Thursday 27 February 2020

Latest Paintings

Here are my latest efforts warts and all. I stress I don't put them up as good paintings. Some are experimental. After 20 years I'm still experimenting! Says a lot about my painting. All 16" x 12"

Nubian Woman.

Nubian Woman. Corrected version.

I made the nose too long on the original so had a go at changing it. It can be done in watercolour as long as the colours used are not too staining. as are many of the modern synthetic pigments like the Quinacridones.  I also softened the too prominent outline. I hope readers can benefit from my mistakes, which is the reason for posting these corrections.

The eponymous Chef/Businessman Gordon Ramsey

Moderately Happy with this one, although only moderately. It is flawed.

Kiowa Brave

Hair not right too blue


Got the shape wrong. The body is too long. This has already bitten the dust.

Nubian Girl

Although happy with certain parts of the painting I have made the top of her head the wrong shape. It should be slightly lower and more rounded. I may have another shot at this.

Corrected version. Here I reduced the head height and made it more rounded.

Amerindian Warrior

Facial colour not quite right - a bit too red,  although the camera seems to make them worse. I'm reverting to Charles Reids combination of colours (after straying from the path) but haven't quite got them right. To articulate he used basic combinations for facial colours of Cadmium Red, Raw Sienna and Cerulean Blue. He also used Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin crimson and even Green at times, and a few others. 

Metal Objects - This weeks AVA subject. Pretty awful I know but this is a warts- and all blog.

'Herbert" A work in progress.

I am at the point where it could go on to be a decent painting or go completely wrong. I'm baring my soul with these comments.

Another Amerindian - a work in progress.

Monday 17 February 2020

Latest Paintings.

Here are my latest works. Mostly done for Avon Valley Artists weekly subjects. I do the drawings in my small home studio and  most of the painting at the AVA sessions, though some of the detail - eyes, noses etc - at home. I'm still  trying to follow Charles Reads teaching of 'small details, large generalities'. You'd think I'd  have it cracked after painting in watercolour for twenty years! This latest batch are closer to what I would like to achieve, although when I post stuff on Facebook in some of the watercolour groups I contribute too my 'likes' remain - mostly - very much on the low side.  All  16" x 12" unless otherwise stated.


What a Beak.!

Dad with son 10" x 12"

"Peeking out"!

"What am I missing?"

"Eagle No 2"

"Eagle No 3"

The above two were done in my small home studio.

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Roman Szmal Aquarius Watercolours

There have been quite a few new brands of watercolours in the last few years, mostly somewhat exotic or specialised ones at even higher prices than the majors. As readers will know I am opposed to the eye watering prices artists or just hobby painters (like me) are having to pay, with stiff price increases over the last two years. We also have these campaigns with well-known artists promoting the most expensive brands, particularly Daniel Smith, which are aimed at the vast mass of artists.

Is it just possible we are seeing a trend away from this? First of all we have the extended Van Gogh range, from 40 to 72,  which is perfectly adequate for amateurs. The St Petersburg range has increased and seems to have overall improved the brand, despite still using a few fugitive pigments. See what Jane Blundell says. 

I now come to what looks  an exciting new development in this sphere. This is the introduction of Roman Szmal's Aquarius watercolours emanating from Poland. I first heard of them in a recent e mail from Jacksons so they are readily available in the UK and with American artists reviewing them on You Tube presumably also in the USA.

The range comprises 140 colours of which 117 are single pigment paints. All the well-known pigments are there plus new ones like PY61, PY168, PBr23 and  PBk8. There is no suggestion obsolete or fugitive pigments are included. Gun arabic, glycerine, Linden honey and distilled water are used in the production  process. Colour charts giving full pigment details are available. The highly respected Australian artist Jane Blundell has already tested them and gives them an excellent rating. See her blog. There is much more on You Tube. Just 'google' his name and see the  response including demos. The colours appear intense and not at all wishy washy. At the moment only full pans are available  but that might change ?

Finally we get to price. Jacksons are selling the single pans at from around £2.30 to £3.70. There are a variety of sets, including trial ones. A set of 5 is £10.20 ( (RRP £12.00). A set of 12 is £34.00 (RPP £44.00). And there are others.

The questions I have include how long do the pans last? Do they wet easily? etc etc. I tend to think pans are not kind to my Kolinsky sable brushes so tend to use synthetics when I use them - which I do occasionally. Possibly these questions have already been answered in all the information about them already posted but there is a mass to absorb believe me.

To sum up on the basis of what I know so far - and this is early days - this seems to me an exciting new development of great benefit for the great mass of artists who paint in watercolour. I have plenty of paints at the moment but will definitely be buying some when I need to replenish my supplies.

Monday 3 February 2020

Watercolour Paintings 63

This month the subject is more specific with all the paintings featuring boats in one form or another. Boats are a popular theme, whether on the beach or in harbours etc. Hope you like them. Any mistakes on my part please feel free to correct me.

John Yardley (?) Certainly his style

Guan Weixing - The Chinese Master

David Howell

Artist ?

Peter Cronin

Artist ?

Tim Wilmott

Miguel Linares Rios

Vladislav Yeliseyev

Robert Zangarelli

Tony Belobrajdic

Fabrizio Esposito

Myint Naing

Corneliu dragan Targoviste