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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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  • 11/01/19--08:27: Watercolour Painting 60
  • Here are the latest batch of paintings. They include some where I haven't found the artists names. . If there are mistakes corrections welcomed. A mix of old and newer (or less-known) artists and a wide range of subjects. Hope you like them



    Ching Che Lin



    Edward Seago - a British Great



    Artist ??? (Chien Chung Wei?)



    Charles Reid - Greatly Missed


    Bev Jozwiak - is this watercolour , acrylics or mixed media. Never sure with Bev




    Catherine Rey


    John Singer-Sarjeant




    Steve Griggs



    Tim Wilmott- Never met him (yet) an artist local to me




    Artist???



    Gerard Hendriks - Particularly like the rich colours here/



    Karen Knutson



    Bhira Painting -Great



    Another from Gerard



    Stan MIller. This is on Yupo paper loved by some, loathed by others although increasingly popular for the effects that can be created



    Z L Feng - Beautiful blending of colours



    Sherry Schmidt



    Chien Chung Wei



    Ian Ramsey




    David Taylor - Top Australian



    Viktora Prischedko - Workshops at East Devon Arts in Sidmouth together with husband Slawa



    Guilio Boscaing





    Lucy Newton

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  • 11/03/19--01:46: Latest Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts. Drawings done at home and painted at the latest AVA Thursday session. In general I'm reasonably happy with them - not 100% naturally! I keep trying.



    "Two Brothers" 16" x 12"

    "A Fine Fellow" 16" x 12"


    "Nuts" - Unfinished 16" x 12"




    'Black Redstart' 16" x 12"

    Not sure about this one tempted to bin it.

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  • 11/12/19--03:40: My Latest Paintings
  • Here are the most recent.



    Amerindian Warrior 16" x 12"

    On the top is the first version and bottom the 'modified' one.  I did more work on the eyes, the features, especially with regard to colour. I added Translucent Brown from Schmincke (PBr41) to get nearer to the actual face colour of the so-called 'red man'. I have been criticised in the past about my skin colours and while I accept this I don't want to get over-realistic - others can do this a lot better than me, Stan Miller for example and Harley Brown, although Brown's fabulous work is in pastel. I'd rather be 'unfinished' than otherwise. Charles Reids Indians are just great but emulating him is so difficult  and is it wise to do so in a copyist manner?



    Musk-ox approx. 14 x 12"

    I have now diverged slightly from my late mentor Charles Reid. He very much worked on the 'first try for a finish' principle. As a lesser mortal I've found I need to look at the painting several days afterwards and when I do can  discern that it may need some additional work, taking care not to overwork as I prefer paintings that are 'unfinished". In the one above I've done nothing so far but the blue looks not quite right so may try to soften this.  I know many like paintings' that are super-realistic and every inch of the paper covered with paint. That  isn't me so I'll continue to plough my lonely path. Just joking folks I know my limitations but I enjoy it so what!







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    I visited my sister in Witney, Oxfordshire recently and took the opportunity to combine it  with a trip to the watercolour exhibition in the nearby small, delightful, Cotswold village of Windrush. This took place under the name of  the "The Pure Watercolour Society", something of a misnomer really as you can't actually join.  Well-known watercolour artists are invited to exhibit at this exhibition by James Fletcher -Watsons daughter, who continues to live in the Fletcher family home, which incorporates a small gallery. I'm not sure how frequently it is held but has been a regular event for some years. Paintings  and prints by James Fletcher-Watson were included, and their were books, cards and various other things for sale. The exhibition was staged between the 16th and 24th (today) of `November.









    Jake Winkle


    Nineteen artists took part including such notables as David Curtis, Trevor Chamberlain and Robert Wade. The latter, as far as I'm aware the only non British artist. Robert Wade, the doyen of Australian watercolourists had taken part in previous exhibitions. Three ladies, Judi Whitton, Josephine Neil and Vanessa Whimney were part of the nineteen. I counted approximately 60 paintings on the walls. On the day we attended there were quite a few visitors as one might expect.



    Day and residential courses are held at the gallery and details are above and below.


    This is the 2020 schedule.

    Overall a very interesting and high class exhibition from a selection of top, primarily British, watercolour artists.


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  • 12/02/19--05:02: Watercolour Paintings 61
  • Here are Decembers batch, a little late and rather hastily put together as I have been otherwise occupied most of this month. Hopefully there will still be much of interest. There are a number where I haven't been able to track down the artist. Any corrections welcome.


    The incredible Yuko Nagayama



    Sherry Schmidt



    Bhira Painting



    Bev Jozwiak



    Gerard Hendriks
    Gerard continues to amaze with his widening range of subjects


    Artist?


    Dianne Benoit


    Edward Seago

    This is one of my favourites of his


    Artist? Leroy Van Much?
    I love the simplicity of this


    The amazing Ted Nutall Look at the colours!


    Zhao Zhiqiang



    Artist? Another from the artist who painted the bike


     Shirley Trevena - Wow!



    Henry Arfin



    Tim Wilmott

    ?

