I don't often paint scenes of boats or the sea, but after seeing work by Robert Brindley and Haidee-Jo Summers I was inspired. I make no claim to have the skill or talent of those two I believe you only improve if you challenge yourself by trying. A scene looking directly into the sun (centre jour) allows for a dramatic contrast and some bright sparkle on the water. It also puts objects into partial or complete silhouette which makes for simplified shapes, something a painter often considers when composing. In my watercolour here, I have used an image shot on a telephoto lens, foreshortening the yacht into a dramatic vertical motif, leaning over to give a sense of movement with a few figures on the right to balance both the vessel and my painting. The palette was kept to four colours: cerulean blue, French ultramarine, brown madder and red. A touch of white gouache was employed to pick out some highlights. Overall, I'm pleased with the painting, but would like to improve the sea, to give it more sparkle. Onwards!
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Stillman & Birn telling me that I was the lucky recipient of a Gamma sketchbook and a set of Faber Castell pencils. I get through many sketchbooks, quickly filling pages, using mainly pencil and wash. For the past few months I’ve been using Faber Castell’s water soluble 6B & 8B pencils with a Pentel water brush. These pencils sharpen well and give a smooth wash once wetted. The Pentel brushes keep a point and deliver water with controlled consistency. I've not tried other makes but this chap on You Tube has.
Recently I tried something from Australia (via Jackson’s Art Supplies, London) called Liquid Pencil. It’s graphite powder in some sort of acrylic medium, I chose the non-reworkable but they offer a range of tints - warm>cool -and a reworkable version. I spent yesterday at Chichester making a few sketches of the cathedral with the Gamma sketchbook, Faber Castell 8B w/s pencils and the pot of liquid pencil. Thanks go to Stillman & Birn and Faber Castell USA for sending these fine gifts. Below are some of the results, one or two more successful than others.
A quick painting of a quick foxes. Here I tried to capture the dynamism of the animal as it turns during a high speed run, and another as it stalks prey in the snow.
Some months ago I watched a video in which David Bellamy charged about Welsh mountains and the Pembroke coast. His enthusiasm and ability to withstand the cold are entertaining and enviable respectively. On one location he sketched with a water soluble pencil, something I'd not used before, so decided to investigate. I bought a couple - 4B and 6B and teamed them with a Pentel water brush, which precludes the need for a separate pot of water. From the first stroke I was hooked and now use the technique as my preferred sketching method, it's quick and easy, producing both hard line and soft wash with ease, giving the drawing plenty of the wonderfully accidental atmosphere. I made a short video showing a memory sketch of the London skyline.
Below are a few examples of my water soluble pencil sketches.
Required GDPR message:
This website uses marketing and tracking technologies. Opting out of this will opt you out of all cookies, except for those needed to run the website. Note that some products may not work as well without tracking cookies.Opt Out of Cookies