadmium Red and Translucent Brown. The hair was a mixture of Ultramarine Blue, Raw Umber and Burnt Sienna. His clothes are Raw Umber and some Gold Ochre.

    I only used three brushes, the Isabey No 6 retractable for the features and the Escoda Kolinsky retractables sizes 8 and 10.   

    I don't suggest for one moment that this is good just an experimental painting trying different ways of tackling this subject. I won't be posting much this month as we're moving home on the 10th, and also going on holiday on the 13th for a week. I didn't anticipate that these things would be so close together but that's how it has worked out.  As a result I'll be offline until at least the 23rd when my cable company are scheduled to install broadband et al in my new home. 

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  • 09/06/13--03:58: Landscape Paintings I LIke.
  • This is another set of paintings I like amongst a great mass of others I've downloaded.  Some of the styles I wouldn't necessarily want to adopt, or indeed be capable of, but all display, in my humble opinion, great artistic merit.

    The great Alvaro Castagnet, a very popular workshop artist. This is Pin MIll in Norfolk, a famous painting location for many artists over the decades.

    Genevieve Buchanan an enthusiastic artist, and lovely lady, who I met on a number of Charles Reid workshops.

    Chen Hong, one of the large number of excellent Chinese watercolour artists.

    Christiane Bonicell - see Facebook.

    Helga Berger - prominent on Facebook.

    He Jiangu - another from China.

    Ian Potts - I know nothing more about this artist, certainly strikingly different.

    David Taylor the brilliant Australian Watercolour artist.

    Millind Mullick - a superb and prolific artist, also on Facebook

    Oleg Kozak - a distinctive style, prominent on Facebook

    Michal Jasiewicz - a Polish(?) artist

    Orhan Gurel from Turkey - one of the best amongst a vibrant group of Turkish watercolour artists.

    Ping Long - another from China or is it Taiwan.

    Sterling Edwards - an American artist

    The general theme here - not in every instance - leans towards impressionistic loose paintings and I make no apology for this. This is what I like but I can appreciate more detailed paintings. More to come.

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    Here are a selection of flower paintings in no particular order. I think - but am not certain - that they are watercolour. There are just a few of the many I've downloaded that took my eye. This should please my friend Yvonne.

    Rose Marie Dubrecqu - one of my absolutely favourite flower paintings. What beautiful colours.

    The German artists Lars Kruse who has studied with Gerard Hendriks

    Fabrio Cembranelli - a South American artist of great talent 

    Cheng Zhenwen

    Liu Yi

    The excellent American artist Janet Rogers

     Olivia Quinton

    Yuko Nagayama -one of the most talented Japanese artists

    Nicole Zeimet

    Mualla Ozdemir (Turkish?)

     Tueko Sato

     I may have some of the artists names spelt incorrectly in which case I apologize. I don't think anyone would disagree, even those who don't particularly like to paint flowers, that there are some stunning paintings amongst the above. I don't know much about several of the artists featured but more information may be forthcoming if you Google them. As will be noted my preference is for the more impressionistic styles rather than botanical or super realism.

    With these paintings I'm signing off for the next two to three weeks. We are moving home on the 10th and having a weeks holiday starting on the 13th. Due to this I shall be offline until Virgin Media install cable broadband and the rest in my new home on the 23rd. I certainly won't be up and running until I also get my new `studio' - another bedroom but smaller - sorted out. In the meantime good painting and I hope you enjoy the above.

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    Well almost. The trauma of moving and the vast number of  issues to be dealt with, when moving into a new property, means I won't be back to normality for a while. One major problem is sorting out my `new' studio, formerly a bedroom and somewhat smaller than my previous abode. While it has some good cupboard space it also has a `plinth' which will have to be removed. You would have to see it to really understand what I am on about but essentially it is a wooden structure the size of a single bed, intended to have a mattress put on it. Weird. What has he moved into you might well be thinking. It is a three story town house, part of a development that originally won an award some thirty plus years ago.It will be a while before normality returns. The wife chose it as we are downsizing from out previous home.

    Dismantling the plinth.

