Odds And Ends

Experimenting with watercolours has been enjoyable so far and has certainly been convenient. I haven’t got a lot of space to work and it is easy to get set up and clear away when there are limited supplies. My lovely big sketchbook, with the quality watercolour paper, is proving a bit daunting – both in terms of size and what I want to paint! A good tip I was given years ago is to use the right hand side first, just in case you do something remarkable and then you can remove and frame it. That hasn’t happened to me yet, so as I’m trying to be frugal I use the right hand side first and then go back and use the left hand paper, which is obviously on the back of whatever I did before.

Generally I think I like working in small books and I am looking in the local charity shops for a little book that I can customise. Meanwhile I have been continuing the ‘doodles’ in my small book, splashing on left over paint whenever I try something and coming back and adding details with Caron d’Ache crayons and Posca pens.

I did try to produce another flower picture, wet on wet, rather like the primroses. I had the same problem with the magnolia, not being able to work quickly as I wasn’t confident enough to know what I was doing. Liked adding the salt though and I am going to do some experimenting with different watercolour effects that can be produced with cling film and the like.

Again, using the spare paint on the left hand side means that the double page spread has a bit of continuity – on this page I just did some simple motifs in a gold pen for reference.

So far, on this trip, we haven’t had any really warm weather, certainly not the sort of conditions to paint outside, so I have been taking lots of photographs and using them as inspiration. The page below used three snaps I recently took in a Warwickshire garden and I rather liked this format, several little thumbnails together. It breaks up the white space and quick little sketches are more manageable.

The final photo shows a detailed picture of an oyster shell I picked up on the beach at Holkham, using watercolour and drawing pencil. I’ve always liked drawing shells and pebbles, so maybe I will keep my eye open to find some more things to draw from life.

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