12 18

I Materials and Equipment 2 Basic watercotour Techniques

3 Painting in Monochrome
4 Separating Tone and Colour 5 Exploring Colour 6 Building Up a Painting 7 Creative Composition 8 Wet-in-wet Techniques


36 42

54 58

9 Sketching with a Purpose 10 Drawittq and Perspective 11 Simplifying the Landscape
12 Plann fng a Painting 13 Rescuing watercolours

68 74 80 88


14 Painting Interesting Skies 15 Wafer and Reflect ;OIlS

102 110

16 Trees in (he Landscape 17 Pas/oral Scenes 18 Light 01'1 the Landscape 19 Mountain Scenel)' 20 Coastal Subjects

126 132 140 148
158 159

Useful Addresses Index

n t.his section y.ou are introd~ced to the basic l.echniques of watercolo~r paintmg. At thi stage you will be carefully guided along the way, while you become familiar with your materials. The essential groundwork is covered here, including such topics as application of paint, mixing colours, using tone to maximum effect, and building up a painting gradually. The importance of keeping your painting methods simple is stressed and you are also shown compositional techniques which, if applied as demonstrated, will add power and appeal to your work. By the lime you have completed all the exercises in this section your work should be starting to show definite signs of improvement. For greatest benefit, try to put aside regular time for doing the exercises. Don'( despair if you do not progress as fast as you would like; you can always redo some of the exercises LO ensure [hat you are confident. enough to proceed to the next section. Nobody f nds painting easy, so you will not be alone!





mm (12x18




derailed work. unless you are painting on paper that is hall imperial size or larger. [hen you need a large mop.3 rigger.6 and a No.--------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- 1 Materials and Equipment For those about to embark on the adventure of painting in waiercolour. I rigger. The rigger bas the advantage over a shorter-haired brush as it can hold more paint and therefore does not need 10 be recharged so often. baving a vast army of colours available to you makes life complicated. tubes or pans of lamp Black and Chinese Wbjll:'. you will need a large brush (or laying washes. a No. which has long hairs and is excellent for fine. You really do not need much to begin working. WiLh Ilat brushes. The rna ierials j u ngle con rains a bewildering array of goodies to tempt the unwary. Other useful brushes are a 12 mm (~ in) nat and a No. You may even already have some materials which will fit the bill: if you own a No . of course.[or example. Next vou will need some smaller round brushes. and many presentation boxes produced by man ulact u rers contain aim of unnecessary items . These are the absolute minimum number of brushes to starr you oIf. The main concern here is to teach you how to lise waiercolour in the best way possible with minimum complications. The size of this depends. These are not as common or a popular as the lla L -------- 12 -------- . in the beginning. To stan with. a 25 mrn (I in) brush enables you to lay quite a large wash. Forget the brigh ily coloured boxes I Choose a few good materials and get to know them well. 10. BRUSHES The mai n q ualit y LO look (or in a watercolour brush is a good spring in the hairs. Firstly. The other brush I recommend is a No. If you are using a round brush. These days there arc excellent brushes with synthetic filaments. These large brushes come in either Ilat or round shapes. on the size of paper that you will be using. The temptation is to try a little or each in the mistaken assumption that 'they have to be used up'. 12 round brush. MORNING M1ST 330x495 rnrn (13x19Y. for example. Let us begin by looking at a lew of the most useful materials. materials can prove to be an expensive au tla y.. Some colours may never see the light of your studio. it is 110t at this stage worth buying a o. 10 would be a good combination. and. but these arc expensive and not really essential for beginners. which must come to a fine point and be capable of holding copious amounts or water. When dipped into water and shaken these brushes should come to a line point. The best brushes for watercolour are undoubtedly those made with Kolinsky sable.

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT ------~~~~~~~~~~~~~- 13 .

so then you can change to artists' qualit y. or even eighths ir you wish. The students' q ualit y paint is much cheaper but is not as finely ground as the artists'. Most ma 11 ufact urers prod uce waterrolour paper in three different surface textures . lubes of Daler-Rowney Georqian (students ') watercotours. However. beca use this will norcockle so much. Everyone has their individ ual prefc renee.that is. Alternatively you can buy pads or blocks of watercolour paper.--------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- PAPER warercolour paper comes in a variety of weights. wh ichis approximately 280x 380 mm (1 I x 15 in). No. Gain experience before trying HOI Pressed paper because it demands more control and skill with YOllr washes. a bailie of maskin9 _fluid. Bockingford paper bas a Not surface which will lake quite a bit of punishment. 1 use Saunders Waterford. and where it is important I have explained the reason for each choice. You can buy sheets of imperial-size watcrcolour paper and cut them up il1LO quarters. but once you become more competent }IOU can explore all the ranges available to see which suits you best. The lightest and cheapest. Many now are also calibrated in grams per square metre. a 25 mtn (I in) flat brush. paper is 90 lb and this is what [ would recommend [or doing small-scale exercises and gelling 10 know your paints. but lor the moment . Personally. Artists' quality pairus lend on the whole to be more intense" more permanent and much better ground. to start with. Not (which is not quill' so rough) and Hot Pressed (whiCh is very smooth). Watercolour paper comes in a variety of weigh rs. Rough. al least. for working on paintings 1 recommend 140 Ib paper. Once you SIMI selling paintings regularly you owe it to your customers to use the best materials available. whether they lade quickly or are Basic starter kit lor watercolour painting This includes a watercolour pad. Throughout ! h is course r ha ve used examples of NOI and Rough papers. surfaces and sizes. To begin with it is a good idea 10 work reasonably small and 1 recommend a size of quarter imperial. a No. you buy a pad or a few sheets of Bockingford 140 Ib or 200 Ib paper.. If you obtain a colour chan from your art shop it will show the range or colours available and their permanence rating ~ that is. In the USA the NO! surface is called Cold Pressed. I shall discuss stretching pa per la tcr all I recommend thai. A[ first it is advisable to Slick to one rna n u tact u rer's raper. Even so. if you usc a lot of Willer you will probabl y need to stretch 140 lb paper in the larger sizes. 1 rigger. which is slightly more expensive but is extremely robust and has an interesting surface texture. wh ich Iraditiona Ily arc calculated on the weight of a ream (500 sheets of paper). Most man 1I Iaciurers produce watercolour paints of students' and artists' quality. 6and No_ fa round brushes. a pencil and a large flat paleue 14------- .if }/Ol1 art':' starting warercolour painting it is just as well 10 buy students' paints. BQCK1NGFORD Dater WhTERCOLOUR PAD c6J\40((r> PAINTS Watercolour pain ts a re man u Iaciu red from panicles of pigment bound together by an agent such as gum arabic.

This would be an excellent palette for those with no permanent studio. Aquarelle water-soluble PCI cil will be needed La can pletc orne of the exercises in this book. A number of 38 or 4B pencils. You can gradually introduce new colours once you are larniliar with these. Light Red. I have deliberately excluded green in order to encourage colour mixing. which catch paint in the corners. The colours listed will give you an excellent range to work with during your initial paintings. Burnt Sienna and Scarlet Lake. whereas other paints when applied in a wash are more transparent. as open. Burnt Umber. Jt is not essential to buy a natural sponge although they are the best. but in the beginning you can quite easil y II se a white saucer or pia Le. Most manufacturers of art n aierials produce palettes with a number of wells in them. The students' colours I suggest you stan off with are Ultramarine.1 use a Daler-Rowney Westminster easel which will adj ust to an y angle. In the studio I use a large butcher'S tray as a palette. are necessary.a large plastic one with a tight-fitting lid. For demonstrations I use a Spencer-Ford paleue . Cobalt Blue (Hue). OTHER ITEMS At least one drawing board about 455x610 rnrn (18x24 in) is essential unless you work solely on blocks of watercolour paper. Sort and Very Soft grades of more permanent. an essential Karisrna An outdoor sketching group with David Bellamy at SI Brides Bay. which gives me ample room on which to mix my colours. Also. books and the like. find pans more convenient LO handle. Most greens are staining colours and not easy to remove if things go wrong. so that other materials do not become coruaminated with paint. There are a number of other materials whi h J find use ul. I do not generally LIse one. wet palettes do not make suitable bedfellows with sketches. [I contains my mess \ hils! travelling. It really is a matter of personal preference as to which you lise. plus a putty eraser which will disturb the paper surface less than a normal eraser. Some people. Some students find an easel indispensable. but make sure they are plain white. Masking lluid can be effective when working on Some features in a wa rercolou r paint ing. South wales -------- 15 -------- . Cadmium Yellow (Hue). These are discussed in more detail in Chapter 4.--------------------- MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT -------------------- Some charts will also give you an idea of the transpa rency or the pigment: some paints are more opaque than others an i therefore have greater covering power. Palettes come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Paints may be bought in tubes or pans. Payne's Grey. Its usc is discussed later. Sponges are good for some techniques. Medium. although for dernonstraung . The round wells are superior [0 the square ones. but personally I prefer tubes because I can squeeze out as rnu h as I need and the paint is beautifully moist. however. Raw Sienna. Some supermarkets sell plastic trays which can b ellecuve substitutes. Crimson Alizarin.

--------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR ------------------- _ 16-------- .

------- 17 ------- . erasers. Even a corner of a room or a closet shared with the lodger's cal is bcuer than nothing. Try [Q arrange the studio set-up so that ir takes a minimum amount of Lime to gel a painting under way. Cramped places will 1101 enhance your waiercolour rechn iq u es. of course. ready 10 sian again at a moment's notice. You are able to leave things in position. You may also need room for a table lamp Ior evening work or when the lightis poor. water-pol. zipped ponfolio case is the ideal way of transporting unframed paintings. stout. At that height sketches are easy to view and less likely to be covered in paint. Without somewhere permanent to work. Some stationers sell large plastic trays which fitiruo drawers and these can be used to hold all your brushes. mountboard and any other large sheets of paper. paintings. If setting up LO paint becomes too much like Sumo wrestling with a giant OCIOPUS. of course.0 hold sketches and photographs of the scene you are working on. The materials and equipment you will need when out sketching are described in Chapter 9. paints and brushes. watercolour paper should be stored flat. you could buy blocks which obviate the need for stretching. a pinboard above the desk can be used 1. pencils. [hen your paintingwill suffer. paleue. life can be difficult. This way they can all be extracted at once. Failing that. though naturally it needs to be protected from damage. paints and so on. STUDIO ORGANIZATION Having a worn dedicated 10 your painting gives you a tremendous advantage over those who have to resort La Iirnited periods at the kitchen table. there are various desk easels available. A plan chest is of tremendous value in storing your waiercolour paper. but it is also an excellent storage device for those without a studio. and as you acquire more photographs you may find the need for a metal drawer cabinet which can be used LO file your photographs in area or subject order. Ideally. watercolour paper CCHl be chopped io size unless you work on full imperial. iL does nOL blow around easily. the mountain appears more impressive makes an excellent surface for cuuing mounts and framing pictures. so keep everything as simple and organized as possible. equipment and materials. Storage space in the form of shelves and cabinets cuts down the clutter in your work area.~~------------------- MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT -------------------- feature when working in or OUL of doors. and with the bridge and COllage quite small in the middle distance. as well as perhaps your work schedule and planning chans. cardboard folders clipped Lightly will suffice. Daylight simulation bulbs are far preferable LO ordina ry ones. and also have somewhere to store your paintings. Ideally. The desk or table you work on should have a large enough nat surface 10 lake comfortably a drawing board. or. Being metal and quite heavy. Indoors J work on a desk. GJ_EN COE 380x53S mill u s xz t in) A rainstorm is passing over the further end of the mountain. A large. For those who are interested. I use a len -dra wer chest: the flat top also B'UACHAILLEEnVE BEAG.

We are not concerned with colour mixing at [his point. Make sure your paint is watery so that it will flow well. Practise holding a large round brush in this way. so this rime. without a grounding in the an of brushwork your landscapes will become glorified mudscapes. \0 make this chapter more attractive I have designed the exercises around extremely implified compositions. Ragged-edge brush stroke Creatinq a ragged edge by draggill9 the brush across the paper at a low angle. We shall now consider two fundamental aspects or waiercolour painting: applying the paint tu the paper and practising brush st rakes. with trees taking on the appearance of gone-to-seed cabbages. Colour mixing will be tackled later. less regular edge along the top or the stroke. However. Normal brush stroke This is executed wit]: (he brush held like a pencil. by changing the pressure wi thin the stroke you ea n prod L1C interesting variations along the edge. witl« strong detail 0/1 the closer rocks to accentuate {hem as {7 [ocal point 18------- . at an angle of about 45 degrees to the paper. at all angle of about 45 degrees Now Iry another brush stroke. yet the imparlance of this is grossly underestimated. LO provide practice in laying washes whilst at the same time producing what is effectively a paiming. The most frequently used brush stroke involves holding the brush in the hand as you would a pen or pencil. parallel with the top or the paper. Here you want a softer. sharp edge along the top of the stroke. Gently apply a stroke or similar length to the first. Do several strokes ()I 1 his type. BRUSH STROKES How you usc the brush is vital in producing the desired effects. but simply in laying on colour in nat washes. So. [or 50-75 rnrn (2-3 in). Brush it across a s rap of watercolour paper.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR ---------------------- 2 Basic Watercolour Techniques Basic watcrcolour techniques sound about a exciting as playing Judo with a tired kipper! The temptation here is 10 skip over this bit and dive into the more interesting chapters. then dip the brush in water and pick up some moist paint. At this stage it is of tremendous value to produce these little paintings. va ryi ng the pressure and amount of water each time so that you achieve slightly different effects. from {eft to righl CUFFS NEAR DINAS FACH. Depending on the pressure applied and the amount of water on the brush you should achieve a certain loss 01 definition. hold the brush at a much more shallow angle. PEMBROK -SHIRE 405x560 mill (16x22 in) Wild seas and a stunninq coastline combine here /0 add drama. Provided you have sufficient water all the brush there will be a clear. Naturally. the handle parallel with the top edge or the paper.

-------------------- BASIC WATERCOLOUR TECHNIQUES -------------------- -------- 19 -------- .

thereis the wash. This method is described later. depending on requiremenis.also comes under this category. Secondly. there are small areas 10 be filled in from lime 10 time. which exploits the transparent nature of the medium.simply leave it to dry. This is especially true of the second type of brush stroke. by easing off the pressure and keeping the tip of the brush away. that most characteristic of waiercolour techniques. This is used LO cover the larger areas andis generally laid across the paper in a very wet manner. although if you are using sables even a No. quickly. Even when you are experienced it is worth doing a 'dr run' on a scrap or paper before committing yourself to the real thing. or anywhere you wish 10 avoid a hard. Hard and soft edges In waiercolou r painting. A wash is best carried out boldly. This second type of brush stroke is useful for suggesting distant hills or ridges.--------------------- EXPLQRT G WATERCQLQUR --------------------- Sometimes the resulting stroke will be indistinguishable from the first type and at others quite different. fences. which is held at an angle of about ------- 45 degrees 20 ------- . but these are sufficieru for now. but here we shall concerurare on 111e first three. rigging and so on have to be applied with a brush in much the same manner as drawing with a pencil For this. Thirdly. This works best on rough paper because the brush touches only the raised pans of the paper surface. Firstly. unbroken line. Further brush strokes will be introduced during the course. stippling . as iL varies so much. trees. APPLYING PAINT TO PAPER come to a sharp point suitable for detail work. Doors. and without poking around ill il once it is laid . figures. lOan Using the brush 10 create a hard edge 0/1 the left and. [here are details 10 be put in. These are blocked in usually with the rip of the brush.applying dots of paint with the brush . such as rock. Arguably. windows. a soft edge 011 the right Laying a wash This is done by working quickly and methodically down the paper with plenty of liquid colour 011 the brush. application of the paint onto ihe paper is done basically in lour ways. The fourth method of applying the paint is by scrubbing with the side of U1C brush to render roughly an area of variegated textures. 1I e a fine brush: a rigger is excellent.

l/'/akil1g the bottom almost horizontal and the rap irregularly sawloathed. With diagonal strokes. apply a weak wash of Payne's Grey just below the blue wash. For this you will need a piece of watercolour paper about ISOx 125 rnm (7x 5 in). Next. Use the filling-in technique for this. Make sure you keep the wash even and pawing. hard-edged line across the bouom. to enable the wash to flow down evenly. --------2J . test it all scrap paper first. The flat wash is done in two stages. Once {he paper is completely dry. pick lip some Cobalt Blue (Hue) and create a tablespoon-size pool ofmedium. exactly as shown above. working quickly down the paper with horizontal snakes and finfshing with a straiqht. yo/. pick up some Payne's Grey Make sure if is dark in lone (almost black) ~ if need be. If you wish. Apart from the first half line...------------------- BASIC WATER COLOUR TECHNIQUES ------------------- LAYlNG A FLAT WASH Have a go at laying a Oat wash and a graduated wash in conjunction with the illustrations here and overleaf. This should be lilled at an angle of about 30-35 degrees. Recharge the brush and lay a wash of colour about 100 mm (4 in) wide on the paper. Leave this to dry completely before gOi119 on to the next staqe: th is is a 11 essen Iia I aspect o] wa tercolour paintinq . as ! have done. keep this wash the same widtn and again finish if with a hard line a/ the bottom ./ can leave slightgaps here and there 10 suggesllighrer parts of the rocks.slrel1Hlh paint on your paleue. YOIi have now completedyour firs! 'pain ling ... Draw the outline lightly in pencil first if you feel this wi II be helpful.. without al1Y unnatural joins.. Laying a flat wash: sea and rocks with a large round brush.. Then recharge the brush with mid-strength Payne's Grey and paint in the rippled effeer over the or/Bina! wash of weak Payne's Grey. paint in the dark rocks. .