    Enough of that!. Having painted very little in the last two months I determined to go to Avon Valley Artists last Thursday. I managed to find paints, paper and brushes amongst the heaps of art and associated materials and off I went. The subject this session was a `mysterious' animal. This turned out to be a Tiger with two different photographs provided by Yvonne. I chose the side view.

    The Photograph is by Stefan Wisterand.

    `Big Cat, A3 Waterford Rough 140gsm.

    I first made an accurate but not over detailed drawing using a Pentel 07 2B mechanical pencil. Then started painting commencing with the eyes and the area around them. Colours included Cobalt Teal Blue (Daniel Smith PG50), Ivory Black (Maimeri), Quinacridone Burnt Orange (Daniel Smith), Gold Ochre (W & N) and a few others. Brushes were my usual Escoda and Isabey retractables. Initially the Isabey No 6 and there after mostly the Escoda No 10. I was quite pleased with this, my first effort for a while, but viewing it in the last few days I'm not so sure. Maybe I've overworked a little.

    There were thirteen present and above are the paintings produced.

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    Jacksons are now stocking three more Daniel Smith watercolours. They are Neutral Tint, Mayan Orange and Quinacridone Purple. I'd already obtained Quinacridone Purple from the SAA a few months ago. While Daniel Smith make excellent watercolours price is an issue. Apart from the unique ones they offer I would suggest that some of the standard colours, in quite acceptable quality, can be obtained from others at lower prices. I am referring specifically to the UK as DS seem to have regular special offers in America. Daniel Smith make superb watercolours but prices are of the eye watering variety. A friend of mine recently ordered four 15ml tubes and they were over £50!

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    Despite the hectic activity dealing with the many issues of moving to a new home I managed to get to the latest AVA session last Thursday. Apart from that painting is taking a very back seat at the moment and this is likely to last until Xmas at least. It will be weeks before my `studio' is fit for purpose. At the AVA the subject was `Seed Heads'.  Apart from lack of time I'm lacking inspiration and the gardens and park near me didn't produce anything very interesting. Knowing that there was some colourful foliage and blackberries outside the Hall I took my secateurs and cut some, putting them in a glass from the hall kitchen cupboard.

    Once again we were rather thin on the ground with only eleven members present. My position is to the right of Pat Walker on the left. You may also note a more informal arrangement of tables. than previously.

    Pauline Vowles

    Jan Weeks

    Yvonne Harry

    Seeds (?) Waterford A3 Rough 140lb (300gsm)

    I was a little flexible with the subject matter but the blackberry fruits do become the seeds - if not eaten - and the lovely autumn coloured foliage, amongst which they were growing invited a  combination of the two. I used Ivory Black and Moonglow (Daniel Smith) for the blackberries. Other colours included Perylene Maroon, Quinacridone Coral and the greens are Sap Green and Green-Gold. Some Prussian Blue was also added, most colours wet into wet. Touches of Orange and also Quinacridone Rose. Brushes were my usual Escodas and Isabey retractables. I first made a loose drawing using a No7 Pentel propelling pencil with 2B lead.

    I'll get back to you soon John!

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  • 10/10/13--02:32: Portraits in Watercolour
  • Unfortunately I've been forced to miss today's AVA session as I'm waiting for an engineer from the cable company to arrive to remedy a problem. The subject today is `Experimental', the rule being that brushes are not allowed other than to mix the paints. I'd been scratching my head what to do and had come up with palette knives, sponges and bamboo pens. In it's place here are a selection of portraits in watercolour by some of the very best artists (in my opinion) around. They show a variety of styles, and while portraits are not everyone's favourite subject they do illustrate the range of possibilities from realistic to expressionistic. The way colour has been used is also something worth noting.

    Janet Rogers the brilliant American artist. A study in delicacy.

    Stephie Butler - a wonderful and distinctive touch also very delicate.

    Mary Whyte -the highly regarded American artist

    Liu Yungshen - another of these fabulous Chinese artists

    Ted Nuttall - another American with a fabulous talent

    Valerio Libralato - I don't know this artist but love his work

    The guru of Chinese artists Guan Weixing

    Stan Miller - enough said!

