Thursday, 21 February 2019
I know my Index system is a little clumsy but not being a technical 'geek' it's the best I can do. On the opening page see the list on the right hand side called 'blog archive' This is directly under the followers picture section. Scroll down to 2014 and then click on July. This will bring you to the index, recently updated.
Friday, 8 February 2019
John Yardley has been one of the very best British watercolour artists for many years. He is now in his mid eighties, as is Trevor Chamberlain a contemporary. He also paints in oils but is best known for his watercolours. I don't know how active he currently is.
I met him once at the Alexander Gallery in Clifton, Bristol. He was one of the resident artists and they were holding his b-annual exhibition. Apart from the gallery owner the only people there at the time I visited were him and his wife, so I introduced myself and had a short conversation. He is a shy man but was very pleasant. The late Ron Ranson had previously told me that Yardley had become involved with the Alexander following the death of Edward Wesson, who was one of their major artists. They were looking to find someone similar and - at the time - according to Ron John painted in a very similar way, in fact Ron said you couldn't tell them apart. He did drastically change his style sometime after this which I will relate later.
APV films of Chipping Norton have produced at least two (at least four) videos of which I have one 'Sunlight in Watercolour'. They are all still available. He is also the subject of several books, by Ron Ranson, Susan Haines and more recently Steve Hall . They are all good but my pick is 'John Yardley A Personal View' in the Atelier series by David and Charles. This isn't' a 'How to' book but as the title implies - a personal view. I rate it highly as I do the similar book by Trevor Chamberlain in the same series. The Atelier series were discontinued after only a few titles were published but should be available second-hand if you search for them, possibly at a price!
Apart from the books and videos he has until recently tutored annually at Dedham Hall in East Anglia. He is not a natural teacher and obviously finds it difficult. Looking at his videos you can see this. I know or knew several of those who were regular attendees at Dedham and all became friends, some painting with him on other occasions. His approach was to do a wonderful demonstration, with those present desperately trying to see how he was doing it as he didn't say much if anything. He would then disappear for a cup of tea and a sticky bun with the baffled students scratching their heads. Ron Ranson attended one such course when he was writing his book on Yardley and after he disappeared several asked him to explain how he did it, leaving Ron somewhat embarrassed. The Susan Haines book touches on this. All I can say is he is held in very high regard by his students, some of whom are professional artists, many becoming firm friends.
Watching his videos I was struck by the fact the only real tip imprinted on my mind was his suggestion of keeping the water container full to the brim so you can measure the correct amount of water in the brush. I can't really think of much other advice. The brush he was using was the very expensive Winsor & Newton Series 7 size 10 at over £100. Ron Ranson said in his book that there were discarded brushes all over his studio which John said had lost their point (after about 6 months). When you see him paint on the video you can see why. He scrubs them into the palette when mixing paint and uses dry brush a lot. In more recent years he joined the Escoda band waggon with a three brush set being offered with his name on the handle. Mentioning his studio he had a purpose built one in his garden but preferred to paint in the kitchen!
In his Atelier book he relates how a visit to Venice brought about him becoming his own man in leaving Wesson behind. His palette choices are conventional although he cautions against the over use of Cadmiums. Paper is or was Arches, Lanaquarelle and Canson tinted. He originally painted on Bockingford like Wesson. Sizes are from 15' x 22' down to 10" x 14". His palette was originally a folding Roberson which he was able to replace by the similar hand made palette from Craig Young, another regular attendee at Dedham who became a close friend. On the video he is using one of these palettes, the one with the six wells, probably made specially for him.
Subject matter is quite extensive. While he paints a lot outdoors he also loves interiors. Horses and trains also feature with flowers another favourite. Figures in his paintings are prominent. On the video he actually demonstrates how to paint them. He is a very bold painter who doesn't waste a stroke. As is clearly shown painting the light is a priority.
He is a wonderful artist and with the books and videos available you can find out much more. There are lots more of his paintings to study if you 'google' his name. Without doubt he has few peers amongst watercolour artists, although I recognise the huge number of fabulous artists throughout the World.
Sunday, 3 February 2019
These are my latest efforts for what they're worth. Two painted in my 'studio' and the third at my art group last week. I did all the drawings in my studio.
'Moose' - 16" x12" Waterford High White Cold Pressed 300gsm.
Victoria Beckham A3 Daler Watercolour Board
This is my second portrait on this board which has a faint tooth. Not entirely convinced by it yet. I saw the guide photograph in an article on her. I'm neither a fan nor a critic. Good luck to her I say.