Keep the wash flowing across the paper as you bring it down. This will cause the wash 10 become lighter at the bottom. start tntroducinq some Raw Sienna into the wash. what you are aiming for is a soft transition between {he hill and the field . The tone should be darker than the darkest part of the sky area. weakly at firsl. so producing a gradualed wash. Workil1g horizontally. This is to give the effect of depth in the picture.( Once the initial wash is dIY. gradually adding more water /0 the brush.. From here. Wail for this wash to dry completely before continuing -------22 -------- . introduce some more water into the mixture to weaken it. grt/dually increase {he amount of colour so that it becomes darker at the bottom. using a large brush. with a clean brush. About one third of/he way dOWN the hilt. apply the sky wash quickly so thai it does /'/01 have time /0 dry. Paint the wash down beyond the line of the hill and then let it dry completety --~. which will again produce a graduated effect. Around the hedge line the wash should be almost pure water. take Lip a similar amount of Payne's Grey on the brush and paint in the hill.f. This gives the impression of mist along the lower parr of the hill.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- Laying a graduated wash: pastoral scene Create a pool of colour 011 YOllr palette with some medium-dark Ultramarine and.

As you progress. using a large round bruslt with a fine point. which is an extremely useful technique. Once YOLI have practised you r f rst graduated wash. even starling on the back of a used envelope is heuer than not starling at all! You can lise the back of your watercolour paper as well for exercises . --------------23-------------- . This is particularly apparent with Payne's Grey. 3B or 4B. I rigger. use only Ultramarine. A piece or watcrcolour paper about 200x 125 mm (8x5 in) will be suitable. The [OP should be less regular. Try not to feel inhibited in any way. based perhaps on irnplified versions of paintings in this book. p ncil in the outline lightly before you begin painting. Payne's Grey and Raw Sienna. Even when you reach the end of the book you will lind it helps 10 retain some of your earliest work. your earlier works will indicate how your standard is gradually improving. With a No. again tilted on a drawing board. however. As this scene is a liulc more complicated. You may find by then that your friends and relatives will be snapping up your better efforts. There will be times when you need 10 compensate for this by making the initial wash a lillie stronger than seems to be necessary. No colour mixing is involved. almost (II its darkest. For this. draw in the tree. using a soft pencil such as 2B. Five minutes of wet doodling can be valuable in loosening you up before you start the proper wash.\"II·ol1g Raw Sienna. of curse. By all means lISC carl ridge paper instead of wa tercolou r pane r if this wi II h el p you lose your inhibitions. This is an example oj the third method oj application oj the paint: drawing in the detail. introduce some .unless. keep all your paintings even if you do not like them. In order really to get to grips with these techniques you should try several of these simple tudi s. Use generous blobs of paint. yOll have a masterpiece on the front! Before YOll begin. use the side of the brush to create a softer edge LAyr G A GRADUATED WASH For the graduated wash. mixed with very liule water. From this moment. note how water OIOUf lightens as it dries out. By the time you have worked your way to Chapter 13 you may well have some material on which to practise the rescue techniques described there. suggesling bushes here and there. across the [areqround. This will have the two-fold purpose of giving you practice at brushwork and also encouraging you to sirnplily the composition. Paint the tree in silhouette and then the hedgerow.------------------- BASlC WATERCOLQUR TECHN IQUES ------------------- With a strong wash oj Payne's Grey. Get [he feci 0 how the waicrcolour washes behave. making the line oj the hedgerow reasonably straight at the bottom. Experience wiJI leach you how 10 cope with this problem. play around with the brush on scrap paper. pick up some more slrOl1g Payne's Grey and indicate the bits oj fencing Finally.

II helps enormously when viewing a scene in lront of you 10 ignore colour and look at it solely Iroi 1 the pain! of view of tones. AU the other lanes have La come in between th s two extremes. as it can cause other problems. The biggest danger of [his happening. and allowed LO dry. beca use the pa i rus are transparent you have to pUL on the lightest first.Tf you tried to paint a light colour over a ct( rk one it would hardly show up and would be almost guaranteed to end lip looking like mud. Sea reh out the Iighiest and darkest tones in the subject. For absolute beginners this can become conIusion of nightmare proportions.this helps LO diffuse distracting PE. Your lightest tone will be represented by the bare paper. and wash the brush out immediately with warm soapy water. ending with the very darkesi. Look at the scene through half-closed eyes . Use an old brush for applying the fluid as it is harmful to hairs. before the wash is laid on. This can be painted onto the areas thai need [a remain light. trv using masking Iluid. is during the excitement of laying the large washes. Tone is the degree of darkness of a colour when it is applied on the paper. THE TONAL RANGE detail. So ar this stage it i importaru LO consider Lones. IL is important to reserve the lightes: pans of your painting and make sure that they are nOI covered up. So here we are going to Iorgei about colour and concentrate simply on lone. NOI all colours will have the same range of tones. its all-over whitewash makin9 it stand 0111 against the background. It is always more difficult to remove paint and try LO recover the whiteness of the paper.. I J o Tone scales These illustrate the range of lanes available using Payne's Grey and Light Red When working from nature you need to modify your Lone scale to some degree because the range in nature is much greater than what can be achieved in any painting medium.-----------------------------------------EXPLORINGWATERCOLOUR ----------------------------------------- 3 Painting in Monochrome In waiercolou r.. then the darker ones. is far brighter than white paper. However. Even 51 udents who have been painting lor some lime find il difficult to come LO terms with lone and colour simultaneously. "RHYN COTrAGE This old traditional Pembrakeshire collage presented a superb subject. The sun itself [or example. the brightest tone imaginable. If you find this a constant problem. and your darkest by the darkest mixture that you can produce. leaving white images. This sketch was done a: a course demonstration in Payne's Grey /0 illustrate the importance of tones ------- 24 -------- . Afterwards it can be rubbed oCI. this is not a recommended method until you have had some experience. Some artlsts like to put down their darkest LOnes at an early stage in the painting La give a measure of where the other lanes come on the tonal scale. so remember La stan with the lightest LOnes and gradually introduce the darker ones. r find..

--------------------- PAINTING IN MONOCHROME --------------------~ -------- 25 -------- .

------26 ------- . The strength of the heavy lone at the top of the sky suggests a heavy cloud.11 with various degrees of lone. Theil the paintitu. was begun by layill9 a graduated wash acros the sky area and over the backqround avoiding the chimney. leavinq the pathway as white paper. the detail on I house was IIw1 lie drawn in and a hoff-open gate added. the while walls of the cottaqe and the riqht-hand tree. With a No.--------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- DEMONSTRATION BLACK AND WIHTE Stage 2 COllAGE 140x200 (5Y. chimney and walls of the cottage were grad/lally defined with tone rather than line. Stage 1 Stage 2 were painted . Again the wash was graduated to avoid any dark tone near the bottom.x8 in) mill o Stage 1 The outline was carefully drawn in with a 3B pencil on Bockingford 140 Ib paper. working from light to dark.. The roof. Wilen the oriqina! wash was completely dry the backqround hill was painted in with a medium tone. o Stage 3 Tile trees and bushes un. I r~9ge. The foreground was kept simple with just a medium weak wash of Payne's Grey.

-------------------- PA1NTING IN MONOCHROME --------------------- Stage 3 ------- 27 ------- .

Let us take. a cottage in the middle distance. and a mass of trees behind the house in a mixture of Raw Sienna and Ultramarine. then paint the foreground in Raw Sienna. 10 define the lighter roof and chimneys. Once you have put in the Raw Sienna foreground. so that tone is used in the mOST effective manner. resulting in a much better picture. however. [he cottage starts 10 stand out.. Strong [ones Despite being painted in many colours. If you paint the couage walls Raw Sienna. the roof and chimneys Ultramarine. by the use of tone. You need to make them work for you. Poor tones . in the main. At this point 1 should mention that every painung in this book WClS started by drawing in alight pencil outline to act as a guide..10 improve the contrasts. or even the sky. followed by dark green trees of Ultramarine and Raw Sienna. ll. . [or example.. you leave tile walls and chimneys while and paint weak Ultramarine over the roof. su ch Ii ncs are supcrll uous and can be erased if they are intrusive. Constantly relate each passage LO the next. to eliminate the need for outlines and 10 give [he painting impact. Compare this with the previous illustration from some distance away: you will see the need for good lone work -------- 28 -------- . That is why tones are so importarn. Colour is largely ineffective [or this purpose.0 delineate objects.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------~ USING TONE TO DEFINE OBJECTS In cartoons and most drawing line is used 1. Use the dark of the background trees. but in painting to achieve a reasonably realistic rendition objects are defined. you will find it difficult LO make au! [he details if you stand away [rom it. the building here does not stand OUL 1/ needs more contrast Here the tones have been r:xa99erated . most in a similar lone.. stand back again and see the difference. By the t imea work is complete.

Burnt Sienna or Ultramarine. Look around [01' simple subjects of your own choice and carry out monochrome paintings of them. being dark. Try using other colours.cottage stood out.--------------------- PAINTING IN MONOCHROME -------------------- For the painting of the Malvern Hill') COllage on the previous pages I used Payne's Grey because. conifers beh ind I he COllage. there is no need for any line work [0 define the details .This is particularly apparent where the chimney is shaped by the dark EXERCISES Paint a monochrome watercolour based on the photograph of plastic fields ncar St David's.. 29 -------- . Pembrokeshire (below). The plastic covers protect potatoes during • late spring. il bas a wide range of Lones and is therefore an excellent colour for a monochrome painting. 1 had passed this scene on several occasions but it was only when sunliqht lit up the plastic sheeting one spring morninq thai the . but obviously oniy the darker ones. Notice how the basic shape of the COllage stands oui simply because ol the dark tones painted around it. • -------~. as most dark colours will provide a sufficient range of roues 10 work with. This is an extremely simple subject and should not present many problems. This practice will be of enormous benefit to your painting. As well as Payne's Grey you could lise Burn! Umber. There is 110 'model answer' for this exercise. Carrying out a number of monochrome paintings such as this one will rea!!y help you lO understand tone. and look quite obscene during this period.





4 Separating

Tone and Colour

In i his chapter we are going 1.0 paint a picture in three stages, concentrating on jusi the tones at (irs! and then laying down colour washes, rather in the rna n n cr of early eigh t eernh -cen Imy watercolou rises who worked onrsta i ned drawings'. These works were carried out by washing transparent colours over a monoch rome India n ink u nderpa in ting. Here, however. we shall use Karisma water-soluble pencils in conjunction wit h waicrcolo ur. First. let me in trod uce you 10 these [ascina ti I1g pencils, Karisma water-soluble pencils come in three different grades: t he Medium pencil is the lightest and isparticularly useful for background areas; the Soh pencil is darker; and the Very Soft pencil is extremely dark. You therefore have quite a choice in degrees of lone to work with. Try rubbing each pencil across a small area of paper in a dark mass and then brushing it with water. See how III uch da rker each ol the sorter pencils becomes. Here I should issue a word or caution. You do need to fix the graphite with water before applying any colour, otherwise the particleswill dirty the waiercolour. These pencils can be used in a number of different ways. They can be rubbed on the paper and then water brushed across 10 create tonal areas. They can be rubbed on a spare piece or paper, as though this

were a palette, leaving panicles of tone which can be picked up with a wet brush and applied to a sketch. They can also be used to draw into a wet area where perhaps you have already laid alone. Beware, however, of doing too much work into a wet surface. as the paper can take only so much of this treatment because it is more vulnerable when wet: Papers do vary, of course, so try this tech niq ue on a varier y of surfa-ces. Cartridge paper in particular will nOI take much hammering. Note also that when laying some graphite on the paper to be picked lip from a 'paper palette' you should hold Ihe pencil a lmosi horizorn al and lise the side or it rather than the point. so that you set down more graphite. That is especially important when laying large washes.

... Using the Karrsrna Aquarelle pencil 011 the left is .0 scribbled patch of

water-soluble graphite from a Karisma Aquarelle pencil, which has been half washed with a wer brush. The image VII the right wa.\"painted with {I brush, u.\"ing SOl1l!' ofshe graphite wash picked up from the left-hand patcl:


EVENDINE 111111 (8x




This is all example of how the Karisma

water-sotuble pencil can be used 10 create llll image in tone, by washinq water on the pencil work. Once this firs I stage was dly I laid weak glazes ojcolour across the paper


30 --------














Stage 3

L90x255 (7Y,x lOin)



Stage I

Tile ill1age was drawl/ all
Bockinqford 140 Ib

paper with a Soft grade Karisma pencil and rOllgh tone applied across parts oj it.
Stage 2

Once the monochrome part of the pailllill9 was complete, and allthe graphile fixed with water, the colour could be added. Flm colour washes oj
Cadmium Yellow

Stage 1

Waler was washed over the graphite and more detail added. Some branches were drawn into the wei paper.

Pale, Crimson Alizarin and Raw Sienna were laid over the H ork, the darker tonal areas being brollghf 0111 by the underlying ,graphile.

Stage 2

... Stage 3


32 --------

-------------------- SEPARATING TONE AND COLOUR ------------------- .

Most of [he time it will cockle to some extent and this becomes more pronounced if you are using a lightweight paper. and produces rapid pictures even of fairly cornplica led scenes. Totally immerse the paper in water for about 15 seconds. bu L 1 have never come across anything to rival the simple gummed tape for llexibilu y. This is also an excellent method for sketching out-of-doors. You can change your format at will with tape.his you will most likely achieve an irueresung painting with strong orurasts in tone.h this method -ou might well end up with some areas appearing a lillie muddy.the length of each of the edges of the paper. keeping it Ilat. To stretch a sheet of waiercolour paper. Should you find the tape lea ring.0 drain 011'. The surface will then be beautifully taut. Stretching paper When laping down wet paper on a drawing board to SIre/eli if. more important is the need 10 build up a strong foundation or techniques. squeezing off excess water and firmly placing each strip over the edges of the paper. Lay it Oat on a drawing board and immediately tape it down by immersing each of the gummed strips in water. U YOll arc working on water olour blocks. but despite t.~--------------------------------------- EXPLORI GWATERCOLOUR----------------------------------------- PAJNTlNG A P1CTURE WITH AN UNDERTONE The exercise on the previous pages illustra tes how you ca n ach ieve a pleasing warcrcolour painting without the need 10 consider tone and colour at the same time Wit. With sheets. STRETCHLNG PAP R paper you will need to stretch them on a board . because it will really help Y{)U to come to terms with tone as opposed In colour. CUI four strips of gummed tapenOI masking tape . At this point we are not concerned with producing a perfect painting. Allow it to dry completely. Bveruually your work will be that much stronger for the effort expended. I like to use a lot of water so r always stretch my paper. which are gummed down along the edges. unless you are using 300lb -------34 -------- . something you cannot do with stretchers.although some people seem 10 manage un 140 lb paper by u ing lillie water. Over the years a number ol stretching frames have appeared on the rna rket. however. it is usually due La the paper having been immersed LOO long in the water. then hold it up by a corner 10 allow excess surface warer 1. Thi exercise is a valuable one even if you [eel your results are not worth framing. then II is problem is resolved for you. leave 'dog-ears' turned up at each corner (0 assist removal of the tape By now you will be aware ol how the paper bella es when you lay your washes down.

. Before goi ng on to the next chapter. Agaill. a scene chosen because of its simplicity and stronq colour. Here lone and colour have been separated as an exercise in stressing the dillcrcnce between them. lise either watercolour answers'. at sunset (below). fix them with" aicr and. COLWAI. • COTTAGE. • Copy the painting LANE. EVENDINE but use completely different colours. Pembrokeshire. where we shall be mixing colours proper! as opposed 10 simply laying on weak washes.-------------------- SEPARATING TONE AND COLOUR -------------------- In the previous chapter we looked at painting in monochrome as a means of coming to terms with using tones without having to be concerned about colour. do tile first staqe in Karisma pencils and keep the colour washes transparent. dry. try doing sam little studies with water-soluble pencils. paper or good-quality cartridge paper. There are no 'model --------------35------------- . when Try a two-stage painting usillg the methods outlined in this chapter. 1n the following exerci es. use colour to enhance them. based on the photograph of Carn Llidi.L.

but here we will consider some basic colon r points. There are a number of colour combinations that lend themselves to this exercise . COLOUR MIXING COLOURS CHARTS If lone sets the image. Keep the colours fairly fluid: they should never be of the consistency of paste. pick up some Ultramarine and place it on the palette. The more opaque your mixtures become. Pra rise mixing colours on scrap paper to see how they behave. mixing three colours will encourage ITIl! rky resu Its. [or example.e find it of use in mixing greens. This will help you to get accustomed to your colours and also achieve a greater sense ol unit y in your paintings. brush it across a sheet 01 paper. as you will see if you try a few different combinations at random. By working methodically with colours in this way you will quickly learn to use colour to advantage. By adding more of one pigment the resulting colour varies. It also benefits beginners by forcing them to make colour compromises and therefore to feel free to alter colours to a degree. Ooe way in which YOLI can find out more about producing interesting TENBY ROADS 305x395 mm(12xI5~in) This is a watercolour and gouache painting 011 Bockinqford Grey limed paper 36------- . When the mi iure is fluid. There is no need for white in the waiercolour palette. At this stage. Because there are so many different combinations available it is a good idea to be methodical in your experimentation on mixing. In watercolour painting colours arc lightened by introducing more water and darkened by adding more pigmenl. Later on in the course we shall be touching on other aspects ol colour practice. SO colour is the icing on the cake which delights or subdues the eye according to the choice ol palette. the more likely you are to create muddy colours. lise only IWO colours at a time. Before you launch into a full-colour painting it is invaluable to try a number of works using only three colours. with at least one colour capable of producing dark tones. With a dean damp brush. add Crimson Alizarin 10 the Ultramarine and mix them together. Until experience is gained.--------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- 5 Exploring Colour avoided as it lends to deaden watercolours. although it can be effective if used sparingly Ior such things a while gulls or masts. Black is also best In landscape painung the majority of students need to mix up more greys and greens than any other colours. a warm earth colour and a yellow are best. Rewetting the brush so that the colours remain clean. although som.a blue.