    Sylvia Pelissimo (Agnes-Cecille) - controversial and often somewhat scary

    Millind Mullick - great artist and great guy

    Shi Tao - another of these talented Chinese artists, most of who are students of Guan Weixing, although I don't know if that is the case here.

    Svetlana Danovich - great use of colour

    Tina Kligaard - bold and thought provoking.

    Paul Lovering - great portraits in s very distinctive style

    I hope these prove of interest. They shouldn't be viewed just as portraits and dismissed - if portraits aren't your thing - but considered in the way watercolour has been used to create different effects to those in the mainstream oils. 


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    Jacksons advise they now have some `special' pigment paints from Daniel Smith, previously unavailable in the UK. They are  Azurite Genuine, Kingman Green Turquoise Genuine, Malachite Genuine, Yavapai Genuine and Purpurite Genuine. These paints arise from Daniel Smith sourcing the original rock from a variety of mines throughout the USA and elsewhere.  They are part of the PrimaTek range as opposed to the normal watercolours. Daniel Smith make some great watercolours. That is a fact but amongst the huge range are some that might be regarded as gimmicky. I have done several earlier posts on Daniel Smith which can be referred to. I regret it is difficult to find older posts as there doesn't seem to be a way of including an index which would simplify searching. If anybody knows how to do this I'd be pleased to hear from them. One of the posts was on the PrimaTeks heavily based on the one by Bruce McEvoy on Handprint. My post includes a link. Bruce was somewhat sceptical and picked out only a few paints as being really interesting.  Most he thought were unnecessary and they don't all handle exactly like normal watercolours. Prices are very high, really eye watering in some cases and I personally am very sceptical about investing in them - with the odd exception see below.

    Malachite Genuine

    Azurite Genuine
    Kingman Green Turquoise Genuine

    Yavapai Genuine

    Purpurite Genuine

    Green Apatite Genuine

    Interesting? Pause for a moment. These paints cost from £10.90p for Yavapai Genuine (from a mine in Arizona) to an astonishing £28.00p for Azurite Genuine, with the others in between!!! This is for a 15ml tube. I have included Green Apatite Genuine, which has been available for a while, as this has become a favourite of Yvonne Harry. I also have it. You pay your money......

    Unfortunately for UK and European artists Daniel Smith are more expensive here than in America, nor do we have access to the frequent `specials'. This is a shame because they are excellent paints, even if the range is somewhat bloated. I have several and would buy more but for the prices.

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  • 10/16/13--09:50: Ken Bromley Watercolours
  • The well-known UK mail order specialist Ken Bromley has now introduced their own range of watercolours.

    The paints are offered in 41 colours in 14 ml tubes. The tube size is unusual previously confined to Winsor & Newton.  Bromley claim they are `professional quality'. They say the same thing about St Petersburg - as do others - which arguably are not. The number of colours and prices suggest they are more likely to compete with student brands like Cotman, although as they offer genuine Cobalts, Cadmiums and Cerulean  they could be classed as midway between student and artists quality. Don't be fooled into thinking that paints offered at half or less than the standard artist makes are just as good. It is possible but look at the number offered and compare pigments not colours. 

     The increasingly high prices of artists quality paints seems to be bringing about an increase in  the number of `economy' brands, many claiming to be equivalent to artists quality but at a lower price. The Korean Shin Han and Mijello also come into this category. High prices are not necessarily a guarantee of high quality and even within the accepted artists quality brands there are wide price fluctuations. I would contend for example that many paints in the Lukas and Daler Rowney ranges are just as good as most others at a lower price.