    Bev Jozwiak Another Wow! Love it!


    Carol Hillsbery Terrific.



    Vladislav Yeliseyev


    Jung Hun-sung



    Ann-Christin Moberg


    Chien Chung Wei


    Hope you like them. Some fantastic paintings in a wide range of subjects, colours and styles. Watercolour! You can't beat it!  BLOG INDEX JUNE 2014


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  • 12/07/19--02:48: Latest Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts together with my thoughts on where I am with relevant soul searching!



    "Guess Who?' 16" x 12"

    I'm very pleased with this.


    "Alex" 16" x 12"

    Pleased with this also


    Red Cloud in later life. 16" x 12"

    Increasingly unhappy about this. Will decide whether to try and rescue it or scrap and start again. A difficult one. I tend towards scrapping. The basic problem is the drawing of the face  isn't right. Two steps forward , one ( and a half)  steps back. This is painting ! Just don't give up! As the famous American teacher Edgar Whitney said "Draw, Draw. Draw!" At least I remain very self critical.




    "Contemplation" 16" x 12"
    Quite pleased with this. Went back over my Charles Reid stuff and tried to be more relaxed with "Pieces of Paint " approach. Not perfect but getting there. Never too old to learn.



    "Big Boy" 16" x 12"

    My approach here is the Charles Reid way of "small areas of detail, large areas of generality`" My feeling is that it does go a long way towards this goal. I've been viewing all my CR material, videos, books and notes from my workshops with him. I realise it's very late in the day, s source of great regret, but there it is. If I could go back ten years I would as I feel I've wasted a lot of time and my path to where I am has been  a very tortuous one. I'm still not there yet.


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    To all who follow the blog and those who pay a visit may I express my best wishes for Xmas and 2020 and thanks for taking an interest in what I do.





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    To start 2020 here is a a bumper collection containing many incredible paintings From very realistic and complicated to  minimal and abstract. In addition very bold colour and more subdued tones. I'll leave you to decide which appeal the most.




    Direk Kingnok - A fabulous Thai artist




    Lars eje Larssen - I love this artists paintings.




    Jean-Luc Decron  - Another new one.




    John Yardley - I don't know the date of this one as he doesn't do many (if any) like this these days. He started off as a clone of Edward Wesson but soon developed his own unique style



    Suwit Jaipom - Another new one!



    Chien Chung Wei - an abstract from this Taiwanese artist




    Steven Scott Young


     

    David Lobenberg




    Lars eje Larssen  again - What a fabulous minimalist painting




    Artist???




    John Yardley - Still  great in his mid-eighties




    Jack Tia Kee Woon - an amazingly detailed watercolour by this Singaporean artist. There is some acrylic here as well as watercolour




    Konstantin Sterkov - Wow!




    Willem Haenraets - Another new one although I think I've seen some of his work previously




    Andrew Wyeth - American master




    Geoffrey Wynne - a new artist to me




    Gerard Hendriks - Simplicity itself - with colour!




    Dusan Djukaric




    Mustapha Ben Lahmar (?)



    Darren Woodhead - another new to me



    Artist???




    John Lovett - Another excellent Australian



    Alex Hillkurtz - New to me



    Sophie Rodionov - Another new one



    Jose Martinez Lozano - And still they come another new one





    Tony Belobrajdic - Another new one

    Any corrections to names of artists etc welcome/

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    I have written about Schut before. I first heard of this Dutch company in a book by the late Zoltan Szabo. He mentioned Noblesse, which was the top of the range paper. Later I found that Judi Whitton was using blocks purchased from a small art shop in the Cotswolds. This may be where Charles Reid also heard of it as he tutored workshops in  the Cotswolds and Judi went on one. 





    Prior to this Charles used Fabriano Artistico, which he said suited his painting method. By now thoroughly aroused  (!) I followed the trail and discovered an unusual small company near Banbury called Hookers Green was an agent and contacted them. It appeared to  be a private house but they also had a small warehouse. A single foolscap sheet was posted to me and it listed several different names including Noblesse, Vivace and Flamboyant. I purchased some blocks of Noblesse and Vivace. Noblesse is (or was) 100% cotton and Vivace a 50/50 cotton and synthetic mixture. I liked both but the difficulty in getting this paper was a problem. A follow up call to Hookers Green produced no result and they don't appear to be trading any longer.

    The problems of getting these papers was such that I switched to Saunders Waterford, which is excellent particularly now that they do a "High White" paper. The problem we watercolour artists face is rising prices. Fabriano has gone up considerably and I never really liked the block size of 18" x 12" - my favourite being 16" x 12". In addition when you get down towards the last few sheets the blocks come apart. This doesn't happen with the Waterford.

    With prices becoming more of an issue (I am painting on the backs of failed paintings of which I have many) I thought I would once again see if it were possible to get some Schut with Vivace in mind. Enquires brought the information that the Schut mill had been taken over by Clairefontaine and the Schut papers were being marketed in the UK under the Fontaine label.




    I'm assuming this is or was Noblesse. One surface offered is 'cloud effect' which seems to be new.



