Snow Scene

I’m getting a bit more confident as I work through the Half-Hour Demos in Paul Talbot-Greaves’ 30 Minute Landscapes in Watercolour.

I would normally follow the contours of a landscape in pen, as if the nib was tracing the routes that a climber might take over the outcrops of rock. Those foreground boulders would have been hatched with strata. Following the suggestions for this exercise, my initial pencil drawing amounts to perhaps a couple of dozen lines: if I’d been out on location, I would probably have got absorbed in the geological detail and I would have lavished that number of pen strokes on one or two of the rocks.

Less can be More

I’m learning to trust the viewer to complete the picture, so I’m  realising that the decision of what to leave out of a painting can be as important as deciding what to put in. Less can be more, so I particularly enjoyed suggesting the billowing cloud with the crisp edge of the initial wash of Cobalt Blue for the sky. Following Talbot-Greaves’ example, I didn’t even start with an indication of the shape of the cloud in pencil. It’s such a pleasure to just draw with the brush.


Also new to me was the suggestion of using a quarter inch flat brush for the shadows and the rock formations. Its chisel-shaped marks give an impression of blocky rocks. I’ll definitely use it again, in fact I’ll treat myself to some new flat sable brushes as my old sable flats are now rather splayed (and that number 8, above, has a warped handle!).

Link: Paul Talbot-Greaves