    This new range has two price points, series 1 at £4.32p with series 2  at £4.73p. I don't know if pigment details appear on the tubes but the colour chart on the Bromley website has them by clicking on each individual colour. A quick analysis indicates there are 26 single pigment paints and 15 with two or more. A few paints, Naples Yellow, Paynes Grey Dark and Translucent Grey are made up of 4 pigments. There is a colour called Cotswold Stone which is a 3 pigment mix including PW6 white. Sevres Blue is a mixture of PB15:3 Phalo Blue Green Shade and PW6. Teal Blue is composed of PB27 Prussian Blue and PB15:1 Phalo Blue Red Shade. Vermillion Hue is a 2 pigment mix and Viridian Hue is based on PG7 Phalo Green. There are some idiosyncrasies in that there are two Paynes Greys and  two Burnt Umbers. The pigments in general appear reliable with the exception of two. Alazarin Crimson is PR83:1 and Aureolin is PY40. Both are described as `Permanent' which is completely contrary to what Michael Wilcox, Hilary Page and Handprint have been saying - with examples - for years. The internet forum Wetcanvas has had much discussion about these colours(pigments) and numerous examples have been illustrated and quoted  to show they are simply not reliable - they fade or discolour. This is not to say this is exceptional as amongst the leading makes equivocation reigns and the only maker to call Alazarin  Crimson (PR83) fugitive is Daniel Smith.

    Amongst the single pigment paints are many worth trying if cost - as it is to many - is an issue. I am not well disposed to multi-pigment mixes but some may disagree. The prices are excellent and certainly I'm tempted to try the Cobalts, Cadmiums and Cerulean. At the moment an extra 10%  is an introductory offer. Up until now only Jacksons and the SAA, amongst UK suppliers, have their own range of watercolours. In the USA all the large mail order suppliers have own brands, some more than one. Jacksons are (or were) made by the French company Sennelier, while Bromley state these new paints are produced in the UK. I only know of Daler Rowney currently manufacturing over here, with Winsor & Newton reportedly moving production to France. There may be some smaller producers as I was once told that the SAA watercolours were made by someone who had worked for Daler Rowney. This is speculation on my part rather than fact. Bromley's website is 

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  • 10/18/13--07:45: Glassware
  • Not the most inspiring, `Glassware' was the subject at Thursdays AVA session. I missed last week so was determined to go even though the subject leaves me cold. 

    There were eleven or twelve members present who produced 13 paintings. I seemed to finish very quickly and the result typifies this rush and the fact I'd done no preparatory work. For a subject I picked the following which was off to the right side and front of where I sit. 

    Partially finished

    Basically I did a pencil drawing then painted using a very limited number of colours. Green for the left hand jug and mixed greys for the one on the right. I put some red into the background of the green jug as a compliment to the green.

    Robert Heal

    Myra Abbot

    Jo McKenna

    Cath Wilkins

    Yvonne Harry - a work in progress

    Brenda Parsons

    They certainly aren't the best set of paintings I've seen from my group by any means but it is a tough subject. Next week the it is an `Autumn Still Life'. That sounds more interesting.

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  • 10/20/13--04:10: Jacksons Brush Offer
  • Jacksons are offering, until the 25th October, an additional 20% off existing brush prices. For watercolour they have a huge range selling Winsor & Newton, Princeton, Pro Arte, Isabey, Da Vinci, Raphael and Escoda to name a few. If you need any brushes BUY!  I would remind artists living outside the European Union that the 20% Vat we pay is deducted and with Jacksons charging carriage at cost - not inflated - these are really good prices.

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    Great Art have a number of special current offers and these include the excellent Schminke range of 110 watercolours. They are 35% off examples being Ultramarine Blue, Ultramarine Finest and Translucent Orange all at £7.65p for a 15ml tube. They also do half and full pans. Translucent Orange is one of my favourite colours. Translucent Brown is very good also - a brighter Burnt Sienna. There are many other excellent paints but check the pigments before you buy as all are not what they might seem given the names. This offer ends 31 October. You can get a very good pigment chart with other information from the Schminke website. then click on watercolours and follow the trail to the download.

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  • 10/24/13--14:12: Autumn Still LIfe
  • This weeks subject at Avon Valley Artists session today was an `Autumn Still Life'. This was more to my taste, and produced an interesting and colourful crop of paintings from the twelve members present. 

    This week we had a guest artist, Jan Weeks granddaughter Evie. Actually I gather her name is Angelina but she is known as Evie. Following in her grandma's footsteps.

    This was Evie's painting. As many will recall my granddaughter is also called Evie.

    Pat Walker

    Not sure ???

    Again not sure???