    This is definitely Schut as Flamboyant is the old name.

    Not sure about this one. 

    This is a new one - black watercolour paper.

    Schut also did a nice 50/50 paper - a mix of synthetic and cotton - called Vivace. I don't see that in the Fontaine offerings so far.  A full range of sizes in rough, not and cold-pressed seem to be offered including blocks and sheets. The blocks are 15 sheets, which is a pity. as this makes the prices on the high side, although Great Art has some very keen ones at the moment. If you are interested you can follow up the above  with the major mail order specialists.






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  • 01/31/20--07:00: Latest Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts all 16" x 12"unless otherwise stated.



    This is in my North American Indian series but ity seems this one is more likely to be Mayan


    River Otter



    Mother and Daughter



    The late Donna Summer




    Brown Hyena







    The Artist Zanele Muholi

    I was hesitant in posting this one. The lady in question is very dark skinned and I was in a quandary as how to portray her. The only colour used was the Daniel Smith Lunar Black. I bought this a while ago and the paint had solidified in the tube. A number of the paints I have, including this one, have gone very hard in the tubes and in the past I've ben inclined to discard them. This is an expensive business so decided in this instance to cut the tube open with a scalpel and peel the metal back. It works very well as a pan paint and despite the paint having gone hard in the tube dissolves well. Note how granular this particular colour is.










    Glass & Fruit 




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  • 02/03/20--03:25: Watercolour Paintings 63
  • This month the subject is more specific with all the paintings featuring boats in one form or another. Boats are a popular theme, whether on the beach or in harbours etc. Hope you like them. Any mistakes on my part please feel free to correct me.




    John Yardley (?) Certainly his style




    Guan Weixing - The Chinese Master




    David Howell



    Artist ?



    Peter Cronin



    Artist ?



    Tim Wilmott



    Miguel Linares Rios



    Vladislav Yeliseyev



    Robert Zangarelli




    Tony Belobrajdic



    Fabrizio Esposito


    Myint Naing




    Corneliu dragan Targoviste








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    There have been quite a few new brands of watercolours in the last few years, mostly somewhat exotic or specialised ones at even higher prices than the majors. As readers will know I am opposed to the eye watering prices artists or just hobby painters (like me) are having to pay, with stiff price increases over the last two years. We also have these campaigns with well-known artists promoting the most expensive brands, particularly Daniel Smith, which are aimed at the vast mass of artists.

    Is it just possible we are seeing a trend away from this? First of all we have the extended Van Gogh range, from 40 to 72,  which is perfectly adequate for amateurs. The St Petersburg range has increased and seems to have overall improved the brand, despite still using a few fugitive pigments. See what Jane Blundell says. 




    I now come to what looks  an exciting new development in this sphere. This is the introduction of Roman Szmal's Aquarius watercolours emanating from Poland. I first heard of them in a recent e mail from Jacksons so they are readily available in the UK and with American artists reviewing them on You Tube presumably also in the USA.

    The range comprises 140 colours of which 117 are single pigment paints. All the well-known pigments are there plus new ones like PY61, PY168, PBr23 and  PBk8. There is no suggestion obsolete or fugitive pigments are included. Gun arabic, glycerine, Linden honey and distilled water are used in the production  process. Colour charts giving full pigment details are available. The highly respected Australian artist Jane Blundell has already tested them and gives them an excellent rating. See her blog. There is much more on You Tube. Just 'google' his name and see the  response including demos. The colours appear intense and not at all wishy washy. At the moment only full pans are available  but that might change ?

    Finally we get to price. Jacksons are selling the single pans at from around £2.30 to £3.70. There are a variety of sets, including trial ones. A set of 5 is £10.20 ( (RRP £12.00). A set of 12 is £34.00 (RPP £44.00). And there are others.

    The questions I have include how long do the pans last? Do they wet easily? etc etc. I tend to think pans are not kind to my Kolinsky sable brushes so tend to use synthetics when I use them - which I do occasionally. Possibly these questions have already been answered in all the information about them already posted but there is a mass to absorb believe me.

    To sum up on the basis of what I know so far - and this is early days - this seems to me an exciting new development of great benefit for the great mass of artists who paint in watercolour. I have plenty of paints at the moment but will definitely be buying some when I need to replenish my supplies.



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  • 02/17/20--04:04: Latest Paintings.
  • Here are my latest works. Mostly done for Avon Valley Artists weekly subjects. I do the drawings in my small home studio and  most of the painting at the AVA sessions, though some of the detail - eyes, noses etc - at home. I'm still  trying to follow Charles Reads teaching of 'small details, large generalities'. You'd think I'd  have it cracked after painting in watercolour for twenty years! This latest batch are closer to what I would like to achieve, although when I post stuff on Facebook in some of the watercolour groups I contribute too my 'likes' remain - mostly - very much on the low side.  All  16" x 12" unless otherwise stated.



     

    What a Beak.!



    Dad with son 10" x 12"



    "Peeking out"!



    "What am I missing?"




    "Eagle No 2"






    "Eagle No 3"

    The above two were done in my small home studio.

