Friday, 24 March 2017

This Week's Paintings

Actually yes, they are mine not the fabulous ones I post monthly. The next instalment of those will be in a few days time - April. The Amerindian painting was done at home. I have reappraised the way I do these portraits becoming dissatisfied with recent efforts. and have attempted a slightly different approach. Following Charles Reid's mantra "be a little crude...mistakes are part of it" I first made the drawing using a size 7 2B Pentel mechanical pencil. The following day I commenced the painting but did not complete it,  going so far then leaving time to reflect on what I'd done. One tends (at least I do) to see things differently after reflection and a little time - a day or two - rather than first impressions. Maybe that's just me. I still aspire to do better and never ever feel that I've produced a 100% result.


Whirling Horse Sioux 1900

I'm quite pleased with this and feel I achieved something approaching where I want to be.



Flowers - 16" x 12" Fabriano Artistico Extra White not.

Flowers /foliage was the subject at this weeks AVA session. I obtained the photo by 'googling', which is how  I normally get most of my references. The colours appealed to me.

I again made the drawing the day previous so could concentrate solely on the painting at the AVA session. Only two brushes were used, mostly a No 10 travel brush from Rosemary which is  a nice full-bodied sable, and a NO 6 Isabey travel brush. Flower colours were also limited. The reds were all various dilutions of Quinacridone Coral from Daniel Smith. The yellows were Hansa Yellow Medium (Daniel Smith PY97) and Indian Yellow (Rowney PY153). I still have stocks of the Rowney although PY 153 is said to be no longer available.. The marks on the petals were made by a Staedtler pigment liner. I bought a set of six a while ago from Cass Art in Bristol.

The greens are slightly more complex. Apatite Green from Daniel Smith, Sap Green from Lukas and one or two mixes of Ultramarine Blue and Hansa Yellow Medium. There is also some Cobalt Teal Blue (Daniel Smith). Possibly I've missed some out.

I was reasonably happy with this painting. The flowers are Alstroemerias ( I think that's the spelling).

I don't put these forward as good paintings just my current work.  I'm beginning to paint a little more often again and hopefully emerging from the trough I've been stuck in. Not painters block exactly but something similar. This also applies to my health, which although generally good, has been less than 100% the last few months and may have been a contributory factor.

Monday, 20 March 2017

A Brief Look at Schmincke's New Paints (Pigments) - Pt 1 Yellows and Reds

Schmincke recently extended their range (see previous post) with 35 new paints. This is a major upgrade and well worth consideration. A  qualification. I have not purchased any of these paints as yet so this is purely a look at the characteristics of the pigments involved. My references are Handprint and the Pigment Database. Handprint is becoming out of date and some of these new pigments are only listed in the Pigment Database (The Color of Art Pigment Database) which, though highly technical, is an amazing source of information. 



 The new colours.



Rutile Yellow PY53. Antimony Titanium Yellow Rutile. PY53 is in common use as a pale yellow in many other ranges. It is described as a 'pale, light greenish lemon yellow....'one of the cleanest and brightest of the inorganic pigments'. I have this in another range and it's a fairly weak colour.

Turners Yellow PY216. Winsor & Newton list a Turners Yellow' but it is a different pigment.  Soplafex Yellow...'clean bright yellow to orange'.

Yellow Orange PY110. Isoindolinone Yellow 'synthetic organic....light deep yellow with red undertone'...'nice deep yellow'. This pigment has been introduced by other makers and is of fairly recent origin.

Saturn Red PO64. This seems to be a new pigment. Benzimidazolone Orange, 'Bright reddish orange'

Transparent Red Deep PR144. Another new one. 'Azo condensation red...mid shade red'.

Geranium Red PR242. Another new pigment. Diazo condensation scarlet...'bright yellow red...fades, , hue shift towards bluish'

Quinacridone Red Light PR207. Quinacridone Scarlet....yellow red, fades.

Ruby Red Deep. PR264. Pyrrole Red Rubine. 'Dark, deep red, violet undertone, fades slightly...good substitute for Alazarin crimson'

Vermillion Light. PR188. Napthol Scarlet Lake, Bright yellowish red, darkens, dulls slightly...opaque forms are more lightfast'.This latter comment refers to the fact there are several versions of this pigment which vary in transparency. PR188 has been a staple - as Scarlet Lake - in Winsor & Newtons range.


Perylene Dark Red PR178, Perylene. Anthraguinone Red. 'deep red -fades slightly,'

Bordeaux PR187 Permanent Pink FL. Azo Alazarine (blue shade)....Monoazo Benzimidazolone. 'Bright or deep bluish red'.

Potters Pink PR233. Chrome Tin Pink (Potters Pink) Synthetic organic...Dull, light red pink. 'May contain lead oxide but unlikely on modern formulations'. Winsor & Newton introduced this colour in their last upgrade.

Brilliant Opera Rose PR122/Fluor. Quinacridone Red. ACRA Magenta. 'Clean bright blue shade, light red....dulls slightly, hue shift towards light mid-red'. This refers purely to PR 122 a very popular pigment. Fluor is a dye which is likely to fade. This colour was originally  introduced by Holbein and became a popular choice of flower painters, despite containing a dye. Winsor & Newton in their last upgrade introduced this paint (including a dye) and claim it is reasonably lightfast.

