søndag 24. juni 2012

Blue Venice

Today I have been painting the same Venezian scene as yesterday, but with other colours to set a different mood. I wanted to achieve a more misty sensation to the scene, as well as a sense of sadness relating to the name of the bridge, the Bridge of Sighs.

Wonderful watercolour book by Jean Haines

I have been refering to this book, "Atmospheric watercolours" by Jean Haines, in my blog. As I am both a book addict, but also use books as my tutors for learning how to paint in watercolour, I have gathered quite a few such books. To me, this one is almost beyond words. When I first got it in my hands and scrolled through it, it made my heart sing! In the first place, it is filled with bright, fantastic colours and paintings by the author. I cannot quite describe it, it is pleasing to the eye and the soul, it is like taking a bath in colours when looking in this book. Second, she describes very well different watercolour techniques, and gives demonstrations that make you understand - and yourself able to achieve - how to paint in a variety of ways. Last, she gives many wonderful tips throughout the book that is both inspiring and valuable. I have allready learned a lot from this book - and will continue explore the different themes, tips and excercises. I can warmly recommend "Atmospheric watercolours", both for those new to watercolour, but also for the experienced who perhaps have been painting in a more traditional way in watercolour but who would like to explore a more impressionistic and loose style of painting in this medium.

lørdag 23. juni 2012

Venice in watercolours

Today I have been following a demonstration in Jean Haines` last book. So, all though I have visited the fairytale-like city of Venice, this image is from her book. It was fun to paint, with several layers and use of clingfilm to achieve effects, for instance the water in the chanel. I learn a lot from Haines` colour scales, as she uses really bright and fresh colours. And not least from her approach of painting in a style that involves not giving every single detail to the viewer, but leaving some spots for the viewer`s imagination to complete.

søndag 17. juni 2012

lørdag 16. juni 2012

Watercolour anemones

Quick and simple painting of anemones, inspired by a demonstration in Jean Haines new book "Atmospheric watercolours". I enjoyed painting in this more calm and delicate way. It is a good exercise for a beginner in watercolours as it is only one wash, and no background to think about, which complicates it all ;) .  I don`t know if it is because it is the easy way for me as an amateur, but I am actually quite attracted to the simplicity and purity, kind of, of paintings that don`t have any "background".

I will come back to Haine`s book when I have read the whole book through. But I can say all ready now that it is a great book. The fantastic paintings and colours in the book made my heart sing when I scrolled through it when I got it in my mailbox a few days ago.

søndag 10. juni 2012

Watercolour lilacs

 The streets of Oslo are now full of lilacs in bloom. They are beautiful. And quite difficult, at least for me, to capture in watercolour. Here are some examples of sketches I have made. I strive to achieve a loose style, but I need to practice, practice and practice. I have used both salt and clingfilm on these sketches to play with different textures.
 This sketch shows more clearly the clingfilm effect that indicate leaves, and the salt effect that gives a nice representation of the lilac.
I found it surprisingly difficult to paint the lilac. At least to achieve the mental vision of how I want a painting of them to look like. I want to achieve a dreamlike impression of them, and also to capture their intensity - their sweet perfume that pulls our attention towards them when we walk past a lilac three on a warm summers night.
This is a pen sketch I am working from. I will continue to paint lilacs and see where I end!

lørdag 2. juni 2012

Watercolour warm-up exercises

Today I have made some warm-up experiments with watercolour. I have both of Jean Haines watercolour DVDs, and I warmly recommend them to all who enjoys exploring the watercolour medium. Also to those who want to loosen up their watercolour style, as she has a very playful and relaxed way of approaching how to paint in watercolour. One important point which she stresses is to do some warm-up excercises with paint and water before one starts to paint one`s "masterpiece". It has several important advantages. One is that it will take away any preassure on one`s shoulders as to create something fabulous, and instead, one can just enjoy the colours flowing on the paper and the. Second, she points out, one learn a lot from these simple excercises with regard to how the different pigments interact with eachother and with different types of paper qualities - which will eventually be tools you can use later when you better know which pigments and paper quality you want to use to achieve your desired results. Thirdly, it will give inspiriation and stimulate your imagination for possible compositions for later paintings. You can learn more about her ideas, as well as look at her very inspiring demonstrations, in her two DVDs. I look at them often, and  as I am a novise, I learn a lot from them.

One of the tecniques that she demonstrates is making structures with salt. Spread some salt on the wet paint, and some interesting patterns will evolve. Here I have also used a lot of water and let the pigment flow down the paper.

Try using salt on different pigments. It will generate different moods and  associations.