Saturday, 16 August 2014

Ullswater watercolour

Painted in Watercolours 
Size12.5 X 15 inch

Maybe it was the heavy rain, or low mist surrounding the valley, or is it just maybe that I've been missing painting Lakes. It's good to have a break and paint different subjects and it helps bring new ideas to familiar scenes.I hope you like my Lakeland scene, I really enjoyed  splashing and spraying water about and getting the big brush out.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Painting rainbows in watercolour

We've had some pretty impressive storms over here in the Alps and it's not been just rain but beautiful Rainbows. Some full smiling faces and some half arcs. It got me thinking that I've never painted a Rainbow. I've spent a few days thinking about it, planning how to tackle the battle. I felt that watercolor would be the most responsive, and would give a real Turner feel.

Stage One Painting Rainbows in Watercolour

Arches 'Not' paper stretched. The entire paper was dampened and Gamboge and Cadmium Red was washed in along with Winsor Blue and a little Permanent Rose,While this was damp I took out an arc shape with a damp hake flat brush. This was left to dry and then the mountain shapes painted in. Winsor Blue and Permanent Rose helped shape the dark shades in the mountains while Gamboge and Cadmium Red gave a rich hue for light in the mountains. These were all dampened underneath with clean water to soften.

Stage Two
Painting Rainbows in Waterercolour

Juicy dark hues of Winsor Blue, Cadmium Red and a hint of Permanent rose was used for the foreground tree shapes. The tricky stage came now, the Rainbow' I decided to dampen the dry rainbow with a hake brush and quickly added a weak wash of Cadmium Red, followed by Lemon Yellow and a very weak Winsor Blue. To stop any hard lines forming I softened the edges of the arc with a damp hake brush.Hey Presto ' A rainbow'
This is my first Rainbow study, I'm sure there will be more especially with this stormy weather.

If you would like to learn more on softening watercolours my first Online course shows you in easy step by step stages for more information

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Mont Faron

 Mont Faron from pretty Sanary Sur Mer a fairly easy cycle ride!! Map reading through the busy streets of Toulon. Age has caught up with me we now need cycling and reading glasses to find our way. This famous 508 metre high mountain overlooking the port of Toulon promised a view that was on a par with Hong Kong and Rio. The view was pretty awesome especially on this sunny hot day. I preferred the view of the pretty port of Sanary with it's buildings of pastel shades below the turquoise waters

Can you feel the heat of the day, I wish you could smell the perfume of Provence. If I could bottle it I think it would make a fortune. Warm herbs, perfumed pine and sunshine flowers. It made cycling up this narrow road a pure joy, that will never be forgotton.

Looking back down to the port and out to sea.

Round hairpin bends, In a landscape of shades that Cezanne and Van Gogh loved. 
A soft top car whizzes by, a lady at the wheel wearing a big floppy hat blowing in the wind and dressed in a polka dot dress. It could only be Provence.

'Florence and Sophie' painted in Watercolours

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Painting boats

Just had a few sunny days in Sanary Sur Mer. It made me realise I have a boat fettish! This pretty little port full of colourful boats bobbing gently in the Mediterranean is a perfect place for the artist who likes a boat or two on their paper or canvas. And they all have wonderful names, like Irene, Jeremy, Sophie and La Romance just to name a few.

I sat and sketched and started a watercolour that just needs a few finishing touches. I'll share it over the next few days. It made me think, how much I do enjoy painting water and boats they do make interesting subjects. 
My Online watercolor course features two easy step by step projects including boats 'Red boat Windermere' shows how a splash of colour in a tonal moody landscape can give real impact and 'Turquoise Waters Annecy' uses lots of different masking techniques and wonderful bright complementary colours.

 A quick watercolour study capturing the sunshine in the hull (I'm sure this is the technical term for inside the boat)

Complementary colours of Blues and Orange in this Oil study.

