Painting Waves

“This demonstration is about brush control and technique,” writes Paul Talbot-Greaves in 30 minute Landscapes in Watercolour, “both are essential for describing the waves crashing over rocks.”

The technique of scumbling involves pulling a not-too-wet brush across the paper but this didn’t work out quite as I intended for the sky. This might have been because the colour that I used, Cerulean Blue, tends to dry to a granular texture. I didn’t have the recommended colour, Phthalo Blue, in my watercolour box.

Like the snow scene that I tried yesterday, this watercolour is an example of deciding what to leave out, as the spray is represented by the white of the watercolour paper.

A theme through the four half-hour step-by-steps that I’ve tried this weekend has been keeping the colours that you use in a watercolour to a minimum. There are five colours in this painting and only four were needed for the snow scene. For example, the pale wash on the surf is the same colour mix as the darker patches of the sea – Cerulean Blue and Lemon Yellow – just very much diluted.

My thanks again to Paul Talbot-Greaves for devising these watercolour demonstrations and explaining the process so clearly.

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    1. When I read a book like that, I think, yes, I understand that, but I thought that actually doing the exercises would be the way to be sure that I’d really taken it in. But it’s like baking a cake from a recipe: the first time you do it, it seems like a very precise process and feels a bit awkward. That’s why I decided to do all four of them. I felt at ease applying some of the techniques to a watercolour of the wood yesterday.

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