[or example. make a cool grey. still dark. inserting the mixture into the second square of line 3. introduce them in your chan.. as shown in the greys mixing cha fl. As you buy new colours. again with blues across the t p and the earth colours (the browns and reds) down the side. II will also help you to get to know your colours (Hare intimately. Draw a grid or 38111111 (1l!. remembering to mix equal amounts of colour as before. Again. Study YOllr chan nd highlight your lavourite greens by circling them prominently. Being selective with mixtures will give your work a more vibrant. which will teach you a lot about colour mixing and also ensure that you do no! miss a possibly interesting combination. Burnt Umber and Uhrarnariru . ignori ng the fi rSI square. Light Red and Ultramarine Payne's Grey make a lovely warm grey. Cobalt Blue (Hue) Ultramarine Payne's Grey Ultl""ama. The charts can be repeated using dlllereru colour ratios. Then take Cadmium Yellow (Hue) and paint it into the lim square of line 2. Cobalt Blue (Hue) Then paint Raw Sienna into th ~ fir t square of line 3 and mix it with the first blue on line J.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR ---------------------- greys and greens is by compiling colour charts. in) squares with a pen il. Watch bow some combinations will produce lovely transparent mixes whilst others border on mud. Make a similar chan for greys. Then mix Cadmium Yellow (Hue) with the econd blue and insert the mixture into [he third square on line 2. ci rclc your fa vouri re mix Iu res. Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine make a darker. not quite so warm grey. Take ca re 10 wash your brush in clean wa 1er between each mix.. Note how the greys change as you mix different colours with Ultramarine. as shown in the greens mixing charlo Paint pure blues across the top line . clean appearance. Continue along the line as before When you extend your range of colours you can include even ready-made greens in the first line or blues. and orange in the column of yellows. Repeat the process for the third blue.. Mix an equal amount of Cadmium Yellow (Hue) with the first blue on line I and insert the mixture in the square below on line 2.ine Cadmium Yellow (Hue) Raw Sienna Raw Sienna Light Red Colour mixing chan: greens BUl""nt Sienna Burnt Umber Colour rni ing chart: greys -------- 3R -------- .

o Stage 2 With a No. a wash of French Ultramarine was laid across the lop of sky. Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna . lettinq the weI French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna mixture run info it. posts and tree were painted with a strong mixture oflhe same colours. /'/S1179 a No .6 brush the sky..on Saunders Waterford 140 lb Rough paper. The foreground grass was suggested with some weak French Ultramarine mixed il110 Raw Sienna. Finally. The foreground was {hen darkened with a stronger mixture of the initial foreground wash. and softening them elsewhere.---------------------- EXPLORlNG COLOUR ---------------------- DEMONSTRATION SOMERSET LEVELS ]80x255 (7):. Raw Sienna wa~ then applied /0 the lower part of tile the distant bushes were suggested in a lighl mixture of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna Then the hedgerow. mergillg into the wet sky wash in places. mill to in) o Stage 1 For this simple pail'ltillg only three colours were used French Ultramarine. Ieaving hard edges here and there. without delay a mixture of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna IIlaJ pu! ill 10 create the dark douds. Theil the whole paintinq was allowed 10 dl)' completely. Once the minimal pencil outline had been drawn. Stage I Stage 2 -------- 39 ~------~ . IlwHgh allowing some of this to show throt/gh and at the same time retaining the lIigneUed effect. 1 rigger. the reeds were indicated.

The Bockingford timed papers arc only lightly tinted and will encourage you 10 leave m II ell 01 the pa per free of pain I.--------------------- EXPLOH ING WATERCOLQUR ---------------------- Mixing on paper This bridge. Many eiglueeruh-cemury (l!"\iS1S preferred tinted paper . lighl colours. -------- 40 -------- . (6Y. provides an ideal opportunity for mixillg the cotouts Oil the paper rather than on the palette. as the resulting experience can be invaluable. and although gelling rid of these is covered in the chapter on rescues. This is extremely effective wh en pai nt ing rocks. dark ones and dark ones into wei. bUI do learn a bout characterist ie tendencies before TINTED PAPERS colours 10 Light Red. In this case. As well as limiting your palette 10 achieve unity it is worth considering using tinted papers 10 see how effective these can be in colour experimentation. tree trunks and features that contain a va riel y of colou rs. in) otherwise cabbage-like run-backswill form.some even tinted paper by dunking it in their coffee! In Willier Trees I have used Bockinglurd Oatmeal tinted paper and limited Illy incorporating painting. Tinted papers seem 10 be less imimidaung than ordinary while paper! If you lise darker lints youwill of course need to emphasize the highlights with White Gouache or similar pigment.x9Y.II/owing them 10 run into each other MIXING ON PAPER WINTER TREES J65x240mm A useful device where. Try dropping light colours into wet. Raw Sienna. Make su re t here is not 100 much water on your brush. for example. this technique in a French Ultrama rine and Bu rnt Sien na. rather like pastellists do. wish its variegated cotouts. is 10 mix colou rs on the paper instead of the paleue. mid . rock orwall. Ihere is no point in encouraging these horrors! Experi men L with ih is I )'pe of mixing on scrap paper. you need to paint some mossy green patches on a roof. lay on the colour of the roof and then immediately drop in the green to create patches with soft edges.

whilst warm colours. using a rigger to define your subject. Repeal the process with other subjects. In the following exercises you will be« )I1lC more fa milia r wit h colour. • Using just three colours. weather-beaten roofs and dry-stone walls. splashed into the lorcgrou nd will rna ke IhM pa r1 of the painting come towards you. but 1h is is only the lip of I he iceberg. When dry. Drop two cotours into the first lVet wash. usinq the bridge scene ill this chapter as a guide. Try some CO/Dill' mixtures on paper. suggesl distance and so are useful 10 create a feeling of recession ill your work. Somerset (below). la ter on we sha II cxa mine fun her aspect s of COIOll r praci ice. su ch as blues a nd greens.----------------------- EXPLORING COLOUR ----------------------- COLOUR TEMPERATURE By judicious placi ng of ccrta in colou rs you Gin create the illusion of warmth or coolness in a painting. A sunlit area. Cool colou rs. can be made 10 appear warmer by rna ki ng Ihe adjacent shadows bluer. • If you have not already done so. attempt lite two colour charts. lor example. you may paint the backqround trees as a flat wash of grey/greell to avoid complications. such as reds and oranges. draw into the colour witts Payne's Grey. such as tree trunks. If you wish. • --------------- 41 -------------- . but resist workinq into the wash with your brush. paint a picture of tile cottage at Dunster. My renderinq of tile subject appears 011 page 149.

! generally begin with large. Generally it is easier to work your way down ih . effective waicrcolours can be produced. In this wa y you are less As we have alread Build-up overlays 111 the left-hand illustration the dark crags were inserted first.. rather than tediously rendering the obvious.paper. starting with the sky and ending with tile foregrou nd. COTTAGE IN TJ-fE LLANBEI{IS PASS. Method vary [rom artist to artist. The secret is to suggest enough detail to allow the viewer to fill in the missing pans. then insert detailed areas in and around the centre of interest. you need to work OUI in what order the areas are 10 be painted. The large washes accentuate the beauty of watercolour=its transparency. it i sensible to SLick 10 the orthodox method. the result is messy. Failure to consider this latter tage will result in a greater degree of visual incoherence. when deciding how to tackle a painting. flowing. likely to disturb seen. transparent washes across the paper. but unles there is good reason to do otherwise. The right-hand sketch II/as done by laying 011 the Ultramarine first. but not vice versa. Even though the crags were dry when the Ultramarine was washed 011. ' ven the usual way of working from light 10 dark is sometimes ignored. The detail I ro ides the interest.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- 6 Building up a Painting The order of working on a waiercolour is a n irn porta n t aspect to consider belo re starting to paint. then including {he crags . but the rocky ribs also emphasize it -------- 42 -------- . SNOWDONJA 200x280 mill (8x I I in) or only do {he track Gild wall lead in towards the focal point. or meat.. A METHODICAL APPROACH passages you have already painted. of the work. So. as you will see in various pans of this course. This procedure is not always followed. The c darker areas can overlaj the lighter washes. then a shadow wash of Ultramarine applied. by starting with washes or the lightest toiles and building up the darker areas gradually.

----------------------- BUILDING UP A PAINTING ----------------------- --------- 4") --------- .

extremity ofille o Stage 2 pailllill. ill) o Stage I 1 beqau witt: a figlll pencil 011 Iii lie 011 Saunders Walellard J 40 Ib Rouql) paper. o Stage 3 pain led with a mix softenillg if toward s 1/11' oj Cobal! Bille and Payne's Grey. tlte bush alld 1i'. 1'111 then the righl·/wlld hill was pili ill lVilll Stage 3 -------- 44 -------- .x 11)1.~r added 10 tlte bottom tlte sky (0 Stage 2 Payne's Grey.lJ. with Cobalt Bille laid immediately above this and allowed 10 1'1/11 dawn. 1 rigger.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- DEMONSTRATION SNOWDONIA FARM 1lSx300 mm (R:(. A mixture of Cobalt Bille and Detail on lite /)I{ildil1gs mid wall wa:~inserted with a No. POJ'IIC '5 Stave '" I Grey liIas accennuue tile lltlrd-edged areas oj The /0 reg round 1vas SHOW. vI the [arm.>d across the lower sky. Wenk Cadmium Yellow Pole Ivas Ihell waslll.C nnrlllteslJadolV sides of the fa IJ/I ild i1195. as well as the tree all (he nil' SIOIlI'Il/ark was rendered with pure Nail' Sienna 1111d B /I rill Sien na lIIas used for the trees right -'la/e. .

I cannot stress 100 SI rongly the i rnporra nee of maki ng sure the paper is completely dry before you continue 10 the next stage ..---------------------~ BUILDING UP A PAINTING ---------------------- One of the biggest killers or good paint ings isimpatience. with less than ideal results. The Ii r$L of Illest" is when passages In Lhe painting take on the appearance of mud. Lhe next wash to touch u might dry msraruly. If you are reallyeager continue. At rimes small areas rna}' bleed i 1110 01 hers hu I in va riabl y Ihis is less of a problem than rhe immediate carnage or the paper caused by auemptmg a rescue. you are using the wet-in-wei technique which is discussed in a later chapter. However. SI uden IS invariably come up against Iwo pa n icularlv Irust fa Ling problems. 10 . As a pa i n Iing is built tI p. Illany may have less than an hour to do a painting when they arrive home Irorn work. If you with a wash il is lis/wily best /0 spol'/ge il off gemly and sian aqain. I gel on with another painting whilsr wailing for washes 10 dry. of course. Like unhappy rabbits. however: i f the pa per becomes 100 hal. Be careful. Some a rt iSIS want 10 see a masterpiece forming belore their eyes after 10 min UIt'S 0]" so. and the second is knowing when 10 SLOp. or break for coffee. Also. then use a hair dryer or fan healer to speed up IhL' drying process. for example. give mud a wide berth! ---------------45 .unless.. Muddy colours Mud like Ihis iscreated by overworkinq 011 an pain! arc already pail lied passage. 10 stop and think how you want the end result \0 a ppca r be fore brush touches paper. il is very imponaru. particularly with the washes. Dry-run your brush above the paper if it helps 10 prepare for the actual application.

To prevent tile lauer happening. Usc as few strokes and as large a brush as possible. make sure the depth of tone is right to start with by testing the wash on some scrap I aper before cornmining yourself to the painting. many of these effort sec not just a se ond. il/lp~llin9 recession Mud is created in a number of ways. whilst the pencil outlines are (he sante. {II the other example (above right}. Other causes arc auernpung to correct wayward glazes. Inevitably. Movt contemporary waiercolours benefit from simple passages in this area. thinking it is safer 10 CIT on the side of caution as they can always lay anoi her wash on tOP of the fi rsi. especially th ~ rnor opaque ones. just before rite ridge' disappears behind another. as wit l shadow areas (see Chapter 18). The example above is a [raqmented scene having {he appearance of (I'painting by numbers' picture. but of len a third or even fourth application of colour over the same area. Nevertheless. This gives a much more unified feeling 10 the scene. FI ISHING THE PAINTING Knowing when ro siop vexes us all. Often great phalanxes DC hedgehog-like clumps can be seen marching a ross the foreground -------- 46 -------- . some pigments are more likely lO cause mud. The effect is exacerbated by overworking with \00 many brush strokes. no mauer how long we have been painung. By this lime it will be mud. PUlling LOO much detail in the foreground is a common error. Most cornrnonly it is a result of len ta uvcncss: SIll den LS olt CI1 Iccl that it is best not to be tOO bold when laying a wash. and mixing LoO many colours into an opaque morass. caused by simply fillillg in the pencil shapes without thought to coherence.--------------------- EXPLOR1NG WATERCOLOUR --------------------- Mountain ridges AVOIDING MUDDY PASSAGES These illustrations show the wronq and the righl lVay (0 paint 1II0lmlai11 ridges. the ridges have been rendered by washing on the colour oJ each part and considerably weakeninq the wash at the bottom. Each ridge was put in after the previous one had dried.

11 the photoqrapl« of Stob Caire nan Lochan. Building up a painting is a slow. If you arc unsure about including that boa constrictor in the foreground. often a sympathetic partner can help out with this tricky problem by providing an objective point of view. My version is 011 page 150. wash over the next. particularly during your early days ol painting. • progress and consider the next stage carefully. As each passage dries.itis amazing how this highlights problems and unfinished passages. Always en on the side of understatement where [he foreground is concerned. put the work away (or a couple of days and then look at iI a fresh. If YOll are still at a loss. An aid 10 ihis is to prop up the painting and look distance. keep placing a cut moun! over the work . • Draw a mountain ridge scene similar to those illustrated in this chapter. Paint the scene using the overlapping wash method. This constant appraisal of the development of YOUT painting is of paramount importance. methodical process. errors or on the back ol a chair or table at it from a normal viewing This will show up any glaring omissions that might be difficuh 10 see when your nose is very close to [be paper. Glencoe (below). based 0. II does have its mornerus of panic and exhilaration.--------------------- BUILDING UP A PAINTING --------------------- when all [hat is needed is a simple wash.und simple. blll'lding it up gradually and particularly bearing in mind the need for clean washes (no "IUd!). -------- 47 -------- . overlapping each time to avoid the hard edges which would appear if the washes were confined by the pencil lines. where each wash is brought downover the upper limits of the adjacent area. As )'01l approach the end of a palming. in bet ween wh ich you should reassess Carry out a restricted-palette painting (about four colours). Keep the foregro.

a patch of light. The gale in front of the house is important in drmvifl9 the painting it can be a cottage. To gel the best OUI of a focal point you should emphasize it with contrasting is nOT always necessary. such as ensuring that a cow is looking into the painting and not staring at something (lUI of sight beyond the edges. or any feature you think is suitable. viewer TO The centre of interest. Fa using all the farm. mountain. A llhough this is riot a set exercise. there is no sky. tree. and compare results afterwards -------- 48 -------- . lighting. Intuition plays a significaru pan in compositiona I design. so iT presents quite a challenge as a painting subject . In a landscape Farm in lillie Langdale. Work from the photoqraph.. It even allc is apparently minor points. with the rocks almost 'aimed' at the farm (0 strenqthen the compos/lion. stream. or centre of inierc t. FARM IN LITTLE LA GDALE. is that pan of a painting which draws the gaze of the viewer. emphasis anci <1 host of other considerations. 1 have left 0111 the other btliidings. should gladdm the hearts of I/IOSI landscapists However. The mountainside has been simplified.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR ---------------------- 7 Creative Composition Composition embraces so much within a painiing: nOI just the posh ion or the various element within the Iramework.1'011 may wish 10 have a go at the composition. CUMBRIA 230x 330 nun (9x 13 in) In my paiming [ have ignored the lack of sky . bridge. the rules cannot be reduced LO some simple formulae. another dwelling causes a conflici of interest and there is much ciuuer in the foreground with walls and fencing. strengthen the detail on j L or perha ps en han e it by the use or strong lighting... rather than the painting. Cumbria This lovely scene. . bUI (or the moment let us look at some of the more basic aspects or the subject. Much of what we learn about composition comes [0 us gradually with experience. THE FOCAL POINT The focal point. but also their treatment in terms of tones and colour. with the farmhouse of typical Lakeland architecture as a [ocal point. as well as the foreground clutter. on entraLing especially on the centre of imere I (or lorat point) and the need [0 lISC thumbnail sketches to strengthen a work.