Quinacridone Magenta PR202. Quinacridone Crimson. Bluish Magenta to mid red.

There are some colours amongst the earths that are yellow and others like Green-Gold but I'll cover them in the next instalment which will include some quite interesting colours.

In covering the red pigments it may be noted that 'fading' features. This shouldn't necessarily put you off. Bruce McEvoy of Handprint said quite categorically that he didn't believe some of the ratings claimed by manufacturers, and suggested  that many reds were suspect, and you should conduct your own lightfastness tests. I did  a few over three months and didn't see any deterioration but don't claim my tests were definitive. It's somewhere in the back catalogue.

The above is not meant to be definitive but just to give some indication about these colours/pigments so that - if your interest is aroused - you might try one or two. I believe Schmincke are an excellent brand and these additions make them well worth consideration. Two of my favourites in the existing range are Translucent Orange (PO71) and Translucent Brown (PBr41).



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

At the AVA last Thursday

The following two paintings were done at Avon Valley Artists Thursday session last week. The subject was 'retro ' and I googled 'old fashioned flowers' which produced the following.


Hollyhocks - 16" x 12" Lanaquarelle not

The colours of the guide photo appealed to me and oranges, reds and yellows were given full reign. Colours included Translucent Orange (Schmincke  PO71), Quinacridone Rose (Graham PV19), Perylene Maroon -also Graham, Cadmium Orange, Gold Ochre, Raw Sienna, some colours darkened with Ultramarine Blue and mainly Sap Green (Lukas) with touches of other greens. I may have missed a couple of others.


Fabriano Artistico Extra White 16" x 12" 

I completed the drawings - 2B Size 7 Pentel mechanical pencil - my preferred drawing tool - the previous day. This one is much simpler - took less time - with Sap Green and various dilutions of Quinacridone Rose.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Recent Work

I post these with some trepidation especially comparing them with many of the artists I've featured in the 'Watercolour Paintings' series. However it's just my current work which has been done over the last three months while I've been suffering various health issues - mainly relatively minor  things which tend to assail you with increasing age.  I'm also fighting to avoid slipping backwards as work I did four years ago is - in some instances - superior to what I'm now turning out. Still enough of this negativity. Most of these were done at Avon Valley Artists sessions on Thursdays.


Turkeys for Xmas - this was done sometime in December.



A Bumblebee


'A Feast'


Young Cheetah hiding in rocks.


Long Tailed Tits


A Damsel Fly(?)


Chief Boy - A Blackfoot Indian.


A made up Indian warrior - in greys made from Ultramarine Blue and Schmincke Translucent Brown. A quick sketch.

All the above are 16" x 12 apart from the long tailed tits which are 12" x 9". Papers vary from Waterford, Lanaquarelle and Cornwall. The long tailed tits are Fabriano Artistico rough. All surfaces are not and 140lb (300gsm). One or two others I attempted I decided not to post (!)


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Watercolour Paintings 28

Here are the latest watercolour paintings I've collected. This is slightly more than usual but covers a lot of different styles and subjects so hopefully will provide both interest and food for thought. One thing I think it illustrates is the wide diversity of watercolour and proves it is not just a 'sketching' medium but a powerful force in it's own right. If I have any names wrong please feel free to correct me.



Ti Watercolour (?) Not sure what this means, there appears to be a signature on the painting but I cannot determine what it is.




Barbara Nechis. Barbara was a pupil of the famous and controversial American teacher Edgar Whitney and is featured in the book about him and his pupils by the late Ron Ranson





Alvaro Castagnet  - a prominent figure on the workshop circuit.




Gerard Hendriks -enough said!



Stan Miller - one of his demos



Jonathan Kwegyir Aggrey - a fine young Ghanian artist



Trevor Chamberlain. This is an older painting by the British maestro featured in his book 'Trevor Chamberlain- A Personal View' One of his very best.


Frank Ebers



Milind Mulick - Another from the prolific Milind he once did one of me painting!


Michal Jasiewicz


Mariejeanne Bronzini



Charles Reid. A sketchbook painting.


Viktoria Prischedko - Terrific


Martine Jolit


John Salminen - incredible for a watercolour!



Aleksandra Neberekutin




Margot Bock


Lars Eje Larsson . "Google' his name and his website contains a large gallery of his paintings, quite a wide range of subjects. He strikes me as belonging to the newish concept of 'Realistic Abstracts' popularised by Kees Van Aalt. 


Lars Eje Larsson - a new artist I've just come across - love his work


Lars Eje Larsson again.


The above are a mix of well-known and unknown (at least to me) watercolour artists. I'm sure many are well-known in their own countries but not in the UK. I subscribe to 'The Artist' magazine - have done for many years - and apart possibly from Trevor Chamberlain you will never see any of the above artists featured. I suspect this is because watercolour is still regarded as inferior to oil in particular and 'tradition' - that heavy weight hanging around British necks - stifles change. I could say more but better not!