Thursday, 28 April 2011

The April Challenge

The latest in the monthly series of paintings that I do with my friend Peter Ward. (
Peter has been making pictures of native americans for some time and this is the one that he chose for our latest joint effort.

This was the photograph that Peter sent at the start of the month, a dramatic image with strong contrast and a strong set of features.

Just for a bit of fun I had a bash at doing a finger painting on the iPad before getting out the paints.
Ostaho Indian - iPad painting

I then set about rendering the image with watercolour. I was keen to try and get close to the value range of the original photograph but had some difficulty in getting sufficient depth in the darks without building up that with overlaying washes. This tends to degrade the painting as the paint loses brilliance. All in all an object lesson in paint application. More pigment required in the first pass.

Another interesting exercise.
Ostaho Indian - Watercolour on Not paper 12" x 9"

Thursday, 14 April 2011


We're spending this week travelling around, spending a couple of nights in Wales and a couple at a family wedding in Cheshire. The trusty sketchers box and a couple of brushes, along with a book of watercolour paper are in attendance. The pictures below are a couple of pages from the sketch book and represent quick efforts to record places we have been.

Sea Front Llandudno - Watercolour on Not paper 12" x 10"

Rhuddlan Castle - Watercolour on Not paper 12" x 10"

Monday, 4 April 2011

March Project - Monument Valley

This was the photograph I chose for the March renewal of my monthly project with my friend Peter Ward ( The picture was taken on a trip during 2010.

My first thought on this was that the composition was awkward for a painting, so I decided to use the elements, slightly rearranged, and change the format to landscape. The next decisions were in relation to producing a convincing depth of field.

Roll on next month and a new project.

Monument Valley - Photograph

Monument Valley - Watercolour on Rough paper 16" x 12"