---------------------- CREATIVE COMPOSITION ---------------------- ------- 49 ------- .

il should be pushed above or below it. make some of {hem lean slightly.hand tree touches the mountain ridge . valY the distance between the fence posts. The strong diaqonal lines around the edges denote danger areas where there should be Iittle or no detail.but is also too regular. If if must should be moved slightly 10 the riqht Isolating the focal point The dreadful fence across the foreground here not only inhibits the eye of the viewer reaching the focal point . Their centres are located at the four intersections oj lines drawn [rom points at one third intervals along each edge ------- 50 ------- . perhaps by breakinq it up with bushes or undergrowth. Always 11Y to break up some of the horizontals in your pictures Too many focal points There are 100 many competiru. elements in this scene. A single Jocal point need to be decided upon and the remaining house subdued or eliminated Too many coincidences In this sketch the ieft. the right-hand tree is directly below the mountain summit and above the edge of the curve in the road . you can rearrange and improve the composition to suit your needs Breaking up horizontal lines By pulling in the telegraph poles this composition is made more interestinq. make il less even.---------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- Thumbnail sketches By doing two or three of these simple thumbnail sketches. and subdue others ill long grass Compos i L iona I diagram This diagram is an aid to strengthening your composition. The Jour shaded areas near the centre are the best places to position your focal point. based on your oriqina! sketch or photograph.the tree . alternatively.

h. danger zones Any in these areas will ZONES On many occasions a composition composition because it wilt take the eye away from the centre of interest. masts and 50 on I Take care that large fo. wall or fence across the foreground to create a lead-in BALANCE I Avoid putting all the detail on one side I !Keepstrong detaU away from the extremities ( Break up long horizontals with trees. They need not be larger than postcard size. so include only one focal point in a painting. do not feel you have ro fill up every square centimetre with riveting detail. Here we are primarily concerned with producing a pleasing. Compositions are more ellecuve when there are no competing areas of interest. half tha: is quite adequate. gateway. keep the foreground fairly simple LEAD-IN I Use aroad. harmonious grouping of the various elements within a painting. or whatever.. Slight suggestion of detail might work.are the detail of significance weaken the . However. as shown in the Composition Checklist. not JUSt in the extremities. bUI generally only when the artist has mastered the basic problems associated with constructing a picture. There are. as [hat will be 100 hard on (he viewer's eye.reground trees do not isolate the focalpofnt from the rest of the. (here will be nothing for viewers to rest their eyes upon. to lead in to the focal' point (Make a break in a hedgerow.y one focal point I Highlight it with strong lighting or strong detail ( Do not position it in the dead centre I Subdue or eliminate any competing detail I Unless the focal point is there. the more often that will happen. but that is no excuse for making every paiming an exception. push them closer to the focal point so that they [end support rather than competition . When you are working on a painting. The more experienced you become. but anything stronger detracts from the illusion of harmony. but these are particularly vulnerable places. Study the paintings in ihis book with these areas in mind. Pencil. which in due course you may wish 10 ignore at times. All paintings need qu let passages. exceptions. .stream. in particular. tPlcture COMPOSITION All rules about composition are broken successfully at times. DANGER The extremities or and. charcoal or Karlsrna water-soluble pencils are all excellent for these. Subdue 01" remove any glaring features that pull the eye away from the centre of interest. For the moment it will help your work if you keep 10 a set of conventions. even professionals need to use devices at times 10 work out the optimum composition or determine how far they can stretch convention. It is exec lien I practice 10 draw I wo or three of these simple monochrome or linear sketches before deciding on the final form of a painting. a painting . whether you need a ronal sketch or just a linear -- ------- 51 ------- . BASIC COMPOSITIONAL GUIDELINES CHECKLIST FOCAL POINT I Haveonl. THUMBNAIL SKETCHES will suggest itself. The best tool here is the thumbnail sketch. or alternatively. of course.~------------------- CREATTVE COMPOSIT10N -------------------- Without a local point the painting will lose us way. wall. lor only experience will suggest how far these rules can be disregarded.the edges the corners .

exaggerated. or course. or exercising a little creative influence. 200x405 mm (8x 16 in) Here most of the interest is 011 the left-hand side. walls and hedgerow. H you are doing a portrait of sorneone's house for them. INTRODUCING PHOPS In some of my paintings I introduce props 10 balance the composition. Lakeland Bam and Coast near Fishquard can hide a JOLof creative misdemeanours and send you orr into wild night of imaginative rearrangement of the topography. there are. Beautiful as the landscape is. Whilst il may be fine to move or omit the odd stone or boulder. mountain. in which case it could be orniued. obscured or played down ill some way. Suitably vague titles such as Morning Mist.with mist or a blizzard it would not be visible anyway. is unforgivable Certainly great masters such as Turner took tremendous liberties in their compositions. caravans. And when it hits you. lake or village .then again you need to take rare with your creative instincts. cottages. the usual result is that you are LaO astounded La do a proper job! Such is life. If you are going to name a place . Here YOLI can really let yourself go and Lise the original sketch or photograph as just a beginning Oil which to base your fantasy or composi tion. smaller ones such as gates. II is then a case of deciding to what degree the changes are accepiabl to the individual. barns. PEMBROKESI-JIRE. YOll will need care in trying \0 do the same thing with a mountain. B -------- 52 -------- . so a couple of posts have been added on the right fa give balance COMPOSITIO AL CREATIVITY Some people Iecl that any form of imcrfcrcnce with the composition of the actual subject. it is neces ary at Limes LO alter the order ol things. you could actually leave out Foel Goch to irs right as this mountain is beyond Tryfan . You can sometimes avoid a problem by carefully positioning yourself when doing the initial sketch. trees. almost completely changing the topography on occasion. Perhaps features can be moved slighLly. To take a specific example: if you were LO look lip > the Ogwen Valley in North Wales with Ihe cragg peak ol Tryfa n as your subject. but do remember thai the ideal composition is a rare bird. Shadows or mist can he used to great effect here. you need to be reasonably faithful 10 the place. However. you would need LObe ca ref ul on a really clear dayl As well as large-sea lc rca iures.whether farm. and you must consid -r how to treat these.---------------------- EXPLORrNG WATERCOLOUR --------------------- ANGLE. Mist or a blizzard could obliterate a rnouniain positioned beyond your local point.

Dig out photographs of landscapes from calendars. Draw three or four simple thumbnail sketches fro III the Galway thatcl1 • picture (below). Sketching is dealt with in more detail in Chapter 9. 100. Do be careful where you put your boulders. though . The 'model a I1swer' is 0/1 page 151. During the filming of Mountain Adventures ill v/atercotour I came across a fallen tree and heaved it back IIp. sian thinking about the final composition when you are out sketching }Iour subject.If you 110vephotographs or sketches of your own. and boulders can be the middle of a Hampshire field they are noi very convincing! On a few occasions I have literally added a prop [0 a scene I wanted to paint. paint the Galway thatch scene.--------------------- CREATIVE COMPOSITION --------------------- props I mean minor items that are in character with the scene being painted. 1 should perhaps add! As you gain experience. beside tradi rional buildings. Puddles themselves are useful props to create interest in an otherwise boring passage. and take advantage of the more promising ones. Using the thumbnail sketch with the most promising composition.JI" compositional sense . Examples uf this me one or two posts placed 10 break up a shoreline and balance the focal point: or a post or bit or fencing strategically positioned 10 cause <I reflection in a puddle. filler out bad elemerus of a composition. Bushes of all shapes can be used 10 interrupt the line of <I regular hedgerow or wall. your strategy for good composition wil! be greatly affected by the sketching you do outdoors. It will make the ba ule in the stud io far easier. Tty a number of paintings based On these thumbnail sketches. Take some examples of the more complicated subjects and try three orjour thumbnail sketches from each one. such as a carava n. So. . This will quickly train yOl. -------- 53 -------- . It was only a small one. whilst sketching you can move features. holding it in position with tape whilst we filmed. magazines or books. • Photoqraphers are limited in how far they can alter the impression ora Scene • so you will often find published photographs that need improving compositionally. ugly plastic bags and anything else that jars. then have a go at those as well.

Sometimesit is best to rewei small areas with clean water and then introduce the second wash in a limited way. If you have not yet come across this process. As with ordinary washes. Basically there are two critical points to watch when using wei-in-wet. When working on the actual painting. it is important La harge your brush with the right consistency of paint. so do not expect perfect results overnight. The reflection was rendered likewise. you need La lay on the second wash at the right Lime: too early and it will dissipate weakly into the wet surface: too late and it will cause run-backs or create mud. though. so do be aware of individ ua I characteristics. moody effects. The technique can be used over large areas or restricted to small passages. iL simply means applying wet paint onto an already wet surface . This works well lor such things as wisps of mist on mountain rags. lL does take some practice. A strang mixture of French Ultramarine and Burnt Umber was then applied [0 {he weI wash /0 suggest trees in exciting technique that is excellent for achieving misty. wet-in-wet is a marvellously atmospheric technic ue which takes full advantage of the properties of waiercolour. but any more and the dried wet-in-wet will become blobby and ugly. [hough even this is fraught with hazards (see Chapter 13). Secondly. or run-back. 1l should not be used as an excuse for unimaginative skies. When the paper was dry. and apply the second wash just before the sheen leaves the surface. there should b only a liul water on the brush when applying the second wash. dry completely. with bushes /0 the riqh). If you do this in an area that can be covered up later . with the result that the second wash is 100 weak and almost invariably produces an obscene 'cabbage' effect. The commonest error is to put too much water 011 the brush. ------54 ------- MISTY POOL This studio sketch illustrates the wet-in-wet technique where the sky and water have been painted in with a weak wash of French Ultramarine. or on a small area to one side of the painting.--------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- 8 Wet-in-wet Techniques When it works.either by a mount or some feature in the paintingthen you will have lost liulc if it goes wrong. check the critical pointsthe timing and the paint-to-water ratioby trying out a wash either on a separate scrap of the paper you are working all. Some pigments behave dillerently from others when dropped into a wet wash. or reflections in puddles. Whilst the paint must not be too thick. Far better to let il. strol1g foreground de/ails were added /0 push back the misty tree . Firstly. do not fiddle with wei-in-wet passages while they are still wet. then rewet the area and have another auernpi perhaps. One or two quick strokes can sometime halt a potential crisis. TESTING THE WATER By practising on scrap paper you will become more adept at the technique and avoid the possibliry of fouling up a masterpiece. having laid on the first wash. Look at [he wet area from the side and against the light.

--------------------- WET-fN-WET TECHNIQUES --------------------- -------55 .

--------------------- EXPLORING WATERCOLOUR --------------------- DEMONSTRATION o Stage 3 Strol19 de/ail 011 the walls ill the foregrollnd together with warm colours on the close verqes brillg forward these [eatures and so accentuate the Sir William Hill. The strength of [he left-hand free helps 10 push the misty one further back. mainly with French Ultramarine and This was painted 01'1 Saunders Waterford 140 lb Not paper. as do the walls.. Sienna was brouqh! down over the verges and Lig. Stage 2 keeping willi the misty environment. Derbyshire Stage 3 Sir< WU. Ieeliug of recession in (II(: work. -------')6 -------- . Then the fwo more distant trees were indica led ill [Newel sky wash with French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. Raw o Stage 2 DERBYSHlRE 200x305 mrn Stage 1 (8x12 in) Stage I When the paper was absoll/tely dry again the closer trees were described. The sky was put in with a simple wash oJ French Ultramarine and Burnt sie« II a. This is emphasized [u 1'111 C/' by a wash of French Ultramarine and Raw Sienna drawn acmss the [oreqround Red dropped into the wet [oreqround.UAM HILL. ill Burnt Sienna.

produces a cleaner. so go alit and seek a woodland scene with a path.ISTY POOL. sharp derail in Iront of the wer-i 11 -wet area will accen Iuat e i IS softness. You can have immense fun experimenting with this procedure on scraps of paper. The technique also works well in stream scenes as it can eliminate most background clutter and en hance 1 he local point in or near the foreground. reflections in wa tcr and a host of other effects. Being able [0 wash rapidly over the area. whilst preserving your highlights. more professional finish. • Paint a picture of Crook em packhorse bridge. pool. Once rnastered. in other words.aintings of misty scenes. such as M. Strong. for example.JJ . misty scenes. Itis one of the most powerfultechniques in the waiercolourist's repertoire. Ihe stronger features in front. will not see misty scenes cryinq out for the wet-in-wet technique every day. quick p."e small. YOIl • ------- 57 ------- /. using the wet-in-wet technique. impose your own 'mist' on the subject. When you are in full flow [he last thing you need ioworrv about is intricate detail. cloud shadows across the landscape. stream or glade (see Chapter 9).wet JTH:'Lhod. Try SOI. can bring a rea] sense of depth 10 the painting.BUILDlNG UP A PAINTING ACCENTUATING WITH DETAIL The LI~e of masking fluid combines well with the wet-in-wet technique. My version is on page 151. where [he background is vaguely suggested by dim. put in once the wash has dried. In misty woodland scenes. introducing • wet-in-wet into the background 10 lose some of the extraneous detail there. producing mini-paintings extremely quickly. Yorkshire (below). wet-in-wei is superb lor creating atmospheric skies. Paint it with a wet-in-wet background and stronq detail in the foreground to suqqes! recession. soft shapes crca led with the wet ~i n .Tt can really add a new dimension LO your watcrrolours.

before you tryout techniques that will enable you to rescue a watercolour that seems to have lost its way. observing and planning your work for yourself. Often not enough emphasis is given to the actual planning of a painting and this subjecr is considered in depth. I ABERFFRAW. You are encouraged to try slightly more complicated work.EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE n this section you take more of the initiative. There is not such close guidan e here as in the previous se tion. which is vital to all those who wish to paint the landscape in waiercolour. Once you have ompleted the exercises in thi e tion you will be well armed to launch into your own painting projects and will) asses the fundamentals for developing your individual style. The mystique is taken ou t of perspective before YOLl progress to the chapter on simplifying the scenery in front of you. ANGLESIOOV 290x 380 mill (ll~x 15 in) --------------58-------------- . since the object is to stimulate you into thinking. The crucial importance of sketching and carrying out studies directly from nature is emphasized. with more challenging exercises. You are further shown how to render subjects with a firm foundation in drawing.


pencils mill smnl! SKETCHING GEAR Fur beginners to sketching it is best to buy a pad of cartridge paper about 200 xl 50 111m (8 x 6 in). brushes. even thollgh their details were clearly visible ------- 60 ------- . This chapter is aimed at helping you make the most of the outdoors and also sugge t alternatives for those who are not able to gel outside. climb and live wild iJ1 the mountains . No tricks of the trade.EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- 9 Sketching with a Purpose Being able to roam.cell [oam 111111 . Outdoor sketching Map(ase. Direct observation from nature is fundamental [0 the work of the landscape painter. These items. [or equipmem hold palms. so this i an ideal way for the timid to begin lI'o/er container 8 Skl'lchbook (ISOX 200 III11116 8 ill) X 9 Top of htush and pencil COif/oilier. HONFLEUR. together with a sharp knife 10 keep good points on ihe pencils. but the . A larger pad would be a useful addition. pi us a selection of pencils graded Irorn 2B 10413.01 paimiu. gimmickry or masking 01 inadequacies with overbearing techniques will substitute for this method of learning.I feel privileged. used (IS II'lIIe. IQ 10 Brush and pencil container II Paintbox with palene litl 12 Closed. ature is the greatest teacher we have and so the ideal situation is to be able to gel out into the countryside as often as possible. . for mops mid sketchbook: 2 Charcoal pili 3 \VtllU container for short tnps 4 Ami/reell' (gill). Onlookers olren do not realize you are sketching when working with just a pencit and I ad. FRANCE Harbour scenes can be extremely busy and here I wanted 10 focus [ul! attention on {he main buildillg by subduing the buildings on either side. for so many students relate how they are unable to sketch outdoors for various reasons. There is no need for any expensive outlay..'1 watercolours below 0°C132°p 5 IVarer conta iller for flm!/Irip 6 Sk~l{hbook (255X 355 1II111110X 14 ill) 7 waistbet: pouch. will suffice for the initial few trips.. mall size is compact and easy to carry around.

-------------------- SKETCHJNG WITH A PURPOSE -------------------- ------- 61 ------- .

They are superb for rapid colour work. however. as large areas of ione can be applied quickly. in several colours. These blocks are gummed all round the edges and lorrn a firm support so tha: a drawing board is not required. il has a sympathetic qualit y and is useful for snow scenes when there is little colour and you do nOI want 10 hang around too long.. How often I see students take 20 minutes 10 get ready LO sketch. A few warercolour paints. An alternative to pure waiercolour are waiercolour pencils. you wish to do full paintings our-of-doors t hen waiercolour blocks are excellent as these do not need stretching. H you are using charcoal a damp rag or pack of anriscptic wipes (or cleaning hands. So you should be ready togo out sketching at any time. and sh auld be fixed like ell arcoal. when you can resume your original sketch. COCKEREL As this cockerel was constantly strutunq around. You should always be ready for instant sketching and be so wen organized that }iOU know where La find every pencil or pan of paint. Must an students are probably unaware of the vast range of outdoor gear available ro them in mountaineering shops. Where colour or atmosphereis important. Keeping a number oj drawings 011 the boil at once is the key 10 skmhing animals and figures ------------- 62-------------- .even in summer. Proper clothing for sitting around in the cold is vital.Il. 1 wailed [or him 10 pause before rapidly drawing him in pencil. by which lime they are cold and the lighting has changed . Fibre-pile jackets are the most comfortable and some are especially designed to combat those icy blasts.. Come crayons come in pencil and chalk form. I normally lise these pencils in conjunction with pu rc waiercolour washes. an invaluable leature when you are carrying a rucksack. some thermals now available draw away body perspiration. Charcoal or Come crayons are excellent ah ern at ivcs. Thermal vests and long-johns give supreme comfort in cold conditions. Being prepared is the key: have all your equipment ready for action. When moving creatures adopt a new pose. low sunshine casting long shadows. and a fixative spray to preven t [OS5 of de fi ni tion in the Iinlshcd work are useful. for ages whilst protecting his climbing partner. Watercolour sketches are best done on waiercolour pads or good-quality cartridge pads .--------------------- EVOLVLNG YOUH OWN STYLE --------------------- The Karisrnawater-soluble pencil enables you !O in Ireduce atmosphere into a pencil sketch. BEING COMFORTABLE OUTSIDE The weather in Britain is so varied that in the depths of winter the occasional day occurs when conditions are beuer than in summer: mild weather. 1 find waicrcolour ideal. and more colour than the overwhelming greenery of mid-summer. with pencils sharp and your bag devoid of unnecessary gear. bu t 01 course they can also be used on their own. abandon your drawing and start another on the same sheet of paper. They are very good for producing quick monochrome studies . a compact and versatile sketching medium. Lied on 10 a rock. Usually they return to an earlier pose. Although charcoal tends 10 be messy. These garments are specifically designed 10 keep you warm and they work just as ef'Iectively for the artist as Lhey do [or the belayer who has to stand. three or four brushes and a water container are all that is needed to extend the sketching kit for palming.