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  • 02/27/20--06:36: Latest Paintings
  • Here are my latest efforts warts and all. I stress I don't put them up as good paintings. Some are experimental. After 20 years I'm still experimenting! Says a lot about my painting. All 16" x 12"






    Nubian Woman.

    The eponymous Chef/Businessman Gordon Ramsey

    Moderately Happy with this one, although only moderately. It is flawed.


    Kiowa Brave

    Hair not right too blue



    Raptor

    Got the shape wrong. The body is too long. This has already bitten the dust.




    Nubian Girl

    Although happy with certain parts of the painting I have made the top of her head the wrong shape. It should be slightly lower and more rounded. I may have another shot at this.




    Amerindian Warrior

    Facial colour not quite right - a bit too red,  although the camera seems to make them worse. I'm reverting to Charles Reids combination of colours (after straying from the path) but haven't quite got them right. To articulate he used basic combinations for facial colours of Cadmium Red, Raw Sienna and Cerulean Blue. He also used Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin crimson and even Green at times, and a few others. 




    Metal Objects - This weeks AVA subject. Pretty awful I know but this is a warts- and all blog.



    'Herbert" A work in progress.

    I am at the point where it could go on to be a decent painting or go completely wrong. I'm baring my soul with these comments.




    Another Amerindian - a work in progress.







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  • 03/02/20--03:49: Watercolour Paintings 64
  • This month I am posting watercolour portraits, although many are partial figures.It is possible some may not be watercolour so any corrections are welcome. This also applies to the artists names. I make no apologies in leaning towards an impressionistic approach, although there are examples of more detailed works here. Some I like a lot more than others but as usual I'm trying to show the wide range that is possible with watercolour. This is just a sample of what is out there.


    Liu Yi

    Another of these amazing Chinese artists


    Jack London (?)

    Not sure if this is correct. Maybe the subject is JL


    Annette Smith 


    Another from Annette Smith

    I can see Charles Reid in this and the one above.


    Lars eje Larsson

    This is very abstract . which seems to be the case with his figure and portrait work. His other stuff is very different with bold colours. I love his work but the above may not appeal to many.




    This is lovely but I cannot find the artists name Might be Atsushi Matsubayashi




    Artist???



    Slawa Prischedko. One half of the Prischedkos. A wonderful artist. They have been doing workshops at East Devon Arts at Sidmouth on the South Coast of England for the last two years.


    The superb Stephie Butler. This is another example of her use of the new liquid charcoal allied with one or two watercolours. I've now bought a tube but haven't yet tried it. This is very different to her normal style (which is excellent) and I like both very much.




    Ted Nuttall

    One of the premier USA artists in watercolour portraits 



    Aine Devine

    This Scottish lady is a wonderful artist



    Chien Chung-Wei

    "Robert Wade' by Chien Chung -Wei

    This is a great painting by the fabulous CCW



    David Lobenberg

    A very bold and colourful work typical of this artist



    The late Charles Reid A typical demo of which I saw about thirty in my several workshops with him although this wasn't one.


    Fealing Lin

    Another marvellous American/Asian artist



    Gerard Hendriks

    I have been friends with Gerard for a few years now. His work has expanded greatly and here (I think) he was having  fun




    Marcos Beccari


    Chien Chung -Wei

    I love this for its minimalist approach



    Atanur Dogan

    Not familiar with the artist.



    Vijay Achrekar

    This Bangalore artist is brilliant



    Rick Huang-Huang hua Zhao


    Another from Slawa Prischedko

    Janet Rogers

    The fine American artist



    Stan Miller

    Stan produces fabulous work including a lot of portraits



    kubra Turkegul

    A new artist to me




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    What is the most important item in watercolours? Is it the paints, paper or brushes? Personally I agree with the artist and teacher Charles Webster Hawthorne in his small book 'Hawthorn on Painting" ` in fact a collected edition of his students notes, published after  his death in 1930. He said "buy good paper- fifty percent of and more of your watercolors depends on the paper you use". Actually it's the hand that guides the brush but good paper makes it easier.

    Most starting off in watercolour use a cheaper paper with the British Bockingford being the most popular, at least in the UK. You also have a number of cheaper papers in the German Hannemuhle range, while in the USA Strathmore have cheaper papers. And there are others. The thing about these budget papers is that they are not made of cotton, but high quality wood pulp in the case of Bockingford and I think cellulose or alternatives are used in others. I have tried some that Great Art sell but wasn't impressed although the 100% cotton Centenaire  is a good paper.

    I stress the following is just my opinion and others may well differ. Also I haven't tried every available paper although I have sampled a good number.



    This is my current favourite paper in the 'High White" version, also in a block although blocks are more expensive than sheets.




    Fabriano Artistico "Extra White' was one on Charles Reids favourites and also mine. He said it suited his style of painting, and didn't like Arches as he said it was too 'hard -sized"

     I've gone off it for three reasons. Firstly the price has escalated, something that has affected all papers in line with the increasing overall costs for watercolour artists. The others are the block size "18 x 12", my preference being "16" x 12", and the way the blocks fall apart when you get down towards the last few sheets. Waterford hold together very well.





