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winsor & newton

Watercolor field

field

I wanted to do something quick and simple  to try out a pad of watercolor paper that i got some time back. When I get really nice art supplies I tend to be afraid to use them. I guess i don´t want to mess up and waster them. So they sometimes tend to sit unused for far to long.

Anyway, the paper in question was The Langton Prestige from Daler Rowney. It´s the 300 gsm (140lb) cold press variety made from 100% cotton. I usually go for the cold pressed papers. This is one of those pads that are glued on all four sides so you don’t have to stretch the paper before painting. It´s probably useful if you are painting outside. I found it to be very convenient, but I also found the finished painting got be a bit hard to remove without  cutting it up by accident. It turned out alright in the end, but it was still a problem.

The sky is painted wet on wet, one of my favorite things to do when it comes to watercolor. As for the color palette, I keep coming back to yellow ochre and olive greens. I think they go well together and there is just something about this combination that is really pleasing to me.

This was created with the help of a reference image from PaintMyPhoto, the photographer being Irini Adler

Do you have any color you keep coming back to?

Landscape in watercolor

landscape

I´ve been drawing lots of landscapes lately. So when I felt like doing some watercolor painting, there where plenty of finished sketches to choose from.

I´m one of those people who almost always do at least one preliminary sketch.

This painting is made using three primary colors and two earth tones, mixed in various ways. Just like my previous landscape. I tried painting the sky wet in wet this time however, which I think turned out pretty well. Normally, i´m to scared of ruining things to work with a lot of water.  But there will be further experiments with this technique in the future.I also tried using a fan brush, that I bought at a local art supply store for next to nothing. Might have gotten a bit carried away and used it too much. Oh well, at least I learned something.

There where the usual problems with getting the photo to somewhat match the original painting. It´s not quite there yet, a lot of the more subtle shades have been lost. Overall, it seems very of. But this was the best I could do.

Maybe next time, I will make a landscape where there´s spring. I would need a different green though. What´s your favorite type of green?

Autumn landscape

autumn landscape

Maybe it´s the bleak weather we had here for the past few days that inspired me to do an autumn landscape, even tough it´s spring right now. At least that´s what I´m told… Or maybe it´s just the fact that I recently got myself a few new paints. My old ones did pretty well, but i was concerned with the lightfastness for some of them. I only got three primaries this time, in addition to the lightfast earth tones I already had.

So in order to get familiar with the paints, I used a limited palette for this one. To be precise cadmium yellow, cadmium red, ultramarine and yellow ochre. But mixed in different ways of course. I found that my greens mostly came out as olives. But I do enjoy olives, and maybe it´s just the way I mixed them. Tough I´m thinking it´s one of the properties of the pigments.

I tried to use a more loose style for this, with more wet washes. Most of it was done during breaks while i was studying, which means i never worked on it for very long at once. Maybe that was a good thing, since it forced me to allow the water to dry properly. I also found that I could find mistakes in it easier. But of course many of them still sneaked past me.

There was some trouble with getting the colors right when I photographed this one. I did my best to get it somewhat right, but a lot of the more subtle shades are not really visible. I find this to often be the case with watercolors. Anyone got any hints for getting it right?

Watercolor once more

I spent some time with my watercolor today. After finishing an abstract piece, I wanted to do something different.

Sometimes, it´s very easy to just keep doing things the way you normally do. And I normally don´t make portraits and things like that in watercolor. Most of my work tend to be either landscapes or abstracts. And I normally do landscapes and plants in oil pastel. Portraits, of both people and animals, are made in charcoal and graphite is used for quick sketches.

So this is basically a try at breaking the habit. I tried to work pretty fast and loosely with this, since I tend to obsess about detail.  This was made without any reference, since it was a fast and spontaneous thing. So there´s about a million anatomical mistakes and other fails in there. But at least it allowed me to see the potential watercolor has for portraits. It´s a nice medium, looks so alive.

This might not be the nicest piece, but I consider it to be an important step down the road.

I actually feel a bit guilty about neglecting my other mediums, but I think there will be more time for them when autumn arrives. And I plan to explore more subjects in all of them. Some of it might turn out well, other things are likely to fail. But I will be sure to learn from all of it.

What´s your favorite medium? And what are your usual subjects?

Some abstract watercolor

I received a small amount of money as a gift for my graduation, and decided to treat myself to some new watercolors with it. Been quite obsessed with watercolors lately, I tend to obsess about things quite often. But there´s something about them that just feels right, and they “feel like summer” to me. And oil pastels are more like winter. Or maybe I´m just crazy. I do love the look of watercolors however, especially for illustrations.

This picture is what was created yesterday evening, to try those colors out. I wanted to keep the number of colors fairly low, but still be able to try them out properly. So only using primaries seemed like a good choice. Realism didn´t feel very tempting at the time. There´s something about just playing with different shapes that´s very enjoyable. And it´s easier to get some variation in the picture this way. When you´re bored, just turn it upside down or something 😛 I have a landscape planned for tonight though, because I want to use some green.

The set of watercolor I got for myself  was Winsor & Newton Cotman, a set of 12 half pans. Student grade paint, but still a big step up from the stuff I used before. And the set was cheap and small, very convenient to bring along. Especially when you have a water brush. I also got myself some watercolor paper, Canson Montval,  wich is nice to have. Not the best stuff, but great for practicing on. And cheaper than the slightly obscure store brands.

 

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