COTTAGES. there arc some stools which incorporate a bag with ingenious designs. . are invaluable if you Intend walking any distance to your subject. so do explore your local fishing and mountaineering shops before making your choice. YORKSHIRE NORTHUMBERLAND This pencil sketch of abandoned cottaqes shows {he typical blackened stonework of South Yorkshire.A. As well as providing for your comfort. then look for garments made of Aqualoil. bags and accessories that can make working outside less of a hassle. though. Gorctex jackets allow your skin to breathe whilst you expend energy. rcducing that Turkish-bath feeling you get inside a cagoule in mild wet weather. Rucksacks. They lend to be expensive. Even waterproof socks are available. The range of soft hats with really imaginative designs is increasing rapidly. and if you are not so active and need a cheaper but still effective outer shell whilst sitting around sketching. of course. it is as light as a feather and impervious LO damp. This is an ideal ready-made compos iiio 11 -------- 63 -------- . J use a closed-cell foam mal [or sluing on. KIELDER. mountaineering shops usually stock a good range of pouches. as well as support the focal point. Small day sacks arc suitable for a day out sketching and with some designs you can clip on your stool. ~ BURDON SIDE. these are useful in the cold as one third of body heat is 10SI through the head. The squiggle above the buildings is a rough indira lion of the U/1eVeI1 nature of the roof tiles Here [he dark trees have been used to define the buildings. CRIMSWORTH DEAN. another high-performance and extremely comfortable labric. Alternatively.-------------------- SKETCH LNG WITH A PURPOSE -------------------- zipping up high to protect your neck. as they leave your hands free for balance. Personally.

Disci pline you rse If to producing as close a likeness La the original scene as you can. or perhaps mist weaving in and OUI of crags. Before starting to sketch. Pencils are. which. Begin with the centre of interest that fi rst exci ted you. Once you have round a scene. but this should not be taken as all excuse to exclude Lones. Maybe il was the light. for example. says that when \ e first went sketching together it opened her eyes as to how little was needed to produce a subject. based on his colour notes. Observation. Try to pick OuL a feature that looks interesting regardless of whether it is surrounded by rubbish or completely isolated. i vital 10 the waiercolour landscape artist.--------------------- EVOLV[NG YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- Moss BECK. all returning home. is the key to success in sketching from nature. For years she had always searched for [he ideal. A simple viewing frame is useful [or this . Drawing. You can gradually modify your approach La uit yourself. Jenny. as r shall keep stressing. study iL for a few moments 10 consider what you wish toinclude. LAKE DISTRICT This sketch was carried OUi with Karisma Aquarelle water-soluble pencils BLEA SKETCHING TECHNIQUES There are many different approaches [0 sketching and whal suits One student may nOI suit another. Tones are importantwhatever the medium. of course. but for the moment will outline a few sound methods [or the newcomer to sketching. considered in more detail in the next chapter. J use various approaches depending all the subject and conditions. do nOL accept the first one offered until you have checked the scene. Edward Lear used pencil on location and filled in with colour washes. YOLIwill need LO discover what techniques you respond LO best. Mov around to find the best viewpoint. With a sketchpad and pencils you can achieve rapid progress. a COllage. rarely appeared. II often helps [() 'warm up' by doing a quick study of a stile or gateway. the texture of a stone wall. colour notes can b added in the margin or on the relevant feature. Even a slide mount with the transparency removed will suffice. This device helps to isolate your subject [rom any surrounding detail. ready-made subject. consider what first caught your eye. Look hard ai both shapes and tonal ------- 64 ------- . as shown in the illustrations in this chapter. On pencil sketches. Do not be too fussy when out looking for a subject to paint. my partner. of course.a rectangular window cut OUt of a piece of card about the size of a postcard is fine. 0 can entraie on this method for a while before trying something more ambitious. a linear medium. You may then rebuild the cene around this focal point.

or are they affected by the intervening auno ph ere? Constantly query these aspects and it will strengthen your work. so . and gaining a thorough understanding of ihe ubject before you. How dark is the field compared to the lighter wall in front? How much higher is the tree above the cot tage? Js [he door of the aua ched ba rn on the same level as the larmhouse door? Is that cloud really darker than the sunlit hill. and at the sketching stage filter out unnecessary items.-------------------- SKETCHING W1TH A PURPOSE -------------------- relationships. plants. but perhaps need clarifying. Many students naturally become confused by apparently contradictory advice. An example of this is where they or vital importance are told to ob crve a subject carefully and render it in detail. even ditches and puddles! Do not Icel ihe day is wasted if you cannot find a panorami view to sketch. gales. our sketch needs to contain sulficicru detail [or YOLI to be able to fill a larger sheet of paper. Both these approaches are valid. can you be more selective in what you leave Out of the scene. Apart from looking at the overall scene you should also be doing stud ies of various landscape features. seck out those exciting details at your [eel. whilst at the same time they may be urged to be creative and change the scene to strengthen the composition. Do this even when you are riot sketching. as it will attune your mind to thinking this way. go in close on certain features such as this to captu re the detail and textures ------- 65 ------- . as they feel their work loses spontaneity when they try LO reproduce the sketch back home. You will probably work on a larger scale back home. You will not make a successful landscape artist without that foundation. I at allowing any preconceived ideas about it to interfere. or is it your imagination? Are those tree-clad hills really green as your mind may suggest. however. Pernbrokeshire . a cow or whatever. The ability to do rapid sket hes is therefore essential for the landscape artist and it also means you. Working on a large scale does present physical problems.. rather tha 11 sketches. It is better to include far more than you need in a sketch and simplify il with ih urnbnail sketches in the sr udio than LO find it does 110l contain enough information when you get home. such as individual trees. is essential. Try each method to ascertain what works best for you... take marc subjects home. especially iI you have travelled a long way. and there will not always be time La carry out a finished painting. Wi th rna n y subjects I find it pro pi tious to go in close and work in the detail and texture first of aIL then retire to draw the surrounding elements. Onl once you have gained a thorough knowledge of how to paint a tree. Observation. Not only will you learn how to render these features. you will also be building up a reservoir or reference material for subsequent paintings. Many artists prefer to do finished pa inti ngs out -of-doors. parts oI walls. Detail of door of Caer Lern barn As well as painting the overall scene. boulders. especially important when on holiday abroad. is the discipline of comparing everything in the subject before you. '" Barn at Caer Lem.

perhaps in fairly remote places. Certain hatch-backs provide potentially good sketching positions at the rear of the chicle. Copying postcards. as painting can take the mind off into new realms . Sketching ill watercolout is especially valuable when the mood oja scene is important NOl everyone. Many winter days can be as comfortable as summer ones and if you are prepared for the conditions life is much easier. it must be a dreadful predicament. virtually turning Ihem into mobile studios. consider joining a group or an society. and changing the emphasis andmood you may well be able LO produce a totally new picture. NORTHERN ITALV Rain splashes are visible over paris oj the darker washes here. just wishing they had a sympathetic companion. for any photographs supplied will probably not be to your liking. Think about these points when next you buy a car. Nevertheless. or course. 1 am sure that many more housebound I eople would lake lip painting if it were practicable. moving elements around. Alternatively. Sf you should check this prior 10 joining.into the ------- 66 ------- . Much can be done Irorn a car. perhaps. 01 course.--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE -------------------- OTHER APPROA HES TO SKETCHI G RIO E TREMONT. or ideally a vehicle with a high wheel base which will afford better views over hedgerows. THE HOUSEBOUND For artists who love landscape painting and yet are confined to their homes. rr you are able LOgel out during summer and autumn then you should ensure that you equip yourself with plenty of sketches and photographs from which to work in the dead of winter. is lucky enough to be able 10 work outside. Some artists equip their cars or vans in the most amazing ways. calendars. affording more room and comfort than the driving seal. One way of both finding a sketching companion and laking advantage of sketching outdoors is by joining a course which includes working our-of-doors. Many of my students form long-term friendships with each other. For many. maybe you can manage the odd foray out to lake advantage of pale winter sunshine filtering through trees and casting lovely long shadows. maybe bcca usc of adva n cing yea rs or a concern about being outside on their own. So what can be done IU make painting more enjoyable in these restricted ci rcurnstances> If you are able to get out but are wary about working outside alone. but again you should prepare for these in advance and take along your own sketches and photographs. however. winter is a barren period. This is also the time for evening classes. Not all societies go out sketching. If you have only a limited amount or source material then repaint your favourite scenes in varying ways: by painting a different sky. books and even the television can fill a gap bUL is cenainly not as rewarding or educational as finding your own original material. why nOI advertise in the local press or an magazines for like-minded people? There are thousands of people like you out there.

If at al! possible. and make pencil sketches of anything that excites you in thelandscape. Do prepare yourself for those long winter evenings. such as dead twigs and branches. try to obtain a variety of objects from outdoors to work [rom: plants. This can be obtained lrorn a number of other sources. sheep or cows. ask family and friends 10 bring back flowers.even if it is simply the way Go out and do some simple pencil • sketches of the following subjects: a distant [arm or cottage.watercolour pencils.. • With ingenuity you will be amazed at what new subjects can be discovered at home. can also be studied to a certain degree at home. cabinets. such as photographs and sketches. Luckily my neighbours are very sympathetic to these habits! For the landscape artist there is nothing that can compare with working directly lrorn nature and developing observation skills which lead 10 a thorough understanding of the subject. rocks.and then pUI in a background. so do expect a strange reaction [rom the rest of your household! Sketch the tumbling water and rocks . a bridge: a stile or gate.even though i1 may nOI be possible \0 venui re (here in reality However. Measured drawing and perspective. middle-distance trees. that a bit of each works well. or those limes when perhaps you prefer nOI 10 venture out much. When I set Ihis up at home as an experiment r got some odd looks [rom the family. Compare your results with the sketches you did for the previous exercise: which approach did you prefer? You may well find. stones. briars. small rocks. which arc covered in the next chapter. Use other media when workinq outside . with a different configuration each time Allow the water to flow over the rocks and vary the pressure (it need not be run n ing [or long). Look especially Iorliule compositions within the scene . Doil1g studies of these landscape features will strengthen your work considerably and they can til en be used with other source references. there are still plent y of irn eresring subjects to paint. radiators. Tables . and any interesting artefacts they happen to come across. Make colour notes. H possible. if your imagination lets you down. try [Q make lull use of the views from your windows. [unqi.. Make sure you have more than enough to work from. sunlight catches the top or the dusrbin! -------- 67 -------- . plants and sull lile. Visitors in the know can bring in all sorts of inspiring objects. • Go out without any preconceived idea of what you wish to sketch. by building up your source material. charcoal. Repeat the exercise for at least the next 100 years! • If you are housebound. With a little ingenuity and quire a lew rocks and stones you can even set up your own little waterla U in th e bat 11. as 1 do. beds and all sorts or ordinary objects can be drawn from various viewpoints 10 prod II ce seve ra I d iHe re 11 t pe rspect ives .iLC a lor ol material for painting. watercolour and so 011 . r am lucky in that my front and rear windows provide me with qU.the local point . as this will give you so much more choice when it comes 10 the painting stages.and find what works best [or you. flowers. and by hanging out of them this is further extended. The most obvious ones which come to mind are flowers. leaves and cow parsley.--------------------- SKETCHING WITH A PURPOSE --------------------~ countryside or wherever .

Once [his is done you can apply the pencil more COil fidernly and draw in 51 ronger derail. When drawing rocks Of trees. Carrying OUI studied drawings also helps you 10 work OUl how to render the subject. for instance. 'TAJO . though.The besi drawings always reveal beautiful lines of great character and this is somet h ing you should strive 10 achieve.. S COTLA ND 305x485 rnrn (l2xJ9in) MOl. if you become lOO sloppy in your work it will show up. decide what is your focal point and what are [he limits of your drawing.. WILD WEATHER OVER HIE TAn M A CHAN S.. [ a Iwa ys leel. which are only sugges. You can make a stan in the home.led in places -------- 68 -------- . bu 1 10 begin with you need to appreciate thai it is sound practice 10 be able to draw properly. ami though there may not be many vase-like objects in the great outdoors. flowers. Before you start. for example. Some artists produce the most awful sketches and from these are horn bri iii a 111 pa inti ngs . Take your lime observing and carefully recording the detail.. However. Quality of line \lcuyil19 the pressure on the pencil produces a line with more character. the discipline of drawing these curves will help enormously when sketching boats.. The classic training of working from rhe nude figure is of equal relevance 10 landscape painting as it is to figure studies.-. vegetables. Some subject s.are useful for learning to draw accurate curves. Objects Iike vases -i 11 fan.. Keep asking yourself. of course.:<\. Other useful subjects around the home are plants. call for a much more disciplined approach than others.OS Once you have begun economizing all line it is importaru 10 think about its quality . as can be seen here 011 the roof tiles in particular. Work methodically. Evening classes can be useful here. first outlining the main structures Iigh tly so Ihal a nymista kes can be rectified easily or the image reduced if you make it 100 large. Later on you can let your hair down at !imes and work ina loose r Sl yle. and all sorts of surface rextu res. pouery is an excellent subject .~-------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- 10 Drawing and Perspective For the landscape watercolourist drawing is of vital importance.. A Iways use economy of line: Lry \0 cover tile subject with as linle statement as possible. it does not matter if you fail [0 place each crevice or branch with absolute precision. especially if you work from a model or SI ill Ii le and do riot rely entirely on photographs. H you can draw a nude figure competently then a tree certainly holds fewer terrors.INOS DEL l.. so lightening your discipline by working on detailed studies will yield invaluable results in your work. A DTSCIPUNED APPROACH IL is important La discipline yourself 10 produce good studies of a variety of subjects. PEnTl1 S!II RE.. is Iha I line rea l1y necessa ry? QUALITY OF LINE AND SHADING .

DRAWING AND PERSPECTIVE --------------------- -------- 69 -------- .

so that a faithful drawing can be done. It is mainly used to portray Many subjects demand a fairly precise rendering of how the various components relate to each other in terms ol size and position.. By varying the pre sure on the pencil you will achieve a much more interesting line.. boats and other complicated features. still keeping it at arm's length. cleaner waiercolours. you may well have to determine how many times the height wiU go into the length. Study the illustrations here and this hould become apparent to you. Holding the thumb in this position. this is a disciplined approach La drawing which is fairly easy to practise and yet will yield extremely promising results in your drawings. irregular clapperboarding or fissures in rocks and crags. Wl1 en out sketching. MEASURED DRA WING . Look hard at some ol the drawings in this book and you will sec the advantage of this more considered anti positive approach 10 shading. Laying the pencil on its side and scrubbing indiscriminately can quickly render a competent drawing a luzz mess. (a u Its and curvatures of features. Shading is regularly seen by many as an excuse for covering as much paper as possible with minimum effort. Slide your thumb down the pencil until the tip of the thumbnail precisely coincides with the bouorn of the building. hold a pencil vertically at ann's length with the iop of the pencil targeted at the lap of the building. Now ra lett late how rna ny times the measured height will go into the length of the building by moving the pencil from left to right (or vice versa if using your left hand). With a long building. held at arm's length. Get into the habit of a more positive type of shading by crosshatching with thepencil This ensures marc accuracy and in fact can produce some incredibly delicate nuances of tone and light which are impossible to obtain with the other method. making it look like something produced by the en d of a poker. Measured drawing Here the pencil. turn the pencil horizontal. which might well be attributed to some artistic chimpanzee. though at limes the odd line or two is all that is required.. To discover this. bridges. particularly on building. CONTOUR DRA WING different pia nes. Blum ones will totally wreck your quality of line. Alway usc a sharp pencil. Contour drawing Here the direction oj the line describes the con/ours of the mountain and rocks Contour drawing is really an extension of the method of shading 1 have just described. Here you need to know how long or high on part i when compared to another.--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- that discipline in drawing almost always leads to better. for example. suggesli ng slopes. Even surface re ture can be suggested in this wa . It is a form of shading which follows the lie of the land or whatever surface is being depicted. is used 10 compare measurements in order to obtain a more accurate description ofthe scene ------- 70 ------- . something which is particularly apparent when rendering clinker-built boats. Again. take several pencils along so that you are not constantly sharpening them.

