Watercolour Ripples


Nickel titanium yellow, gamboge genuine, permanent rose, cerulean blue, French ultramarine, indigo. I later added a touch of burnt umber for the oar.

I sometimes get the feeling that, rather than drawing a comic strip, I’m acting as production designer and storyboard artist for a big budget movie of The Life of Charles Waterton.

I’ve been watching period dramas such as Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which is set in the same period and was filmed in Yorkshire on locations that included two Georgian streets in Wakefield which Waterton would have known.

The BBC Films 2012 version of Great Expectations included costumes and scenes that would have been perfect for my comic strip. At the climax of the film there’s a scene on the Thames which had me thinking about the dawn procession of boats across Walton Lake which was arranged for Waterton’s funeral.

In today’s illustration – a premonition of Waterton’s funeral – I tried to suggest dawn light on eddies in the water. The gradation of watercolour from lemon yellow to indigo called for some forward planning. My Winsor & Newton watercolour box didn’t have enough divisions in the palette for all the colours, so I moved on to another box for the French ultramarine and indigo.

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