'On the Beach' 16" x 12"
This was the subject at my art group this last week. All the drawings for the above were done in my home 'studio' . The portrait was painted at home also and most of the moose, which I finished off at my art group. The beach scene was roughly drawn at home and painted at the art group session. It was painted on the reverse side of a 'failed' older painting.
Friday, 1 February 2019
For this month I'm showing watercolours from a variety of artists who are new to me and I know little or nothing about. It never ceases to amaze me how many excellent artists - in the thousands - are out there.
Emil Kerez Kerie
Sarah Pye Green
Jasmine Hsiao - Hu Huang
Margaretha Cornelia Johanna Wilhemina Henrieta Roosenboom (!) 1843-1896
Ye Yint Mijint Nainy
Yong Hong Zhong
Yong Hong Zhong (again)
I think I've got the names right but if you know different please feel free to correct me. I also am fairly sure all are watercolour but it's possible one or two might not be.
Friday, 25 January 2019
The North American Bison once roamed the plains, and up into Canada, in the millions. They were nearly exterminated by the Buffalo hunters in the mid to late 1800s, and only a few survived. Fortunately conservation efforts mean there are a few moderate sized, protected herds. The plains Indians, the most numerous and warlike who were nomadic, in particular relied on the Buffalo for almost all their needs and this loss brought them to the edge of starvation, and was the key factor in their eventual subjugation. Not all Indians relied on the Buffalo to such an extent, such as the even more warlike Apaches, however other tribes would venture onto the plains to hunt them, although this was dangerous given the hostility of the plains tribes to intruders.
Male Bison - 16" x 12" Strathmore Aqua Cold Press 140lb.
As readers of this blog will know I like animal subjects and continue to look for interesting subjects. My approach here was to do the drawing first, as well as I'm able. This involves much rubbing out and study before I get it completed to my satisfaction. Not perfect but then I don''t aim for a very realistic to super-realistic image. Studying the subject the only areas of real detail were the eyes, mouth and horns so they were painted as carefully as I'm able. The rest was completed over two or three days after leaving time for reflection at each stage. The final few touches were done today trying to avoid over working. I'm quite happy with the result.
Colours used were Ultramarine Blue full strength or mixed with Translucent Brown in various combinations, more blue, more brown. Burnt Umber, Raw Sienna, Cerulean Blue, Turquoise (Lukas PB16), Quinacridone Gold (Daniel Smith PO49), Quinacridone Burnt Orange (Daniel Smith PO48) and a little Raw Umber and Gold Ochre (W & N PY43). Various brushes, all round sables, apart from a Rosemary comber, from size 14 to 4.
You may note the paper is the highly acclaimed Strathmore Aqua. Claims that this is the 'best' watercolour paper are a little over the top. I like it a lot but -in my opinion - Waterford High White is just as good. The prices per sheet are similar, at leat in the UK.
Monday, 21 January 2019
Finished this yesterday at stage three. First stage do the drawing, next day initial painting, mainly the face, then finished it yesterday. I watch a lot of wildlife programmes and have seen several on these wild dogs. Fascinating animals much misunderstood.
Afrikan Wild Dog - A3 Moldau 280gsm
I know my paintings are not to everyones taste - actually a small minority it seems judging by the way I get few likes on Watercolour Addicts, while others get hundreds. The only one that did get a lot was my painting of an eye. Still many artists were only recognised after death - only joking I'm well aware of my limitations.
As you can see there are lots of strong colour. Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Gold (PO49), Burnt Orange (Daniel Smith PO48), Cerulean Blue, Burnt Umber, with the darks various mixtures of Ultramarine Blue and Transparent Brown (Schmincke PBr41). Slight touches other yellows.
Friday, 18 January 2019
I keep going with the painting although the session at m AVA group this week was a disaster (for me) . Anyway I finished off the Hare painting after scrapping the effort for this weeks subject 'City Buildings' - just not my thing. I do try to tackle the subjects we are given even though some are very challenging but overall it is a good practice as you are pushed out of your comfort zone and the results are often better than expected., not this week though!
'Hare' - A3 Khadi Rough
I quite like painting Hares and they do seem to be a popular subject, not just in paintings but also figurines. I've seen several in galleries I've visited.
A6 Khadi Rough
Blue Tit Feeding
I like painting birds. This was a quick 15 minute sketch as I had a little spare time towards the end of the last AVA session.