Linear perspective This is a simple example of perspective where the viewer is standing below the level of the collage floor: hence. Careful observation is the key here. Again. Drawing complicated subjects When the subject is complicated.for example. Draw the main outline of the building lightly.. particularly if you are looking up or down at them with quite a difference in height.-------------------- DRAWING AND PERSPECT]VE -------------------- Buildings cause students some dreadful headaches: many seem to spend the first hour of a sketch erasing and then restating the problem. Leave the eraser at home! A common problem is 10 f nd tha L there is not: en ough room in which [() draw all the windows and doors. . It is then easier La position the chimneys. However. A primitive angle gauge can be constructed with two lengths or still card held together by a paper fastener at one end. like two rulers screwed together.. for {he eye level would then be closer to the top of the window rendered ill detail once (lie overt/If limits .} n have been established ------- 71 ------- . constantly bear in mind comparisons with adjacent features. Note how the perspective causes tines that are horizontal in reality 10 slope. can all trap the unwary. generally the mOS1 irnportant leatures. Once this light outline is complete you can get down to the proper drawing. You can always insert a pig there! a Initial outline drawn l(qluly 10 ascertain If everythinq fits in b Modified outline redrawn once the positions of all windows and doors have been calculated and drawn ill lighlly. Distant objects are rarely a problem: it is often safest 10 keep lines horizontal in the middle distance. aligned with the window sills. Angles . mark segments off at natural points such as vertical drainpipes. For absolute precision. even here long buildings may cause some problems. then start at one end and work along it until all the main details are in position. in a row of houses. begin by making slight marks where each pan of the structure ends. bUL subjects such as harbours. If it is complicated. working across the paper. as generally the features will be lOO small to cause concern. LINEAR PERSPECTIVE booms on boats . These would \lilly slightly If the viewer stood at floor level.can be estimated In landscape painting buildings are th usual cause of perspective problems. confident that all the details will fit in and also that each pan or the building is the right size and in the correct position in relation to the next. leave some extra space 011 the righl 10 allow for error. For example. the eye level is quite {ow. In this way YOLl can estimate its total length. boats and rivers. Eye level Vanishing point . to mention only a few.. as when measuring length. \\Iorking [rom left 10 righl c Subjea of roofs or the more reliably by holding the pencil horizontal (or vertical) and then calculating the degree by which the angle departs from that. particularly on buildings in the middle distance. you could lise a protractor. Leave yourself some margin for error.

On occasions you will come across perspective that is actually wrong. Tile lines will meet at an imaginary vanishing point further along the line of your eye level. and it usually has the effect or giving more character to the subject. Far better to exaggerate the wayward bits. particularly on old buildings where perhaps subsidence. whilst the closer ridges become darker in lone {he closer {hey are Aerial perspective is concerned with the three-dimensional effeciin a painting: in other words. Some people have difficulty in establishing t heireye level. rind a tiled or brick wall and stand beside it looking along one of the lines of grout or mortar in bet ween tile or brick. rouing timbers and other problems have caused odd tilts here and there. Change YOLir position and look (11 it all again. To help you come 10 terms with this. however. noticing the different angles of the lines. if you wish. This makes it clear that you have seen the offending f ea tures. perspect ive can become h ideously difficult. how the lines of tiles or bricks above you appear. sit down and 50 on. accentuating the feeling of dis lance. and those below your eye level rise as they recede. Note thei rhe eye level will vary in height as you climb higher or lower. stand up. The most basic rule that needs to be understood about perspective is I ha tall horizontal Iines above you r eye level run downwards as lhey recede. To some this is about as welcome as a class of over-energized youngsters cavorting in from of their focal point! If you sketch the building as it stands the viewer will assume YOlJ(" drawing is at Iault. making the distance look far away and giving the effect of recession through the work. but ignore any onlooker'> for the moment! Look at. AERIAL PERSPECTIVE Aerial perspeci ive The [unhest ridge here is 1051 in places. This is achieved by a number or devices which can be used individually or together. You might have to crouch slightly or even go into contortions. You can represent your eye level with an absolutely horizontal line drawn across the paper.--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- As the artion gets closer. The most usual method of creating depth is -------~ 72 ~------- . ihen look at those below you.

Perspective need not be the awe. by softening off the details on the more distant feature as it nears the closer one. Where one feature stands in front of another. so allowing the foreground still to dominate. you will suggest depth. Preferably. lor various reasons: lor example. you cannot make a foreground darker. M<lkc II work lor you by learning a Iew rules which should certainly get you by in most landscape Try drawing some fairly complicated objects. iampshades .anything with curved surfaces. Distant detail is unlikely. • Sketch a fairly complicated building ill pencil [rom a distance of about 901/1 (300 If). Warm colours tend to bring things closer. Spain (below).sometimes distant hills seem to be almost on fire with 'warm colours .I1S. this time concentrating 011 the perspective. However. although sometime a link (all be suggested in cool OIOll r and light LOnes. emphasizing the feeling of recession. • With a more simple building. therefore. such as mugs. there are exceptions . find a brick-built house and work from a position where you can clearly see two walls. the alternative is to make II warmer in terms of colour temperature and to increase the strength 0 the detail. Use deliberate shading and pick alit the highlights carefully. work in pencil [rom about 30 III (100 ft). • sit ua tions. M) 1 ersion is on page 152. ------- 73 ------- . whilst cool COIOll rs push things into the background Again.--------------------- DRAWING AND PERSPECTIVE --------------------- by rendering the closer Ieatu res in darker tones and those further away in lighter LOneS. or wish to keep il a' it is. carryinq out a reasonably accurate measured drawing. a distant mountain rniglu he the darkest part of the scene bcca use of a da rk dOLI d OVlT it. vases. orne hurdle that it seem'.so to counter this the foreground needs to be more detailed and darker in lone. Try to improve your quality of fine. • Paint a picture of Lanjaron Castle in the Alpujarras IIIOImla. If. there is always an exception to this rule.

--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- 11 Simp /lfying the Landscape If we paint a scene exactly as it is . Oltcn within a complicated scene there is an outstanding subject. one of the most difficult aspects lor the artist.the piles of stones and pebbles. We might as well take a photograph. the massed trees in a woodland. Also observe the counterchanqe on the thatched roof ------- 74 ------- . To tackle this problem you should look firstly at the overall picture. button. So this chapter is really all about leaving things out. gate. stubborn hippo.we will end up with a pretty boring picture. THE OVERALL prCTURE The landscape was not designed specifically with the artist in mind. Specific detail needs to be lost in places or Left 'out of Iocus'. Often it is the simpler compositions that have the greatest effect on ihe viewer. the abandoned pram. so sometimes you have LO alter it a bit. In deciding what to leave out. two cottages some distance apan can be distracting in a painting. or perhaps understating one so that the other is dominant. and secondly £II specific detail. it will be more pleasing [0 the eye. one building could be omitted. ASSESSING THE SCENE mountainside. Slightly moving [he odd tree. also consider the possibility of changing the position of certain features.with every bush. Such a scene would also be something of a marathon [a paint. or the vast areas of textural detail on a CROFT NEAR CLASHNESSIE. SUTl'IERLAND 305x445 rnrn (12 x t 71. II is a question of deciding how to lose all that extraneous rnauer . For example. as every artist interprets the subject in a different way. We will have ramped our own mark of creativity all the painting and not just copied the scene without thought for improvement or aesthetic qualities. tree. boulder. the foreground grasses or reeds. you will avoid conflict. By reducing the amount of detail in a scene we not only give the work more impact. in) The distant cliff detail has been greatly subdued in this painting and the stones in the croft wall minimized. By placing them almost together. so that the mass of detail is merely suggested. whatever the medium. There is no one ideal answer to any of these challenges. ill the case of th > former you need to determine the focal point. might well make a more dynamic composition. and reposition supporting elements to best advantage. slate. Note how the tree is highlighted by the [act that the hill 011 its right has been completely lost. pebble. or even a building. reduce or eliminate COD flicting and unnecessary elements that confuse or compete with the centre of interest. JJl addition. Close detail and distant Ieatures all need simplification in some form. plant and so on in place . There is no need to reject the scene out of hand because of the mass of inappropriate detritus that may surround the centre ol interest. but also make it more manageable La paint. Alternatively.

--------------------- SIMPLIFYING THE LANDSCAPE --------------------- ------- 7S ------- .

So simplification of the overall picture should be considered at the sam' lime as working out the composition. SPEC1FTC DETArl One of the most effective techniques [or Shrimper at Greenfield. In doing this exercise. You may well find that this one works best for you . Indicating every Stone and crevice in a dry-stone wall. drawing lillie sketches on scrap paper helps you 10 plan the finished composition (lnei at the sa me ti me reduce any com pi ica led parts of the painting. try it a third lime. in the sense that there is a lot happening in it.ify it along the guidelines in this chapter and leave OUI a much as you dare. Pick a fairly complicated subject>compli tared. rather than involving e nremely complex rendering of difficult features. Here detail is painted in places but then disappears into an abstract pattern that suggests a IllClSS of egetation. The result may well surprise you. Studio sketch of the shrimper at Greenfield Sontet iIlles i[ is he fpflll to pa int a simplified and found' method. then blend in the studio sketch in preparation for (J painting. Ensure the important onesthose on tOP of the wall or beside a garcwa . SLOne or whale cr is being inserted. the best aiel LO good composition is the use of thumbnail or studio sketches. i nstcad ol putting in every minor detail. but aim about halfway between the two extremes. for example. or fade OUI cornpletely.. Firstly. Put everything in.--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE -------------------- AS we have ccn in hapier 7. especially when the composition is a little complicate i a Disuuu land reate /051 behind atmosphere b Distant land accentnated . One exercise which I feel is extremely helpful in gelling to grips with simpl i fica lion is 10 ca LTy ou t two or even three paimings of the same subject.varied treatment 1II0rl' interest 10SI c Distant land e behind ounosphere 110110 d Detail reduced here This corner kept quiet so (IS de/rna [ratn centre of interest f Single boat h1l in . This can be done to advantage when used on rough paper. would require considerable work. One elution (0 the problem of large areas of repctuiou net ail i lO U e a vigncuc approach: allow the outer regions to fade into a weak wash. washes of broken colou rare another means 01 suggesti ng tcxiu rc. thai is. where the surla e { xrure automatically causes the brush La leave patches of white paper or a previous wash to show through. compare the IWO paintings and see which one has more impact.cut out many of the LOnes. If you have enough stamina. do a painting of the scene exactly as it stands.. Each painting requires a different approa h. Even if grass a nd u ndergrowt h were brought in to cover part of the wall this in itself could mean more complications So. North Wales simplilving within derail itself is the 'lost . but greatly simpl. When you have finished. as though they are goi ng OUI of focus. Paintings need quiet pas ages to give more impact 10 the focal point.the oriqina! scene \Vas far coo duuered g Detait of h 01 f SIOIIIIS redu ed onsiderably /(I posts used frame composition --------------76-------------- . When painting hillsides. Often what you leave out matters marc than what is included. even the discarded old tyres! Then paint the scene again. be true 10 yourself -that is the only way you will learn. repeat the exercise with another scene. Really work 1 ard at making it as simple as you can. You may find that doing studio ketches sil1l~lar to the Shrimper til Greenfield will be helpful in this respect. Whether painting on location or indoors from sketches or photographs. Alter a lew weeks..

--------------------- SIMPLIFYING THE LANDSCAPE 77 .

Qui kly fade OUl the bottom with a wet brush 10 remove the edge.-------------------- . A backgrou nd mass uf houses. For example. The [oreqround has been kept simple by restraint in {he inclu. One way of tackling this type of detail is to load a brush with colo 1I I' . In effect. trees or crags. and then with a fine brush. otherwise the work will resern blc a f<l irgrou nd atmosphere. the colour of the reeds .and drag it across the area all its side [0 create a ragged edge at the rop. particularlv as lar as su rI( ce text u rc is concerned. Li kewise. [or example. Massed trees are best suggested by a broad approach. in many cases just a backdrop to the main entre of th is case. Strong rc rural effects BARN NEAR BRAlOMAn. Try this on scrap paper before doing it on a full W() tercolou r. If you tind you still have problems simplifying. and crea res less work for you Suggest rather than define detail with broken colour washes. You should ny 10 avoid overworking srna 11deia i Is such as reeds. however. try using a 25 mill (1 in) llat brush for the whole painting. tonal shapes or variegated colours. defining just one or two individual trees at the edge in a fair amount of detail. fli k in a few reeds from out of the LOp pan of the colour mass. The results can be lasclnating. Usc tonal ariarion to suggest the edge of a mass of treeswithin the total mass. a splash oj bright red or yellow can breathe life into a painting and at the same time provide interest in lieu of aCLu()1detail. Overzealous sanitization or legitimate detail can detract lrorn the crcdibilu of your painting. This te hnique works best on rough paper. you are using this as a reservoir. It is al 0 a fine method for portraying small clumps of grass. but do not overdo it. that you do no! simplify IOU much. GRAMPIAN 200x280 nun (II xBin) Considerable simplification of the dis/ani conifer plantation lUIS enhanced the Ieeling of recession ill this pain/jllg. 0111 i II ing bou lders f rom a st rea Jl1 so t ha t more of the wa ter can be seen makes 01 painting less III uercd a nd more pleasing. You can al 0 apply wash over pans of ih detail while it is still wet 10 soften it in places and completely remove it in others. ion of reeds slickil1_9out of the snOIV The cast shadows [allow the contours of the {rack ------- 78 ------- . can be broadly brushed in with a flat wash to produce a stlhoueue effect without any detail.EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- remainder. Be careful.

Try two or three thumbnail drawings based 011 the sketch COTTAGES NEAR CEU ANT. Similarly. Which painting gives you most satisfaction? • Have a go at the 'lost and found' method of depicting specific detail. • Do three paintings of a [airiy complicated scene. then paint it aqain. doors. To help you in simpli ying your paintings. • Choose the result of the previous exercise that suits you best and do a painting based on it.-------------------- SIMPLIFYING THE LANDSCAPE -------------------- can grearl enhance your work as. becau c of lack or re lure. such as windows. the charm and authenticity of the leature will be lost completely.and finally painting the scene about halfway between thetwo extremes. aiming at simplifying tile scene. Choose a detailed area.make drastic cuts to the amount of detail. or gates with half their bars missing. allow a stone bridge to appear too smooth. a mass of reeds or a wooden fence. like a gian t grey slug prawling across a stream. stonework must look like stonework. such as a bridge with complicated stonework. which of your results do you prefer? • --------------79-------------- / . Leaving th ings out is not as easy as it sounds. a dry-stone wall. visit exhibitions of watercolours by first-rate artists and make a point of studying their methods of reducing the scene 10 the most important elements. Simplification ne essitaies amazing self-control and a need to resist ( 11 sons of temptations. Include mainly the important areas of detail= 011 top or at the edge of the passage. SNOWDONIA (below). Search for the 'missing parts' of the paintings. so work hard at it! II is one of the best ways of giving your work more lmpa t and at the same Lime saving you a lot of work. first includinq everything. My version of the painting is on page 152. for instance. leaving out about two thirds of the detail. the truck with no wheels. paint it in a painstakingly detailed way. then simplifying the scene as much as you dare . Firstly. on a weathered stable door in the foreground of a painting. Do not. If the texture of the door is lOtally removed. i hc left leg of the milkmaid. ole how they tackle areas thai normally contain an amazing amount of detail. for example.

. to give il a better chance of success .. SKETCHES --. and hence the order of working.. tones.. . This device can heighten the viewer's interest. This is especially important when doing a complicated painting. For many. STUDIO S..... lighting.• THUMBNAIL SKETCHES SUTHERLAND COllAGE CREATIVE PLANNING Decide on alterations and atmosphere..X19 in) This painlmg shows counterchanqe not just 011 the background rocks and sky. II PHOTOGRAPHS .~~~~~~~~~~~~~------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE -------------------- 12 Planning a Painting In this chapter we shall think about the sorts of things you ShDU Id consider before launching into a painting.that is. making positive plans for the development of a painting is given about as much though l as planning a sketching trip to Mars.. Before starting a painting il is esscnrial io have a clear idea of what you wish to achieve.1 is loa laic 10 resolve them . but even with the simplest work you will reap benefits from a little planning. but also on the gme and wall. review lighting and treatment . treatment and maincolour5 ~ . .---- BASIC PLANNING Workout the composition. it calls/or more planning than usual.. it is nevertheless a useful exercise when you are inexperienced or about to embark on a particularly complicated pain ring.KETCHES t I PAINTING I ------80 ------- 320x485 mm 02Y. Whilst it is nor always necessary La go through all [he stages shown in the diagram below when considering how LO plan a painting. which is why so many paintings arc ruined even before the brush first touches paper. Preliminary studio sketches can highlight many problems beforehand .. before . However.

