Every few weeks I run an afternoon watercolour group here at the studio, usually on a Tuesday. Obviously these groups had to take a break while we were travelling in Australia, but now they are back on track.
The first session of the year was yesterday afternoon, when we had some lovely sunshine on the studio. Not warm enough to work outside though! These session s are in “paint along with Steve” format, so I do a demonstration at the easel and the group paint along step by step. You can see my own painting here, the subject being a well known Norfolk landmark, Weybourne windmill. Weybourne is up on the North Norfolk coast, not far from Sheringham.
The key to any representational painting such as this can be summed up in one word – drawing. It doesn’t have to be absolutely accurate in terms of the exact size or shape of the objects, but what is so important is that nothing must look wrong. Another artist once said to me “don’t worry about everything being right, just make sure that nothing looks wrong”. Hopefully I managed to achieve this with the painting of the mill.
The actual painting itself is simple, with a limited palette of Ultramarine Blue, Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna and Cadmium Yellow Pale. The sky is a graduated wash of Ultramarine fading to Raw Sienna near the horizon. While it was still damp I lifted out some clouds with a scrunched up piece of paper towel, using a rolling motion.
If you would like to join me for one of these session just get in touch using the details on my Contact page. The next two will be on Tuesday 24th March and Tuesday 14th April. Early booking is essential as I can only take six participants per session. The cost is £20 per person.
On Friday 6th March We drove up to Horncastle in Lincolnshire, where I was booked to do a watercolour demonstration for the Horncastle Art Group. And what a nice evening we had, with around thirty group members gathered around me at the easel while I painted and talked about the working methods of well known East Anglian artist Edward Seago.
There’s so much that can be learnt from studying the work of the masters, and Seago was certainly one of those. Although probably best known as an oil painter, he was a highly skilled in watercolour, with an amazing freshness and deceptive simplicity to his paintings. Somehow I managed to fit in two demonstration paintings during the evening and you can see them here. I obviously felt encouraged by my audience and by the subject, so I went at a fairly rapid pace!
The first painting of a Norfolk Fishing Village is very typical of many such scenes that Seago painted. A very limited palette of just two colours, French Ultramarine and Light Red, help the atmosphere, and the composition carries the eye effortlessly through the work.
The second painting, a simple study of a sky, some fields and a tree, is again very typical of many Seago Norfolk landscapes. It’s all about atmosphere and the use of tone to draw the eye to the focal point of the work, the large tree. Again the palette of colours was confined to Ultramarine and Light Red, with the addition of a little Cadmium Yellow Pale to make the greens.
Thanks to Peter Smith and all at Horncastle Art Group for making Margaret and me so welcome. We hope to see you again at some time in the future!