 A splash of Cadminum Red in a Windermere lake scene.

Floating on Lac Annecy  watercolour

A trio soaking in the Med sunshine.

The Online watercolour course Price £75.00 includes six step by step projects, colour tags and sketches for each painting, material list and feedback on each project with handy tips. 
The perfect present for the budding artist with a personal voucher

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Colourful Annecy

Love how these bikes are parked, not sure if one of them will fall into the Canal.

Annecy is a lovely city, full of light and colour. I'm sure it's because of the Lake, it reminds me of a mini Venice but without the Gondoliers. Pretty street side cafes, perfect for a little people watching. It's a place that's definitely appeals to the artist or photographer with subjects round every corner.

With lots of different shots to be taken, not sure why, but this chap caught my eye, notice his dog patiently tied around his waist.The girls behind and to the side all taking photo's.

This little beauty certainly deserved a shot, each little bit was savoured with joy, even the tag was Chocolate! Betty's of Yorkshire certainly have competition in France! By the way it was delicious, all that biking and this artist certainly needs a few treats!

A Watercolour Course for Beginners and Improvers, cake friendly

My Paintings from Annecy

 'Bella Donna' painted in Oils

Sundown Annecy painted in Oils

Annecy painted watercolours

Floating painted in Watercolours

Sunday Afternoon Sail painted in Watercolours

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sunshine oil

Stage One
I had prepared some Arches Oil paper with an underbase of Pink and Orange. I decided on a high horizon line, quickly blocked in the background, I wanted to keep this loose. The Lake was then painted in with a few different shades of Blue getting darker into the foreground. I applied the paint negatively around by bathing beauty. Styled her hair and popped in some dark shadows in her legs and arm. She was then left overnight to relax.

Bella Donna
Stage Two
The lake was painted in blocking in the jetty at the same time. Skin tones were applied and her lovely floating white top. The Sunglasses caused a bit of a problem, but the basket was great fun. The hands and feet certainly kept me quiet and were chopped off a few times and started again.
I'm leaving her again to dry out for a few days, her yellow towel is wet through

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Cat Mountain

Lac Bourget noted for it's beauty by many artists and poets. 
Much quieter than Annecy but equally as rugged and beautiful. It reminded me of the Italian lakes with it's vineyards growing on the hillsides and it certainly was warm.
Perfect weather for cycling up the two noted hardest cols in France, which I can agree totally with.

'Mont Chat' aka 'Cat Mountain' was the first devil of a climb with gradients between 9 to 11% all the rotten way. Dappling tree shade most of the way and glimses down to the lake below. The vista opens up with views down to Chambery and across the alps to Mont Blanc. With a massive radio mast at the top, which reminded me of Mont Ventoux

The top was reached finally, I did get off and do a couple of sneaky pushing the bike when nobody was watching. Also thought at the last kilometre to go, I don't need to see the top but it's amazing what you can do when there is a cold refreshing drink at the top.

Recovered and it feels on top of the world!!

Lac Bourget below amid the wild flowers growing on the edge.

Day two finds us at the foot of Grand Colombier. This mighty hard climb featured only once in the tour de France a couple of years ago.Here I am admiring the view, and also muttering words that I cannot repeat. The road was melting below our tyres this gauges the heat of the day.

The views from the saddle were spectacular, the reason why I do this mad mad thing. I'm not looking back but across to the might Mont Blanc below. Figuring how to paint the sky with these cotton wool clouds.
We are joined at the top by a group of other balmy cyclists all happy and enjoying the vista.

Great seeing these famous names from when Wiggo won in 2012, I wish they were both racing this year.

I thought the Cormet Roselend was picturesque but this was quite stunning and a wonderful free ride down after the battle uphill on 14% at a couple of places. Number One Art Critic passed a sign and said happily 'look a 8% ' it read 8.9 I call that 9% Saying all of this I'm delighted to have cycled this famous hard route.And quite proud.