--------------------- PLANNING A PAINTING --------------------- -------8] .

might help. notably treatment and tones. perhaps adding elements from other sketches or photographs. these tonal extremes emphasize the centre oj interest I How do the tones around the focal point relate to each other? TREATMENT 115 wet·in·wet or working on dry paper best? I What is the order of working? ------- 82 ------- . here a studio sketch... cool or neutral colour temperature best? I Would a warm foreground and cool distance improve the painting? 115 a splash of strong colour needed? TONES I Where will the strongest tones work best? derail =juxtaposed. . Then consider a number of aspects relating to the basic planning. take your original imagessketches or photographs .and decide on the optimum composition. a studio sketch such as this could also indicate the order of working a Supporting trees merely suggested b Background tree tone jaded out c Background trees 1101 100 Slroll!} d Fence gives balance e Dark tone /0 suggest depth f Highlight"" g Centre oj interest is almost darkest tone= h Hint of a bank without overworked BASIC PLANNING CHECKLIST LIGHTING I Which direction does the light come from~ I Does the focal point need highlighting with strong ligha BALANCE 115 the composition well balanced~ I Do any features need to be added. taken away? COLOURS lis a warm. lL is impossible to plan absolutely every specific aspect of a painting before starting. are on-going throughout the painting.-------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE -------------------- BASIC PLA First. moved or . as shown in the monochrome illustration. Some considerations. This process is aided by thumbnail sketches. but the Basic Planning Checklist will help you think about your plan of action. Studio ketch to plan a pairn ing As well as showinq how each feature relates /0 adjacent ones.

nning stage still appropriate? I How could the scene be improved with creative use of counterchange? ------- 83 ------- . Set out the order of painting each passage clearly in your mind. then it is a vital stage. whils. at least [or a few steps ahead. NOIf' that whilst the creative aspect should normally follow basic planning. you will at rimes lind the creative side more dominant. If necessary. if you wish 10 put something of yourself into the painting.ith mist.--------------------- PLANNING A PAINTING --------------------- WATERFALL AT TmORAN. so do break a few now and then. for creative planning. Aspens LO consider at [his point are shown in the Creative Planning Checklist. thumbnail sketches provide a beuer idea of how the final painting will appear. It adds spice to your painting. as in a game or chess. The worst action you can take is to be constantly working out additions and changes during the actual execution or the painting. You may well need to review your treatment and colours in [he light of any changes made during this Stage. write your strategy down on paper. Sometimes when conventions are broken a brilliant work results. a rain squall or sunshin.Iighting first thought efat the basic pla. However.imple or should it indude strong clouds? LIGHTING I Should the emphasis be changed slightly! lis the . I Will the sky be kept s. ISLE OF M12LL A good subject for creative licence as more plant or rock detail could be included CREATIVE PLANNING CHECKLIST ALTERATIONS lis any added feature in character with the rest of the picture! I Would the painting work better as a snow/non-snow scene? I Would figures or animals add interest or detract from the work? AJMOSPHERE I Could the picture be improved w.e? I Should unwanted features be obscured in an atmospheric haze? CREATrVE PLANNING Creative planning is not always necessary and some students may [eel thai they wish to retain the original image of the scene without alteration. try doing small studio sketches in waiercolour 10 work out an effect before you do it [or real in a painting.

--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- DEMON. Cwm Silvn. Snowdonia Stage 2 Stage I Stage 3 -------- 84 -------- .STRATION Ruined collage.

plus the Stage 4 brillgil1g 01 er (his colour roof timliers. Finally. SILYN. The slope on 1111' r(qhl was then painted ill with a lighl wash oJ French Ultramarine. CWM S O""DONI. Stage 4 The roof of the bllildil1. and then some French Ultramarine \Vas Crimson and pI/I ill Jar lite shadow areas.----------------------- PLANNING A PAINTIG ----------------------- R I ED COTTAGE. sOJ1el1il19the lower parts witl! a 101 oJ \\ ater 011 the brush The crag was rendered wit]: a mixture oJ Cadmium Red and Raw Sienna.1'1'1011 fyillO all the northern slope. The paper used was Saunders waterford 300 fv ROlI. the darker parts of the sky were washed ill witlt a JIIi oJ French Ultramarine. First of all. 1 also decided 10 include a towerinq cloud [ormation accentuate the 10 feelillg of space. Then the pailllill9 lVas begllli by .1J lVas then painted ill aud emphasis 011 the crag and mill buitt lip with d irker lanes of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. ------- 85 ------- .gl1.the righl-Iwlld edges of the walls and chimneys. leaviug streaks ill places to . :J Stage 3 Tlte masking fluid \Vas then removed. o dl). masking fluid was applied 10 the parts of the ruin catchillg the sUIIlIght . applyillg fl1lid waslie» of French Ultramarine and Lig/lt Red to tire sky and Rl1\v Sienna the mill and [oreqround. and the wall and heel' added. IIII' COllage details were inserted.\'/Igges/ patches oJ . Stage 2 alice IIII' paper was lower down.A 485x6('O mill (19x26 LIl) o Stage I To emphasize the imposing background crag I raised it lightly and gave it more impact by throwillg warm light across the face. Alizarin Ligill Red. but avoidinq the crag. When this wn dry a mixture of Rail Sienna and Light Red lVas glazed over the jirst wash.

.. I decided 10forgel about the sky. lise a counterchanqe effect 011 the riqlu-hand side and add a figllre. so some planninq was needed. The pail/ring wa. Note how the barn is blended .--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- <II1II TVWAIN FAnM.x 18 in) The basis for this painrillt] IWIS a simple pencil outline drawing. they add interest. only II sU9gestio/1 of lite farmer and dog was necessary (belowleft) Placed near the centre of the painting. EpPYNT MOUNTAINS. Remember that this sort of de/ail needs (0 be planned . walking towards the gateway. In the de/nil of lire tree aud fence (below) the e}fecl of counterchanqe is evident. EAR BnECON 320x455 I11Ill (12Y.~ done all Saunders waterford 140 lb Rough FARM: derails On this small scale.1110 the grolll1d. TVWArN -------- 86 -------- . spicinq up this part of the paintinq with a little variation.

~elatiI19them to the photograph of Becco di Mezzodi in the Italian Dolomites (below). Hopefully this chapter will have given you some clues as to what you should be thinking about before you begin a painting.HEllLAND COTTAGE). • version as a studio sketch. and either use mist 10 obscure a feature or add figures or animals. • -------- 87 -------- .S chapter.---------------------- PLANNrNG A PA1NTING ---------------------- You should always have a vision of how you want your painting La appear when complete -even if you rarely manage to achieve anything remotely resembling thai vision! Continually stimulating yourself with visual ideas will improve your chances of success. introduce a strong element of counterchanqe (as shown in SUT. Take a scene... and spend a few minutes creatively planning a new • Carry out a painting based 011 (he studio sketch produced in the previous exercise. Once you have a dear plan. so keep trying. cool lighting. perhaps one that you have already painted. go ahead with a painting of it. Good planning will save many heartaches at a later stage and will EXERCISES Run through the planning considerations outlined in O. My version is on page 153. . strengthen your final work You may wish lO photocopy the planning checklists and Slick them on your pinboard as constant reminders. ush'lg tl1eCREATlVEPLANNING CHECKliST as a guide. In particular.

going slightly beyond its boundaries 10 make it facie away naturally. with clean We rer and a soft sponge. but much can be done. bu 1 this is n 01 a regula rly used pigmern. MOORLAND STREAM 280x405 mill (I J x t6 in) This watercolour and gouache pail1fil19 II as done on Bockinpford Cream tinted paper -------------88------------- . have gone some way 10 helping you 10 avoid glaring problems. but will also give you confidence as a result of knowing that if you do make an error then the chances of recovery are perhaps berrer I ha n YOLl first thought. or bloom. as it is virtually impossible to remove a staining colour completely. Before discussing actual rescues we hould consider how to reduce the possibilities of needing to resort to these techniques.--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- 13 Rescuing Watercolours Contrary 10 what many people may imagine. hopefully. If you see them forming._Correcr ing run-backs Unfortunately. gemly rub out the offending run-back. though sometimes a light wash over the c rca will elirninat all rra es of the run-back. Then. or whatever YOLI wish to call them. tOO. Testi ng Ion es and tcchniq Lies first on scrap paper will also prevent many potential disasters. Generally that will be all that is required. can be gem!)' removed with a weI sponqe ELIMINATING RUN-BACKS Run-backs. il is sensible 10 LIse a robust watercolour paper. confidence will help you r watercolour icchn iq ue progress con siderably Na III rail Y the re is a Iim it LD how far a waiercolour can be rescued and many situations are impossible 10 rectify. cabbages.. Some of these rescue techniques not only restore a work.from your palcuc will help. leave them alone. the offending run-back.. The previous chapter will.. and here aunders War rford is unbeatable. . a run-back has appeared here in the r(qht-hand sky area . waiercolours can be rescued from disaster 10 a great extern. That.such as most ready-made greens . blooms. The elimination of staining colours . On no aCCOLlllLtry to fiddle them into oblivion.. The only colour among those recommended in this course that might cause staining problems is Crimson Aliza ri n. are normally unsightly anel especially unwelcome if they appear in the sky area._ When the wash is dry. let il dry. Let the wash dry completely. Also. as you ar then playing a losing game.

----------------------------------------- RESCUI GWATERCOLOURS ----------------------------------------- -------- 89 -------- .

Once the sponging is complete.s Retaining white spaces in a watercolour is vital. as required. While masts or posts an be simply rendered by placing I wo pieces of thin ca rd or paper close together and ru bbing the strip in between with a damp sponge. as shown in the example here.--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OW STYLE --------------------- STE cu. the sponge is probably the most versatile. dab the surra cdry with paper tissues. Once the area has dried often all thai is necessary is a liule sharpening up with some paint. Slopping ill out a mast /1I(/SI order (0 keep the sky wash fluid the has been covered here Restoring a white area The left-hand end o] litis cottaqe has been accidentally painted over: the white paper needs to be restored By closely abutting two pieces oI paper and sponging alol1g the slight gap in between. and placing the piece as shown. By tearing the card or paper. Buildings can al 0 be 'repaired'. bUI what if you cover up the intended area accidentally or decide that you need [0 lighten an area to create a new lcaturc [0 balance the composition? Here we shall look at a few techniques aimed at re overing as much of the whiteness of the paper as po . a positive while line can be created With two pieces ofsrraight-edged paper held precisely in position ngail1sr the comer of the COllage. lengthened or produced from s ratch by thi method. Tree trunks can be created likewise. a more ragged edge i formed. Note that a bouorn piece is not required. then sponging two or three limes. or all the tools used to rescue a watercolour. Boulders.sible. whether used in conjunction with a stencil or on its own. sheep and other light-coloured objects can also be produced in this way with a little ingenuity. though it is best to have some son of curve or bend in the card. with the collage returned /0 its whitewashed stale and the work completed -------90 -------- . as this would give objects such as boulders a contrived and unnatural hard-edged base. a weI spotiqe is rubbed across the exposed paper 10 remove the colour This shows the resulting mast This shows the final result. wil1 produce the desired effect.

A blade held so that the whole edge meers the paper and dragged across the surface can sometimes restore a badly executed dry-brush area. towards the bottom where the edge needs /0 be sofl The result of [he sponqinq. showing the paper mask Some artists scratch with a k nile or razor blade as a planned procedure to create texture or produce a highlight. or sparkle on water.---------------------- RESCUING WATERCOLOURS ---------------------- COCKLED PAPER Producing a bouJder Sometimes it is necessary to insert some light derail into the [oreqround aher laying on dark washes The finished result with some detail added Sometimes. but it can also be disastrous if it goes wrong. SCRATCHJ SPRAY1NG From lime 10 lime everyone has problems with washes. or light wires on a fence. Have plenty of kitchen paper or rags to mop up. T need to restore a light. then restretched. a scalpel or craft knife and a Stanley knife. You cannot paint over a scratched area. Whatever you do. then gently sponge it down. I prefer to use scratching more as a rescue technique to be brought into operation when all else has failed. ith and do not try this technique sitting down unless you enjoy getting wet! This method is very rherapeuti and is a good way or gelling a lot of aggression out of your system! Spraying can be carried au t even i( pa rt of a wash is drying. even with stretched paper. 10 my mind. no matter how good the painting is. and do not touch the actual watercolour until it has dried. the: watercolour can cockle badly. distant shoreline. for example. as they offer more precision than anything else. I find scratching most effective when. but Hille whole thing has dried it is best to plunge it into the bath. it should be taken off the board. --------91 . but smaller areas can be rescued with a little judicious masking of important passages. but this works best on a rough surface. Take great care not to agitate it whilst in the water. this works best with the initial sky wash. Of course. use a tom piece of paper and spolllJe the area gently. The most useful tools for this technique arc. gently immersed completel in water. If a wash begins to go badly awry then praying the whole paper liberally with water from a plant spray is an effective way or washing it orr without damaging ihe paper. If il is badly cockled. This is especially annoying if you are: well into the paiming. if the gummed tape tears or gives way. At its best it can look quite effective. stan gently ar first and do not overdo the elle l. let it soak for a few minutes. G This lime. as nothing else is affected.

a wet sponqe is gently rubbed across the lower pari to remove some of the colour. with more emphasis on the Vel)1 lowest pari of the hill (centre). 10 a certain degree. The -------- 92 -------- .1il1g. This can spoil the whole painting. so test your HI/face first Again. However.--------------------- EVOLVING YOUR OWN STYLE --------------------- Using a sponge creatively whils! a sponge ((11. all set at roughly equal intervals apart. the hill . the paper is allowed to dry before a few foreground de/ails are added to push. We have all seen those loregrounds that contain a boulder. rescue the situation. a path.I passage that has turned OUI less than perfect. if t he die has been cast then you can. a few stones and a bush. This ensures (I gradual eIfect. or course. u is also marvellously effective for [rearing JIIis/. disjoirned individual features ir the foreground can lead 1. one or two clumps of grass. YOli will find thai some papers will nor stand much SPOI1.1110 the distance (bOI tom) LACT( OF FOREGROUND HARMO Y Foregrounds lend to trap everyone at some stage and whether deliberately planned or partially included as an after-thought. is to thrash this OUl at the planning stage to ensure that it does not happen. How can these disparate features be brought together as a harmonious whole? The real answer.1 be used /0 rescue (.0 a lack of harmony. Here (top) the hill is painted in Once the hill is dry.

either at the bottom or at ihe sides. of course. rather than immediately consigning it to the bini Not every auernpt will succeed. do try 10 rescue yourwatercolour by one of these methods. In wa rercolou r. You do not even have to follow the existing boundaries slavishly. though. Often the problem can be cured by restating parts of the painting with stronger tones. II is not necessary lO include a line on every conceivable edge. using a mask if it is necessary 1. Sometimes they just need a Iiulc adjustment !O become an effective painting. Several of the Old Masters. so that they lorrn a rectangular aperture which can be adjusted to whatever you feel is a reasonable composiuon.. -------- 93 -------- . a rescue option which is so obvious that it is usuall y ave rlooked is to reformat the painting ..ones that you are not happy with . REFORMA TTING Finally. To do this. Some papers will need more care than others when being sponged . Applied in small quantities. Try usinqthe • or strong lines in the distant parts. Choose quire dark areas on which to paint these. load the toothbrush with paint and then drag a kniJe blade across it. used bod}' colou r to guod effect. however. This situation should no! occur.brushed across the foreground can sometimes bring a reeling 01 unity. including Turner. bulan excellent way to recover a work is by using a pen.. within the main composition you will find smaller ones thai work equally well. Lay these over the painting to be rescued. btu you should find a greater number of your paintings make it through to the framing stage. This is also a device thai can be employed when you have laid on a dark loreground wash and wished you had broken it up with a liule interest.0 protect some areas . Too few lines. A medium-toned glaze . it can be invaluable for leatures such as distant white masts. bu I I hey really knew what they were doing. toadd sparkle to a painting. therefore. Next you could try sponging off pari or the whole of the foreground. and this could be combined with a tooth brush spa trer to (rea re textu re which would link the disparate forms. Cut this a t two opposite corners (0 crea te two L-shaped pieces. or give it more of a feeling of harmony. if you have been stepping back at Limes to view the work as it progressed. Even when things seem 10 be gelling desperate. Beware Use some of the rescue techniques described here to try to recover any of your old paintlnqs . to recover the white surface. • stencil technique 011 scraps of paper.al1y more. Often.---------------------- RESCUING WATERCOLOURS ---------------------- first possibilitv 10 consider is whether any pan of the ofrending passage can be masked off by the mount. only where you feel it is important. LACK OF FORM There are rimes when you complete a warercolour only to find that when you look at it from a normal viewing distance the main features do not stand out and it lacks form. though. use gouach e sparingly. For this you will need a CUI mount at least 305x455 mm ( 12 x 18 in). Mask off any parts that you wish to keep free of spatter and also make sure you move the knile in the right direction! With a combination of these methods you should be able either to reduce or subdue the foreground clutier. gulls and while flowers. gouache (opaque waiercolour) is really best used as alast reson in a pure waiercolour. as these will reduce ihe feeling of depth in the picture. can produce a very odd ellect GOUACI-rE Like scratching with a knife.transparent wash . Simply draw in the shapes with ink.

this pou t in the course you should be gaining in confidence and J-\.. noticing a distinct improvement in your work. We are now going to lake a look at those features of the landscape that give artists the most jo ... and pain! Skies, water, trees, rocks, mountains, boats. and so much more, all need to be rendered convincingly. They all have their own characteristics and there is no set formula for painting them. Indeed, if you allow yourself the luxury of formula painting, where, for example, every free is painted in exactly the same manner simply because it works, your painting will become stale and uninteresting. Only one method is guaranteed to produce good rendering of these subjects: directly observing the subject and doing patient studies continually, whether you are working on a ky or a rotting fence post. This section covers the most commonly painted aspects of landscape scenery and explains how to bring the different elements together with a sense of unity.





mm (8y'xJ9Y, in)

Here the scene has been stretched - the

[eatures were 110/ quill' so far apart in rea lily. with few venicals. the scene exudes a feelin9
of tranquillity, Note {he hard and soft edges alternating 011 the horiron, a device echoed in

the foreground

94 -------







14 Painting Interesting Skies
As landscape painters we cannot ignore skies for very long. The sky sets the mood and colour temperature, and should relate to the landscape - or rather [0 the ligbt on the landscape. It would be good to see more imaginative skies in paintings at exhibitions. instead of so many simple 'play it sale' wet-in-wet ones. Effective skies can be produced fairly simply with a Little thought, so do endeavour to be imaginative. Tn this book you will find many examples of different skies, from the simple to the more complex .. It is important to consider the sky carefully at the planning stage. as this affects so much in the painting. Once the overall design of the painting has been thought out, lake a few moments to decide OIl the sky. rr the landscape is fairly complicated or occupies most of the paper, it is preferable to keep the sky simple. Should the composition be unbalanced, then the sky can be used to redress this problem, with, say, heavy clouds LO counteract a large void. A fairly large sky area gives scope [or an interesting sky, 'the rolling volumes and piled mountains of light', as described by Samuel Palmer in 1828. Just as in other areas of the painting. skies need quiet passages where little is happenil g, so do not feel you have to cover every bit of paper. Skies are normally done in one or two stages; anything more complicated beyond the scope of this book.