    Clive Brotherton

    Jan Weeks

    Yvonne Harry (unfinished)

    Waterford Rough A3 140lb (300gsm) 

    The above two photos are of my effort. The first at a very early stage. Why is it I often prefer the paining when it is half or even less finished? I mostly painted it with an Escoda retractable size 12 Kolinsky sable. Essentially is was some fuchsias and hollyhocks plucked - very hurriedly - from the small courtyard garden of my new home. I only had two apples and decided to paint them as they were, and not add any imaginary ones. I was quite pleased with it but perhaps overdid the colour of the hollyhocks in the centre or slightly off centre. Colours used were Quinacridone Coral, Quinacridone Rose, Sap Green, Green Gold, Moonglow, Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Teal Blue and Cerulean. I think that's it, a mixture of mainly Daniel Smith. Graham and Rowney.

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    Here are more paintings I like or find interesting. I have mostly grouped them under the heading of `buildings' rather than landscapes or townscapes. They are in a variety of styles of which some may appeal and others may not.

    Gerda Mertens - the Belgian artist  also noted for her distinctive treatment of trees.

    Christian Couteau - A quite abstract style with really bright colours. His other work has the same approach. Reminds me of John Palmer. Red and yellow feature in many of his paintings. 

    Grzgorz Wrobel - Strong contrasts and use of shadows.

    Kees van Aalt. The author of the seminal `Realistic Abstracts' and promoter of this different way of seeing. 

    Mahmoud Samandarian - a more conventional painting with great use of figures.

    Mika Toronen Look how the orange and red of the car brings this otherwise dull painting to life.

    Milind Mulick - How about the red figure!

    Orhan Gurel - Another semi-abstract approach note the figure.

    Ping Long

    Tan Suz Chiang

    Vikas Mishra

    Another from Kees van Aalt  I like this better than his previous one. Again I can see similarities to John Palmer. 

    I don't know much - if anything -about some of these artists but searching might produce more information if you particularly like them. The paintings show many different approaches.

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  • 11/07/13--10:07: A Misty Day

  • The subject at the Avon Valley Artists session today was `A Misty Day', Not exactly an easy nor - dare I say it - a popular subject. Still many subjects are difficult the idea being to stretch members beyond their comfort zone. Quite a good turnout with 18 members present. Not everyone painted in watercolour with some pastels and also acrylics.

    Jan Weeks - I hadn't realised that Jan rarely uses a photographic reference

    Kathy Wilkins

    Pauline Vowles

    Yvonne Harry

    The above is my effort with the first stage above it. I used mainly Ultramarine Blue with mainly Burnt Sienna for the greys and darks in various dilutions. The greens are Hookers Green and Sap Green. Brushes were primarily the Escoda retractable Kolinsky Size 12 then switching to the number 10.  The actual painting shows greater contrast than the reproduction above.

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    As regulars will know I have contributed in the past to the Facebook page `Painting Colorful Birds for Fun'. This was initiated by the artists Robin Berry and Gerard Hendriks. Up to three months ago I made several contributions, some better than others. With all the trauma (I promise I shall stop referring to this as it is becoming tedious) of selling and buying houses, and finally moving to a new home, my painting suffered badly, mostly by not happening. I can't afford to slip back too much as it remains poised on a knife edge. Finally the `studio' is almost complete - just a few things to refine it - so I want to get back to painting and/or drawing at least three sessions per week. The following birds are the result of a drawing I made over three months ago and I can't even remember what species they are, other than being exotic. The subject at the AVA meeting last week was `A Misty Day, and as usual I finished early. As I had brought the bird drawing with me I painted it in the remaining 30 minutes. 

    16" x 12" Gerstaeker No.3 90lb Not

    The paper is a cheap cellulose one from Great Art but is okay for this type of study, although better quality paper usually improves (not always!) the result. As you can see the birds are very colourful with presumably male and female represented. Blues were Teal Blue (Daniel Smith PG50) and Cerulean (Rowney PB35). The greens are mainly Hookers (Graham) and a little Sap Green also Graham.. Ivory Black features as does Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith) and Raw Sienna (W & N) I'm not sure which red I used but the purple is a mixture of Moonglow (DS) and red. Not great but  a step in my `comeback'.

    Brushes were the usual Escoda retractable Kolinskys plus the Isabey retractable Size 6.

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