Well, it’s back to watercolour after all these years! I haven’t really used them since giving up illustration, about 20 years ago. However, I wanted to try some small, fast, painting and watercolour is ideal for this.
I had a great time, who would have thought it, I guess when you’ve used them day in, day out, for over 10 years, all that accrued experience stays with you.
You can see all the results below (click on each one to see larger images), but I have to admit, I’m very happy with the outcome.
The painting was so much quicker, I was able to do at least one painting a day, and the whole experience was very freeing creatively. I’m moving on to some portraiture next, which will be much larger (I just can’t resist painting big!), so I hope to be able to carry that freedom into my new work.
Since leaving college (about 20 years ago) I’ve not done any outdoor art, but recently, it’s been on my mind to try it again. So, on a trip down to Cornwall, I did just that. You can see the result on my main site here Unfortunately, I only got to do 40 minutes before the rain drove me away, (I know, what a fair weather artist!) I then finished the piece back in the studio.
I’m pretty happy with the outcome, certainly happy enough to want to do it again, as I thought it changed the painting experience for the better. I feel my brain goes into a meditative state when I’m painting (if it’s going well!) and an article in the Huffington post, about how art improves the brain, makes for very interesting reading:
It’s very interesting the way working on your prints changes the way you relate to your art. A great way of making your work more affordable, in the past I’ve always handed my art over to a printer to do the scanning and colour matching for me. Now I’m doing my own and I’ve really enjoyed it!
The main things I’ve learnt are:
There’s far more to an image than I thought, what with brightness, contrast, levels, curves, exposures and colour balances all affecting the way it looks on the screen. You then have software, monitor and printer colour interpretation to think about…
All the above can get a bit frustrating when that one image just won’t go right and you have to decide on whether to try another tweak, and use another sheet of that very expensive, top quality paper, or trust that it’ll be fine.
Again as a result of the above, you need to chill out. Getting obsessive won’t help the print be any better, or your blood pressure.
Having said that, your art is worth the work, the end product has to be very, very good, but you can go too far!
It makes for a great way to reflect on your art and see where you want to go next. I’ve been looking back over 10 years worth of work, it’s been a real experience.
I’m really looking forward to seeing how the prints are received, out there in the commercial world.
It’s taken a long time, but the Black Bear commission is now finished. Well… when I say finished, it’s reached, what I call, the first finish line. I’ll have to live with it for a while to see what changes I want to make, as after working on this for over 200 hours, there are bound to be things I’ll want to alter. You can see how the work progressed below.
Whilst still working on the Black Bear, I’ve received a commission to do another Field of Gold painting. The client saw the first one in the Southern Nature Art Exhibition, but it had already sold. I’ve made a few changes, there is now a male Whitethroat in the field of rapeseed for example. Hopefully making this a truly unique Christmas present.