Travelling home, crossing the Thames

I was feeling a bit deflated after last week’s Pintar Rapido adventure. As I was lacking in enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration, I decided to give my myself and my brushes a  break and tackle something that  I’ve been putting off for a long time now.

Back in November, I did a little video introduction to my new Binning Monro watercolour palette from The Little Brass Box Company. Since then I’ve always had it mind to do another video, but this time to introduce my Frazer Price Palette Box.

My blog posts about this palette are among the most visited on my site so there’s obviously some interest in them and I thought people might find a video helpful. I’m also keen to improve my skills in this area and had some very clear ideas about how I would go about producing this video differently to my last effort.

I won’t bore you with the excruciating details but – perhaps unsurprisingly – I encountered a few difficulties with this project, mainly due to my own limitations in recording and editing sound and video! My deep frustration resulted in me deleting all the hours of work I’d invested in it! That will certainly teach me for trying to do something other than paint!

I shall be returning to this project but I’m already resigned to it taking a little longer than I’d originally anticipated.

On the plus side, having given myself permission not to paint, over the past few days I have started to feel the faint stirrings of motivation creeping back in.

It’s on that note that I’ll leave you with this quick A4 sketch:

Travelling home, crossing the Thames -  a watercolour sketch by artist John Haywood
Travelling home, crossing the Thames

This is the view from my train as I made my way home from Pinter Rapido last weekend. I took a train from London’s Victoria train station that crosses the River Thames near Battersea on its way to Brighton. For something so quick, I was quite pleased with this. Perhaps my brushes aren’t going to get much of a rest after all!

Thoughts on Travelling home, crossing the Thames

16 thoughts on “Travelling home, crossing the Thames”

  1. Congratulations. It is a good feeling knowing that you have new ideas. Also I have times when I lack inspiration. I see that you also use gouache in your aquarelle and that is colours many of the really great painters have used since long ago. A method good enough for represent your aquarelle painting. Wishing you Good Luck

    1. Thanks sp much for this Kerstin. I think lulls in inspiration are inevitable for any of us that are pursuing creative outlets. I think the challenge for all of us is to recognise the lulls for what they are and to develop some tactics and approaches to help us through them so that we come out of them the other side with even more ideas and greater determination! Good luck to you too Kerstin!

  2. Well it won’t be long till the urge hits you fully again I’m sure! I absolutely love this one…definitely one of your best in my opinion. Maybe taking the pressure off and having a more laid back attitude will be to your advantage. I think you did well just to attend the paint out so don’t beat yourself up!
    Happy painting.

    1. Hi Carole and thanks so much for this, so pleased you like this one. I think you’re right about taking the pressure off – funny how often my ‘unpressured’ sketches surpass my ‘pressured’ finished paintings!

  3. I’m not sure you should be encouraging people to watch videos about paint boxes, John; you’re just feeding an addiction, aren’t you? Just yesterday I caught myself watching a video comparing 3 watercolour papers but managed to drag myself away just in time to save my soul.
    The painting is very satisfactory – if a little monochrome – and I particularly like your treatment of the rails. I presume the train did move on eventually??

    1. Oddly for a London to Brighton train, it was actually moving when I took my photo picture – albeit very slowly! Looking back at the original image, there is, fixed onto the railings, a faded orange life bouy – would this suffice as a pop of colour? Maybe I’ll add it in if I do a larger take on this!

  4. Sarah Mitchener

    I really like this a lot. Amazing painting! Can I ask if you are using masking fluid for the light lines or adding white or taking out with clean water? It’s incredibly effective however you are doing it.

    1. Hi Sarah and thanks for this, so pleased you like it! The lighter lines were achieved by first applying masking fluid which I did using an adjustable ruling pen that allows you to get lots of different widths of line (and is much easier to clean masking fluid off than brushes!) – Once the fluid is removed, I’ve then knocked them back a bit so they’re not so startlingly harsh. I know some people refuse to use masking fluid but I think it has it’s place. Hope all’s well with you!

      1. It always seems to me that the use of masking fluid is more in the right spirit of watercolour transparency than the use of gouache or other opaquery! (But that’s probably because I’m so old)

        1. As you know Rob, I’m no spring chicken myself which may explain why our views on masking fluid are similar (though I’m also not averse to using a bit of gouache or opaque titianium white watercolour too). I think if the means justify the end result – especially when if the end result is good – then people shouldn’t get too hung up on it!

I'd love to hear any thoughts you have about this

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