    This paper was introduced to me by Judi Whitton and Charles, who knew Judi who attended at least two of his workshops, one of which I was on, probably heard of it from her. He considered it equal to Fabriano but particularly liked the block size. Unfortunately getting hold of Schut papers, including the favoured Noblesse, was difficult. I first read about it in a book by the late Zoltan Szabo. I actually obtained some from an art shop in Stow, then from a small wholesaler,(actually a private house with a small warehouse, in Banbury. This then dried up.




    I recently decided to see, with rising prices in papers, if Schut was still available and at what sort of price. Enquiries discovered the Schut paper mill had changed hands and was now part of the Fontaine group. Further enquiries finally brought the information that ALL 100% cotton papers under the Fontaine label were actually the paper previously marketed as Schut Noblesse. There are four surfaces and a good range of blocks and sheets. A new surface called 'Cloud Effect' is also available. 

    Both Great Art and the SAA are selling them, not yet Jacksons though. There is some slight confusion in that there is conflicting information regarding the number of sheets in a block, some saying 15 and others 25. This has an effect on the price per sheet, which seems to be approximately the same as Waterford or slightly higher. I haven't bought any as I have a large supply of paper, possibly enough to last except if I reach 100. Actually I'm exaggerating here slightly. I'm currently painting on the reverse side of failed paintings. Ron Ransom told me he did this and it is perfectly possible on decent papers like Fabriano and Waterford. I have many!

    What other papers have I tried.? Quite a few actually. I have a small stock of Moldau, the Czech hand-made paper, obtained with great difficult, the saga of which is related somewhere on this blog. A lovely paper but getting hold of it oh dear! I also found, quite by chance a small shop selling quite small sheets of loose watercolour paper in Amalfi on the Sorrento coast of Italy. The largest was 11" x 15", quite light at about 90lbs. A lovely paper I have to say but I I've not been back since that second visit. The lady owner, when asked where she got it, waved her arm saying 'at my factory over there'. I doubt I'll go to Sorrento again but would certainly buy more if she was still there. 

    Another paper creating waves, especially in the USA from where it emanates. is Stonehenge Aqua. Rave reviews have appeared  from American artists. Jacksons sell it and I've purchased and painted on a block of the 16" x 12" size with a not surface and rate it equal to the Waterford. Certainly not superior (in my opinion). The American Strathmore group have a good name but `I have no experience with any of their papers. 

    Other than that what can I say? There are lots of other papers including some very expensive hand-made ones. The ones I've listed are mainly 100% cotton, which to me is a benchmark.  Cotton and linen is mentioned in some of the high end papers.

    If price is a factor, and when isn't it these days, for us struggling amateurs, Great Art do an own brand called Centenaire which is 100% cotton and cheaper than the above. The Hannemuhle group have several cheaper papers and there are a few others.  Frankly the long established Bockingford, made from high grade wood pulp (they say) is as good as anything if you want an inexpensive, decent paper. Some will say cotton papers are better, and they probably are, but  do many  amateurs need to spend big bucks?  Based on my experience with several local art groups I suggest no is the answer.








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  • 03/13/20--03:00: Stages of a Work in Progress
  • I generally do my portraits of Amerindians from old black and white photographs, many originally taken by the famous photographer Edward Curtis. This is not easy as most have large shadow areas with all detail lost, and very large contrasts between black and white. On the plus side this is something which prevents you being too realistic, providing you follow  Charles Reids teaching of only painting what you can actually see.


    Stage 2

    I say Stage Two as I always draw the image first as Stage One, using a size 7 2B propelling pencil, although I sometimes use 'proper ' pencils, again 2B well sharpened. In this case I have already started painting the face. The eyes come first followed by the nose and then the mouth. This is the basic approach I follow which is the one Charles Reid taught. Colours are Cadmium Red Light  (PR108), Cerulean Blue (PB36). RawSienna or Yellow Ochre also featured in Charles skin tones but here there is no RawSienna.




    Stage Three

    Here the face has progressed further and I have started on his headdress. This is the most difficult part and I am pondering how to proceed further. I have a tendency normally to rush things and while this sometimes comes off often it doesn't. I prefer a minimalistic approach as I think overworking it one of the most common mistakes in watercolour. There are artists who do the most super realistic paintings in watercolour and I marvel at their skill but wonder if acrylics are better with this sort of approach.


    Amerindian Chief 16" x 12"

    This is the finished painting (unfinished as I want to avoid 'over-finishing") This approach doesn't appeal to everyone as I well know. I actually scrapped the one above and re did it from scratch, still keeping to the same approach. The reason I scrapped the previous effort is that I was following the photograph - which was very complicated - rather than just using it as a guide. It simply wasn't working out. I like parts of this painting but I can see faults, the mouth, right cheek, and the nose could be better. In some respects it is getting closer  but nowhere near perfect - if such a thing is achievable. The struggles of a would be watercolour artist! And this after 20 years.


