Cool and warm watercolour paintings

It would appear that I’ve taken to heart my own ‘recommendations to self’ from last week’s post, specifically, to tackle more watercolour paintings of local Brighton scenes and to paint more interiors.

After painting under a degree of public scrutiny last week, I was keen to have some fun painting a little fast and loose. I took for my subject a Brighton scene that is still vivid in my mind after stopping in this cafe recently early one morning to pick up a coffee on my way to an appointment.

I sketched this out pretty quickly and just started throwing some paint on. I had a rough plan of action in mind, one element of which was to keep the palette really simple, almost monochrome. I used predominantly neutral tint, cobalt blue and light red. Purely co-incidentally, I also only used three paint brushes to paint it:

Morning coffee, Small Batch, Norfolk Square Brighton (cool version)

I really enjoyed painting this and like the energy of some of the brush strokes. While I really liked working on a restricted palette, I thought that the painting, perhaps not unsurprisingly, lacked the warmth that I recall from my visit.

I set out to rectify this with another take. Now that I knew I liked this scene and composition, I took a little more care over drawing it out to try to get a more accurate perspective.

I introduced more warmth with some initial washes, albeit ever so weak, of burnt sienna and light red before putting over my grey-er washes. Again, I had fun painting this and am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I’m already thinking of swapping this over for one of my framed paintings in my Art at Zerbs Open House exhibition.

Morning coffee, Small Batch, Norfolk Square Brighton

Here are the two paintings side by side for comparison:

On an another Open House note, I’ll be back at Art at Zerbs on Sunday 19th May (11am – 6pm) and, once again, hope to be painting while I’m there. I’m indebted to a visitor from the opening weekend who captured some rare photos of me in action.

Should anyone be in the vicinity on Sunday, I do hope you’ll consider popping by, it’d be lovely to say hello!

Thoughts on Cool and warm watercolour paintings

11 thoughts on “Cool and warm watercolour paintings”

  1. Pingback: Cafe watercolour painting – rebooted!

    1. Aha yes – perhaps put like that it does sound a little more casual than is actually the case! I suppose, especially with the first one, that I had no expectations for it so it felt like it was just for fun! Really pleased you like it though and thanks so much for commenting!

  2. I really like both of these paintings, particularly the way that you captured the direct and reflected light. My eye is immediately drawn to the customers enjoying the cafe. As always I find your work extremely appealing! Have a great day.

    1. Hi Micheal and thank you so much for your kind and generous comments, I really appreciate it and I hope you have a great day too!

  3. These Brighton cafes and restaurants are a bit Spartan, aren’t they? I agree that the warm “Brief Encounter” beats the cool one but it may also have something to do with the cropping. Glad to hear your exhibition/demonstration is going well and I trust there are plenty of red dots. I’ll pop in for a chat on Sunday if I’m in the neighbourhood (he said enigmatically).

    1. Perceptive as always Rob – yes, many of the are spartan. Plus, I haven’t yet mastered place settings of plates, glasses, cutlery and other such table adornments! As for the exhibition, there aren’t as many red dots as I’d like to see (I can’t imagine the day when I’ll ever have enough to be honest!). Obviously if you were in the neighborhood, it would be lovely to have the opportunity to say hello and have a chat, even if I am already feeling nervous at the prospect!

  4. Excellent job with your choice of adding warmth, it makes the painting glow truly glow. I love the fact that you write that you threw paint on and let loose, yes! It is freeing isn it?

    1. Hi Margaret and thanks for this. I’m still trying to find my balance between ‘control’ and letting loose, especially when I’m working on things like interiors etc where the proportions and perspective needs to work. Painting looser though is definitely much more fun and liberating!

  5. HI John, Your coffee shop painting reminds me of Gary Tucker’s work. (He is one of my favorites on YouTube.) I especially like the warm washes. Keep going, brother!

    1. Hi Carol and many thanks for this! I’m familiar with some of Gary Tucker’s work and have really enjoyed some of his videos so I take any comparison/reminds me of as a great compliment. Purely co-incidentally I think he’s recently been posting some sketches on instagram that he’s done in his local coffee shop! Thanks again Carol, it’s much appreciated!

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