Maggi’s palm tree possibly overworked(?)

Maggi's palm tree 25-6-14


I took a photograph of the sketch (see previous post), thinking I was finished but couldn’t resist adding to it. This is the final stage. I filled in some of the foliage and placed it in the garden surroundings more. I think it is fresher looking before, but still, I do like the fuller leafage.

Goat Fell, view from window

goat fell from window watercolour


A watercolour sketch of the view from Springbank Terrace, Brodick. This is Goat Fell, Arran’s tallest peak and only 100 odd feet short of a munro.

The three orange oblongs to the right of the large tree is Brodick Castle. As if you need to ask!

Five Selected

I say selected, but having only about six paintings hanging about, it becomes an elimination of one.

These girl’s portraits sit fairly well together, all being similar ages and all represent my face-starin-right-at-ya style. Tomorrow night is the preview.

One day at the HAC

A typical wednesday in the HAC has a lot going on at once. A few different landscapes, some trying out portraits and a couple of experiments to shake things up. I never really know what is going to be brought to class or to what direction someone’s eye takes them. I do drop hints and bring my own slant on things which drives things a certain way to some degree but I like to wait and see what happens. Much better fun.


Demo in Watercolour

Here is a portrait in watercolour I used as a demo yesterday. A face full of character but has a still presence. The skin has seen lots of sunshine.

This project for the Tuesday group is an exercise for freehand drawing and carefree application of pools of colour. I like the watercolours of Charles Reid, seen in many an artists magazine, so I had him in mind on this one. Lots of random splashes, a few drips and trails and a mix of layers and wet in wet colour mixing.

I took an hour on this and I would usually take it a bit further but I am going to practice what I preach and leave well alone now.

Watercolour portrait nearly finished

This painting is a step closer to the finished state. I have applied another layer but i need one more attack on the paper before I can call it finished.

This has been a difficult one because I wasn’t convinced by the earlier layers that it could be a decent watercolour. It worked for me as a sketch in oils so I had to ask myself is it the medium that produces a successful painting or the artist that has to provide the solution as a painting progresses. In hindsight the latter seems obvious but it wasn’t at the time. Now I realise the lesson that a picture is a process of problems revealed and solutions that have to be resolved before any idea of success and settlement can be enjoyed.

The earlier stage here

Watercolour Portrait

I have been struggling with this one for a while. I have an oil sketch of this image which worked on a small scale and decided to try a large watercolour of the same pic. It wasn’t working initially, following the idea of trying to take it to a finish as quickly and with as few layers as possible. No, I couldn’t bring it to that finish that I was able to do with two earlier watercolours. Next step then,  was to treat it with contempt and get more pigment on, against all watercolour rules about transparency. In places the colour is applied with the consistency of gouache.

It’s still unfinished. I can see that applying thick colour in one area requires the same consistency all over the composition. So still work to do , particularly in the lower parts.

It’s intentional to make the flesh blotchy but still I would like to mess it up even more.

I am really lazy and neglect to stretch my paper so there are shadows showing where the paper dips and folds.

I showed the painting at today’s watercolour workshop at the HAC. All went well and I think everyone gained some knowledge and had a bit of fun.