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  • 04/01/20--02:33: Watercolour Paintings 65
  • And still they keep coming! I've said it many times before but its worth repeating. The wealth of talent across the World in watercolour never ceases to amaze me. Wonderful artists proliferate. Long may it be so. 


    Jung Hun-sung
     I don't know this artist. There are so many wonderful Asian artists.


    Lars eje Larsson

    One of my favourite artists. A unique style.


    Eugene Chisnicean


    Mary Whyte

    One of the doyens of American artists.


    Natalie Graham

    A newish one to me . I like her minimalist , loose approach


    John Blockley

    One of the greats of British watercolour painting


    John Yardley

    Another British great, fortunately still with us in his mid-eighties



    Tony Couch

    A prominent American who was formerly an airline pilot.

    Jen Buckley

    I like this very much, again a small area of detail and the rest generalities. very much the Charles Reid approach although the style is different.


    Catherine Rey

    The superb French artist





    Jane Davies

    This is very like my granddaughters new dog, Herbert which came from a dog rescue sanctuary



    Emma Fitzpatrick

    A new one to me. An interesting style.



    Tomaz Mikutel

    I like this. Hares seem a very popular subject at the moment, figurines as well as paintings.


    Brian Tai


    Natalie Graham

    Another imaginative painting of the popular Hare from Natalie.




    Joseph Zbukvic

    The Master Australian



    Bianca Alvarez

    A new one to me



    The much missed Charles Reid



    Kees van Aalst

    Author of 'Realistic Abstracts" which caused quite a stir when published.

    That's it folks hope you find things to interest and admire. A lot can be learned by studying other fine artists.



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  • 04/09/20--04:07: Jacksons Watercolours
  • As well as budget makes from the majors, Cotman from Winsor & Newton is one well-known example plus Van Gogh from Talens (Rembrandt),we also have house brands that have increased a lot over the last few years. One such is Jacksons. As part of my look at cheaper brands with my ongoing  campaign, and I have no great expectations of success,  against the eye watering prices of the majors I purchased three tubes.  I know this is a small sample but see later.


    Jacksons started off with 40 colours but according to the website there are now 48. However the colour chart shows 43! I also wonder if the pigment information is correct. For example they are still showing PY153 for Jacksons Yellow Light, whereas PY 153 was discontinued some time ago. On the Youtube piece mentioned there is a suggestion in the comments that some changes have been made and the labels have yet to catch up. I count 27 single pigments out of 43 which is about 60%. I have e mailed them querying the discrepancy in the number of paints and have yet to receive a reply. In the past I've always found them very good at answering queries but I think they are suffering staff shortages due to the virus and are are also very busy. It seems us artists are finding ways to occupy our time! I expect to get a reply in due course and will print it when received.

    The tubes are not very attractive but its whats inside that really matters. This is the largest size 21ml. There are also 10ml tubes and half and full pans. 




    From left to right the three swatches are Cerulean Blue, Raw Umber and Burnt Umber. When I opened the Cerulean tube I was disturbed to see a lot of liquid came out and Teoh had the same problem with certain colours.  He puts it down to an excess of gum arabic. This is separation and often happens if tubes have been hanging on racks for a long time. One of the replies to Teoh  said "shake the tubes well before use" and this indeed seems to work. I would have thought though that this range from Jacksons sells quite well and the tubes are not that old..

    Once I got to the pigment the colour seems okay and I'm reasonably happy with it. The Raw Umber is a different matter. This is very dark and I think I'll have to find a better lighter one. The Burnt Umber is slightly redder than the Raw Umber and may be satisfactory. These  latter colours are not that popular with many artists, and the Australian maestro Robert Wade condemned Burnt Umber in one of his books. But then he also condemned Paynes Grey and Yellow Ochre.

    I now come to a splendid piece on YouTube  from the artist Teoh Chie where he covers Jacksons watercolours in some detail and paints out swatches of fourteen. This elicited several interesting responses from some who had tried and indeed used them. It is well worth looking at this video which (I think) gives a balanced and realistic view of these paints. They are made by Sennelier but are not exactly the same. Teoh looked at the equivalent Sennelier colours and points out differences, in some instances,  in the pigments.

    Looking at prices the  Cerulean at £9.50, is very reasonable for 21ml. Current Cerulean prices from Jacksons - all 15ml unless otherwise stated -  : Daniel Smith £15.30, Winsor & Newton (14ml) £13.50, Lukas (24ml) £10.00, Sennelier (21ml) £13.70p,  Shin Han £13.00, Turner £6.10 and Mission Gold £6.80.  Makes you think doesn't it? I was surprised how expensive Shin Han has become and how cheap  Turner and Mission Gold are.  On my blog  I have had  comments on all these cheaper makes and, while there are a few reservations, there has also been positives. From this though Lukas has to be the star buy. I like Lukas, apart from some of the multi pigment mixes. The paint comes from the tube like toothpaste but dissolves easily once water is added. Lukas are now part of the Daler Rowney group. My best buys not so long ago included Daler Rowney then we had a substantial price hike. I've been wondering if and when Lukas will follow.