As the description implies, this involves painting the whole sky ill one go and then leaving it untouched. The advantage of this method is that it is less likely to create mud. At its simplest, a single-colour wash wUI often suffice, but most of us prefer something a hule more stimulating. By washing, say, a pale yellow across the lower part of the sky you can then drop a colour of darker Lone across the top part, allowing this to fuse into the yellow and so flow down across the paper. The fewer your brush strokes, the fresher your sky will appear. Do not fiddle with a sky wash as it is very difficult to hide mistakes in this part of a painting. By shifting the emphasis to one side or another, leaving gaps here and there. you can. produ e an infinite variety of effects and this method is an excellent way to begin painting skies. You may find the wash flows better if you brush absolutely clean water across the sky area beIore laying on the colour. As always. use as large a brush as possible.


230x305 mm (9x 12 in)

The sky here was achieved by laying an initial wash of Cadmium Yellow Pale and overlaying this, once dried, with a wash of French Ultramarine mixed with Crimson Alizarin. The lower half was streaked to allow the yellow 10 show through


96 -------

PA1NTING INTERESTING SKIES -------------------- -------- 97 -------- .

If you Me including a 101 of clouds. oI course. this is best left alone. as outlined ill Chapter 8. as this really brings a sky to life. or -------- 98 -------- . Try to leave some of the paper bare. but keep this mainly towards the centre. Begin a two-stage sk by la ing a simple wash across the paper. can be left hard-edged by working around [hem on dry paper. clouds which are composed entirely of soft edges call easily become lost in a painting. Whatever you do. to achie e a sense of depth. In general. as this will give them the appearance or a gaggle of misshapen golf balls.the ky is the last place you want to see this! Until you have had some experience 01" one-stage skies. where they are caught in strong sunlight (usually at the top). these clouds were softened at [he bottom with a wei brush Soft clouds These are created by applying weI paper a wash 01'110 Dark clouds These are inserted wet-in-wet sky area into the damp Although the majority of clouds seem have soft edges. Too many clouds. make the higher ones larger than chose closer to the horizon. While parches in the sky. this involves laying an initial wash. using the side of the brush to blur the hard edges. On the other hand. Take care to soften off the bottoms of these clouds. the edges can appear to be hard. These can range [rom quite large louds 10 minor puffs and they are added by using very little on the brush. however. lighter clouds can be SLOpped out by dabbing cloud-like hapes into the wet wash with a tissue. A Iurther step in the one-stage to add darker clouds using the sky is In order to give the sky marc interest and depth a two-stage approach can be effective. for clouds. In doing this you must ensure that your washes are transparent. particularly lor large sky areas. will make the sky La wet-in-wet technique. avoid having clouds with hard edges all round. perhaps by a weak wash under them. varying the tone in places. otherwise they may well look as though they have been water Cut out with scissors. TWO-STAGE SKIES appear too busy. At this point. leuing it dry and then painting a glaze over pari of it. so that there is linle likelihood of mud forming .-------------------- FEATURES OF THE LANDSCAPE -------------------- Hard-edged clouds Painted on dry paper.

Silver linings -light cloud edges . can lead to monumentally garish concoctions. Lastly. trying 10 copy some of [he more violent ones. Using a tissue Clouds achieved by dabbinq into a wet wash with a tissue oft-edged by painting around them on wet paper. you will want (0 allow plenty of (he original wash 10 remain in view. Tryout a mini. especially as far as the position of the main clouds is concerned.0 tone down the more lurid passages and simplify the complicated cloud structures. to give the sky life . Here and there edges will need to be softened off with a damp brush. such as postcard sunset scenes perhaps.0 plot its position so that all the shadows are consi . Howevc r. Do not worry if you lose the edge here and there as too long a lining will delran from the sky.-------------------- PAINT(NG (NTERESTING SKIES -------------------- UNSETS Sunsets are popular as they give an opportunity to use a much more audacious pa leue. you arc likely 10 gel hard edges all round the clouds.especially in coastal scenes. by leaving pure white paper. Do not fiddle with it: overworking a glaze will produce dreadful mud with consummate case. is the position of the sun and hence the effect of light and shadows on the clouds.can be achieved with care. However. so once this point has been reached. To be mOSI effective you need 1.un need nr I be visible.teru. What looks marvellous in a photograph or real life can appear as a completely contrived mess in a waierrolour. Above all. keep it simple. but it is as well 1. Once the first wash is completely dry. lay on the wash boldly with the minimum number of strokes. With as large a brush as possible. and of great importance. damp the brush and soften off the bottoms of the clouds with water to make them look more natural. the second one can be applied over the first. 1 rarely draw cloud formations beforehand. Make sure it is very fluid and transparent to ensure thai some of the original wash shines through. The .ky on a scrap of paper first. the second wash is designed to introduce stronger cloud formations and achieve depth in the sky. You might even consider including some birds in the middle distance. so alternate the hard and soft edges to create additional interest. as it is best to keep the sky washes really fluid and not be restricted by specific shapes and positions. Keep the design of this second stage fairly simple. it is important to have the basic sky design weJI thought OUI in your head beforehand. If you work on dry paper. with a sunset. or course. ------- 99 ------- . At (his stage it is vital to mix plenty of paint because ~IOU do not want to run alit halfway through the wash.

Tile lap part oj the sk) lIIas washed ill with French Ultramarine. Part oj the cloud edge HillS softened off underneath. COl/age. all its side. Immediately lite large dark cloud all the left W(lS added in tlu: same colour.--------------------- DEMONSTRATION o wnt. o To Stage 3 Not. a No. 111 places (/ fagged edge 10 the clouds was made by rolllllg the brusl. and landscape the dark area on the left-hand field wa. IIsil1g a 31 1/11/1 (11. strenqtliened ill Stage 3 ltedqerow details were then inserted. SOllie cloud shadows lVere then added b) applyil"l. Stage 2 J 2 brush and a mixture oj French Ultramarine and Light Red the backqround trees lVere laid ill. Stage J HEREFORDSIIIHE FIELDS urouglll down 01 er the frees so tlia! II-Iey 215x280 111m 18~x 11 in} ::J Stage I This paintim. to complete the {Iva-stage sky. in) flat brush. Cadmium Yellow Pale was mil into the lower part oj tlte sky to warm it lip a little. includes a two-staqe sky and was done all Saunders waterford Next. places witl) a touch 4 RalV Sienna. washed in with French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. 1401/1 Li9111Red all/a the damp paper. tree and ol'l'r the field. The fir« staqe \\las completed by bringillg down a wash oj Cadmium Yellow Pale and French U II ra marit Ie relate sk. lOa . Filially.--------------------- FEATURES OF THE LANDSCAP .9 French Ultramarine atu! are loit all aile Stage 2 side. the [oreqround and stream were put ill.

Practising painting and sketching skies for their own sake reaps enormous rewards. too IIlL1cl1 about the landscape. go out and make • Paint a picture based 01"1 the photograph ojthe Snowdon range frail. keep your washes As with Try some cloud formations as illustrated .l'Igseveral of these will greatly improve your skies. The 'model answer' is on page 154. Most of all. then gradually attempting ones 01 increasing complexity.' Llyn Mymbyr (below). DO.~-------------------- PAINTING INTERESTING SKIES ~-------------------- UP IN THE AIR Paul Nash wished that he could fly. Do not 111017). Try some which include the sun itself. • tra nsparcn I. • On a changeable day. riOWI1 with the sole purpose of sketching. with the main emphasis 011 the sky. Pract ise doing a series of two-staqe skies all A5 sheets of paper. Use eachtechnique described. Loosen up by using pencil. bu t you can 11iI1l at it if you wish . Take your sketchbooks along when you travel by air. -------10] .1'1 the examples in this chapter. 1 find it fascinating and have. Being high in the mountains also often helps me to come to terms with painting the most elusive of all the elements. so that he could explore the mysterious domain of the air. enabling you 10 give your landscapes powerful au thentici ty. charcoal or Conte to start with and then try some watercolours. Perhaps [hal provides an answer as 10 why! am often described as being 'up in the douds'! [he landscape. • some cloud studies. 01'1 small sheets of paper. skies are best tackled by doing simple ones first. at Limes.

It is a good idea 10 position yourself deliberately so that objects such as posts. PEMBROKESH1RE 610x990 mm (24x39 in) This huge watercotour took some lime to complete and involved quite a Jew preliminary sketches /0 ensure a successful composition. by keeping the distant stack and cliff free of much detail. still water presents fewer problems. Notice how reflected objects are changed almost imperceptibly: a light object becomes slightly darker in its reflection. so if you come across them. and so should be looked upon as an opportunity rather than a problem. They can be applied with the wet-in-wet technique or on dry paper and it is worth experimenting to see which method suits you best. flows.-------------------- FEATURES OFTHELANDSCAPE -------------------- 15 Water and Reflections Water is perhaps one of the mOSL difficult features of the landscape to render convincingly in a painting: it reflects. because often there are indefinite areas where it is difficult to see what is solid ground and what is pure water. it is good to have one or two places where the edge becomes lost (in the same way as with clouds. is to ensure that there is strong contrast between ground and water. sparkles. as with all water subjects. you need to simplify [he subject considerably. cascades. Man}' paintings in other pans of the book depict water in various conditions and should be studied in conjunction with this chapter. In this way. Sea birds help to accentuate (he enormous size of the cliffs ------- 102 ------- . The important point to remember. unless the object being reflected has a hard edge and is close to the water. trees and bushes cause reflections at optimum points. Once again. add a few ripples or streaks of light water to your fact. rivers. and at the same lime ensure that it is always flowing downhill and not appearing to defy graviryl Here we are concerned with streams. Generally 1 use wet-In-wet. This need not occur all along the water's edge . and a dark object becomes slightly lighter. it can be rendered with a few broad strokes of the brush. ripples. You may even wish to carry your own post around with you to position by a puddle or 011 a river-bank when sketching! Mirror-like reflections tend not to be the best from an artist's point of view. The rock structures required considerable working OUI because of their sheer complexity The sky has been kept simple on account of the tremendous amount of rock detail. fOT example). Reflections reinforce the watery feel.'S PATIiWAY. An effective technique where [here are dark reflections in a pool or puddle is 10 use counierchange to define the margin between bank and water. whilst on the other side of the pool light water comes up against a darker bank. STILL WATER Without reflections. the water actuall y reducing the contrast. and in small areas. lakes. puddles and waterfalls: the sea is covered in Chapter 20. However. and ranges from being almost completely transparent to as thick as pea soup. the illusion oj depth is achieved. dark rellecuons in water can define a light bank. such as puddles and pools. DEVU.

---------------------- WATER AND REFLECTIONS 103 .

g fluid lVas painted 01'1 the birch tree and some oj the stones 011 the rig/lt-Iul/ld side. Sienna \lias washed across the ridge and Cadmium Yellow waterford 140 Il) Not on this occasion.--------------------- FEATURES OF THE LANDSCAPE --------------------- DEMONSTRATION HAWESWATEH. LAK gille DISTRICT 240x330 111m (9~x 13 ill) . J worked all Saunders stronq contrast oJ mood. a mixture oI French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna II as placed to tile lefl oj the ridge. Gullies and the rough mountainside above the trees were pail/ted ill 14 ith French Ultramarine and Light Red.- o Stage 1 Stage l Firstly. maskil1. Raw Pale added where {he light mass oj trees would come. The film would Stage 2 create a hard edge above the trees to D Stage 2 A weak wash oI Raw Sienna was laid across the lower sky and dark mountain. LOW-lack masking jilm is ideal lor covering large areas oI paper that YOIl wish (0 reserve and. Bemuse washes would seep under the edge of the fihu lIn rOllgh surface was used. Once the paper was dry. With French Ultramarine and Raw Sienna the background mountain was laid all and allowed 10 dry. Raw Sienna and Light Red were 111m dropped i/HO (he hillside behind th« birch. is effective over painted areas. behind the birch. and then maskil/g film was placed over the closer rib oI the mountain. the 1IIt1skil1g film It as removed. unlike masking fluid. and at 'he same time the tops oI (he massed conifers were outlined. Blotches oj Light Red were dropped into tire wet mountain area. and immediately a mixture oI French Ultramarine and Light Red was washed over the lop par' oj the sky and allowed 10 drift down ill to the !\let Raw Sienna. when all was dry. 104 .

This mixture. Some paris oJ the [oreqround were added. Lower down Pale was introduced reflect the light mass of conifers. Stage 3 Cadmium Yellow o Stage 4 The maski 119 fl II id was removed and the Jar bank below the conifers darkened with French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna.---------------------- WATER AND REFLECTIONS ---------------------- o Stage 3 Some crag de/ail was suggested and then the shadow sides of {he conifers put in witt: French Ultramarine and weak 8111'111 Sienna. Finally. (he leaves were put iII with Light Red. Before the lake wash dried a 10l1g /0 horizontal streak was pulled alii by a 12 mm (~ ill) flat brush. but a little stronger. Stage 4 I 05 -~------- . For the reflections. RaH Sienna was laid 011 the lake with some Light Red dropped into it. followed by French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna below the trees. the stronqer [oreqround details were inserted. Some pale trunk reftections were then picked out with downward strokes of tI small flat brush into the weI wash. was used to draw in the details of the birch free.

Practise the dry-brush 51 rake beforcha nd on a scrap of the same paper being used for the painting. such as lakes. which causes a loss of reflection and usually a complete change of tone. funning water has LO be greatly sirnplificd [0 make it look effective. Where current are strong in running water the ripple effect is pronounced. because the colou r will seep back in to the original light line. You will almost inevitably find that you vvill need to repeat rhis stroke two or three times in exactly the arne place. Lake District on page J 27. in pan. Ripples can be introduced where you do not wish to include a reflection. Ally hesitation and the effect lose s some spark le. As when painting skies. Each method is eqllally valid. whilst on the right they have been painted on dry paper. here and there. This effect. for much of the lime have their surfaces rippled by tile wind. this effect is best achieved with the dry-brush technique. or a narrow band or rippled water can be pur in to relieve a large expanse of su!l water with unbroken reflections. but only now and then will you find streams back-lit where the composition WOrks. may appear over the whole lake. On light reflections a darker strip or ripples can be painted over the top when the wash is dry. You do not have to put the ripple exactly where it is. if the water is back-Hr. Leave necks or white paper to suggest foaming water and usc curving dabs of the brush to indicate ripples. if is sill/ply a matter oJ preference Large area of still water. The dry-brush technique involves having little water on the brush 0 that the stroke leaves speckles of untouched white paper. RUNNtNG WATER Usually. and when you have got it right. or in strips. draw the brush across the paper in a quick movement. make it work for you to best advantage. An example of this technique can be seen in Coniston Water. It works best on a rough surface. for example.-------------------- FEATURES OF THE LANDSCAPE -------------------- Reflections 011 the leJt the reflections have been achieved by the wet-In-wet technique. this can be changed to suit your purpose. working rapidly. A light streak of rippled water can be inserted on dark reflections by dragging a damp nat brush sideways across the still-wet pairu. ------- 106 ------- .

bu till swi fUy moving water 10 re Ileciions are eit her non -cxisten t or only discernible in a broken.Lon lllany white blobs Over the foreground can create a polka-dot effect and be extremely distracting. Take special care 10 note 110W the Willer tumbles over and around boulders. provide excellent practice for the lauer and add considerable interest a 51 rea III tha L 01 herwise has no remarkable features. In slowly running water reflections tend LO be enhanced. so watch the effect ca ref'ull y. Accentuate speckles of while foaming water. nOI large enough to be water ails. foal/ling cascades emphasized by dark rocks. Look out for reflected light. but as when painting a dry-stone wall. This can breathe life into a tumbling stream. A vertical formal suits the natural omposition ------- 107 ------- . even on rippled wa ier. if desired. however. a this can be quite strongly colou red. Small cascades. In this way you ould c en reate a local point.REFLECTIONS ---------------------- Retain this in your work. less distinct form. rcdu e the amOU!H Of detail and make ir facie away at ihe extremities. but be careful not to overdo it . Emphasize them. FFRWDGRECH BREcON ·WATERFALLS. where the olour in the sky IS prominent. BEACONS 340x 280 111m (13y'_x 11 ill) The water has been kepi as simple us possible here and the white. by exaggerating the drop and perhap making adjacent stones or boulders larger.---------------------- WATER AND .

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