Sponge painting with watercolours

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Autumn scenes again. These are both purely watercolour, with no masking or white paint. Most of it is painted using sponges, both wiping on and stippling coloured layers, plus some printing on details using the edges of bits of torn cardboard to create black trunks. The white detail of birch trees and sunlight is done by scratching through the paint into the paper below with a sharp blade. Very quick and effective, but you have to plan what you are doing very carefully. Colours have to go on in the right sequence. Both pictures start off with a complete over wash of dark blue, spread on with a sponge onto wet paper. You wouldn’t think it to look at it. But blue under yellow looks green…

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Mixed media and watercolour classes

In the mixed media class we were exploring creating an illusion of space. That was the brief I didn’t think much to my production. My camera agreed, it refused to upload the image. You haven’t missed much

I the watercolour class we were looking at combining watercolour and charcoal, using the idea of trees in first the autumn and then the summer.

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I like the colours and contrasts of the autumn attempt, but not the composition. It is too uniform and the size of neaer trees is not convincing.

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The summer is I think much better. The more distant trees are in thin blue chalk, the closer ones modelled more heavily in charcoal. There is also more of a rhythm to the trunks/ The water colour is applied wet on wet and allowed to move and blur.The effect is lovely but completely unpredictable. This is picture about trees in general rather than any specific trees. I may explore these a bit further.

Watercolour Cottages

We worked form a photograph this week, which is not my favourite, but we were really exploring technique rather than subject..

A simple ink drawing based on carefully spaced pencilled dots and dashes

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Then wetting the paper where the sky will be and dotting on blue colour, blowing it around and tilting and shaking the board to get it to spread

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Next, more water on the paper and yellow and a bit of red again dotted and splashed around where trees might be.

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The buildings now painted. This time the paper is dry, but roofs, walls and hedges just painted on with single strokes, followed by slight touches of contrasting colours.

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Finally, the foreground, whatever it is, is splashed on. First wetting the paper in streaks and then touching on yellow. This is allowed to dry to give a bright background. Water again applied and blues and reds touched over the area. The wet paint is blown and tipped and shaken t get it to move around the surface before it dries.

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Removing the masking tape reveals and frames the finished result in all its glory, or not.

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