    Despite these high prices Jacksons still say Daniel Smith is a "Best Seller". I'm not disputing they are very good paints overall. There are indeed some unique colours and I might still buy odd ones but certainly not the standard colours. If I won the lottery it might be different but then everything would be different.  For amateurs like myself to spend these high prices in my opinion makes no sense. I very much doubt it makes most better painters despite comments I get, mainly from  professional artists, that the difference in their paintings is noticeable. This might apply comparing them to the budget makes but what about Lukas, Sennelier and  some of the Asian makes? There are colours in these ranges that compare very well if you are selective.








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    I have finally got around to trying the new liquid charcoal. I used the approach taken by Stephie Butler, to whom thanks are due. This is to major on the charcoal with the addition of one or two watercolours in moderate amounts. There is a degree of abstraction in that colour realism isn't the object.



    Native American 16" x 12"

    For applying the charcoal I used a No 8 Da Vinci Cosmotop Mix B brush. This is a mixed hair brush with some synthetic. This brush in various sizes is a favourite of artists like Viktoria Prischedko. I did this because of the possible effect on my Kolinsky sables, although I did use two Isabey small brushes for the eye detail. Possibly my concerns are unwarranted. The watercolours used were the Rowney Permanent Magenta and a lesser amount of Daniel Smith Lunar Violet. This latter is very dark, almost black. and not particularly violet. The Lunar colours are very interesting as they granulate really well but  otherwise on the dull side.

    The charcoal was easy to use. It dilutes well and can also be used at strength for real darks. I like the effect very much. I do suspect that the Daniel Smith Lunar Black, a true watercolour, might well be able to be used in a similar way. I say this as I've just had the above photo removed from 'Watercolour Addicts; - a pure watercolour group - as 'mixed media'. I was surprised initially but then realised that technically they were right. I say 'technically' as I'm inclined to think this new product is more like watercolour than charcoal. However if you allow one thing then that might open the floodgates. In any event I've now joined a couple of other groups that allow other mediums. Why? Because I intend to do more paintings using this medium.

    Nitram Liquid Charcoal is available in a 50ml tube. I bought mine from Jacksons at just over £20. This seems steep but you do get 50 ml which is quite a lot. The amount I used on the painting is probably more than with a conventional watercolour. It comes out of the tube fairly soft - not liquid - and I used it mainly diluted with water but you can utilise it full strength. I think you will get through it fairly quickly, more so than a highly pigmented watercolour.

    A final word. It's just my opinion of course but I'm really pleased with the painting and give this product top marks. The caveat is the way you paint and the style you like. It won't gel with the realistic and superrealistic artists. It is more for the messy ones like me.


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  • 04/16/20--03:35: Latest Paintngs
  • I'm painting quite a lot at the moment, including drawing. With the way things are developing I may paint even more if we have to self isolate  at some stage.  (This was written sometime ago. We are self isolating and have been for two weeks with more to come)We've just been told by the latest press conference to 'avoid non essential' social contact. We've already shut down the AVA before the lockdown until further notice, which may last a considerable time. I fear this will threaten the survival of the group but there is nothing else we can do. These are my latest efforts. I've scrapped a couple of others All 16" x 12"




    "Cowgirl "

    I attempted here to treat this subject in a similar manner to a Charles Reid demo at Stow in the Wold. I wasn't on that particular workshop but Judi Whitton was and subsequently purchased it. She has it in her 2005 book ( Collins) "Loosen up Your Watercolours". and try and improve it, perhaps adding as little red. in places, just the odd spot.




    Too much red on the left facing side of the face? I think so.




    'Red Pandas"

    I was pleased with this but very few likes on 'Facebook'. Now if I had a name!😎




    An Amerindian woman - This didn't work well either as I introduced what Charles Reid used to call arbitrary colours, colours that aren;'t actually there.





    Alison - First try. As I wasn't happy I did it again.




    The Jay isn't  bad but I 'm not keen on the background. I'm not good at backgrounds which Charles used to say were the hardest part of a painting.





    The Kiowa 'Lone Wolf"

    I actually really like this but as often the case I don't get many likes on the groups on Facebook I post in. Nice to be (not) appreciated.😎 Still I'm sticking with this approach - well not all the time.




    An Amerindian woman. The difficulty with many of these old indian photos is that they are either a sepia colour or black and white and the contrast is extreme. 




    Herbert

    This is my granddaughters Jack Russell  terrier 'Herbert" . He came from a dog rescue kennel. He's nine and a little cutie. Already adored. I'm pleased with this and so was my granddaughter (although she hasn't asked for it!). The resemblance is good.




    Charging Rhino - Overworked



    Alison - 2nd Attempt. The eyes are a little too large otherwise better than the first one. I've actually done a little more work on this one reducing the size of the eyes. Contrary to what is sometimes said you can make alterations to watercolours although you walk a thin line when doing so. If the colours are staining, which many of the synthetics are,  then it is more difficult.





    I think you can see the eyes are smaller compared to the above and are more in proportion.




    Bad Hair Day Penguin

    This is a fun painting and I like it.



    Native American

    This one has already bitten the dust. It was very hard going from the original photo, very black with very little detail. I used to publish the original photos I based the paintings on but gave it up because most comments just judged them on whether the resemblance was good or not.



    Young Kickapoo Man




    "Contemplation"

    This was done immediately after two failures with an Amerindian portrait. Both torn up. I was very frustrated which happens sometimes.








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  • 05/01/20--04:18: Watercolour Paintings 66
  • Here are the latest batch for May. With the dreadful state the World is in with the Covid-19 pandemic:  the UK in a terrible situation. Arguably  the pandemic has been badly handled  in the UK, and this applies to some others, while countries like New Zealand, Greece  and South Korea, to name just three have shown the rest of us up. I normally avoid politics on here but things are too serious to be mealy mouthed. May I wish whoever reads this and their families are safe and best wishes for the future. I make the following proviso. I think all the paintings shown are watercolour but is is possible some aren't. Also I am having difficulty in finding some artists names as the sources I obtain them from don't say.  Any mistakes  are entirely my own fault and corrections welcome. I have posted a bumper lot to relieve the gloom (a little). Some wonderful artists,  great paintings and a wide variety of styles and subjects. The Wonderful World of Watercolour. Enjoy!



    Alvaro Castagnet - Look at that red!



    Natalie Graham



    Jeanette Clark



    Elke Memmler - Great colour.



    Millind Mullick (?)



    Charles Reid




    Sterkovart



    Lars eje Larsson




    Gerard Hendriks



    Dianne Wallace



    Jem Bowden - Typical British  scene in the style of Wesson and Seago



    Myint Naing



    Annemiek Groenhout



    Shari Blackoof



    Yuko Nagayama - enough said!



    Morten E Solberg Snr



    Fernando Pena



    Bev Jozwiak



    John Salminen



    Tansu Ozmen



    Fealing Lin



    Celine Doderman



    Artist???



    Brenda Swenson




    Charles Reid




    Artist? ??



    Karl Martens. You cannot tell from this but he paints very large




    Lynne Parker



    Michel Jasiewicz



    Corneliu Dragan



    Brens Swenson




    Gerard Hendriks - enough said



    Artist???



    Millind Mullick




    Rae Andrews







    Gerard Hendriks


    To repeat again I'm slightly concerned I have all the artists correctly named. If anyone wishes or are able to correct me please do so. I welcome corrections.


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    This is too good to miss!



    Great Art have a very good offer on Sennelier watercolours. This is 25% off and brings the prices to an affordable level, much cheaper than current Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton  for example - and most other leading makes. Great Art have a minimum purchase of I think £39.95p to get free delivery. You just need to check by 'googling "Great Art" and it will appear. Sennelier have pans and half pans and also 10ml and 21ml tubes. I'm very tempted!

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  • 05/19/20--04:28: Most Recent Paintings
  • Here are my latest over the last week or two. I have scrapped a number! All 16" x 12"unless otherwise stated.



    Hares seem a very popular subject at the moment, both paintings and figurines. There are some very interesting paintings around , mostly by female artists, which inspired me to try my own.  I'm no sexist!




    This is another, in this case,  inspired by the American artists Bev Jozwiak who does lots of Jackdaw paintings, and very good they are, in-fact sensationally good.



    "Big Boy"

     

    "Where are my wives"



    I've actually discarded this one.


    Latest Big cat.




    Another Bird 12" x 9"




    Goldfinch




    "Redstart"


    "Mountain Man'



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  • 06/01/20--03:32: Watercolour Paintings 67

  • Here is the latest batch for June. Once again I ask if any mistakes I have made you can correct please advise me. I believe all these paintings are watercolour but cannot be absolutely sure so again - let me know so I can correct any errors. I always work on the principal of trying to present the widest possible range of watercolours to show the versatility of this wonderful medium, together with bringing to you the wonderful artists who proliferate across the globe. I do admit that my particular tastes also feature.


    Lian Quan Zhen


    Natalie Graham


    Charles Reid

    I was present at this demo at Stow in the Wold


    Annemiek Groenhout



    Bev Jozwiak



    Artist???



    Galina Gomzina




    Genevieve Buchanan

    I met Genevieve on a Charles Reid workshop


    Gerard Hendriks

    Another from the superb artists and lovely man Gerard


    Edo Hannema


    Huang Huang




    Jane Betteridge


    Another from Bev Jozwiak/ I particularly like her jackdaw paintings.


    Charles Reid

    A typical Reid figure demo


    Igor Mosijcuk



    Kate Osborne


    Munkhuu Gugu



    ??Hoffmann



    Valery Krudikovski


    Ko Byung Jun


    Tatyana Zolotuhina



    Sandra Strohschein


    Claudie Capdeville


    Gerda Mertens

    Great use of colour from this Belgium artist



    Reine-Marie Pinchon


    Kubra Turkegul


    Corneliu Dragan Targoviste-


    Yuko Nagayama


    Lai-Young-Lin


    llias Aidarov

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