Rushed watercolour paintings

Precious little time for painting or writing this week!

It’s so frustrating when you have such little time to spend pursuing your passion that the limited time itself can become a pressured hindrance. That’s a little bit how it felt for me this week.

Here’s my first effort:

Watercolour painting, an interior view of Bills restaurant in Brighton by John John Haywood.
Bills, Brighton

This was inspired by a visit a few days ago to an establishment called Bills in Brighton, the venue of my first official ‘Christmas do’ of the season. What first attracted me to it was the chandelier. I’ve been looking for a chandelier to paint as it feels like some kind of right of passage – but on reflection I don’t think this was a particularly forgiving chandelier. It’s actually quite surprising how hard it is to find a decent chandelier these days! If there are any Brighton locals reading, I’d love to hear if anyone has any recommendations (just drop me a note in the comments section below).

Back to the painting, it’s interesting to compare this one to the painting I posted last week:

Two people chatting over coffee, watercolour painting by John Haywood
Morning coffee, Small Batch, Brighton: Watercolour painting by John Haywood

This was all done in one take, by which I mean single applications of paint without the need to revisit passages to strengthen, darken or endeavour to lighten them.

By contrast, the painting of Bills in Brighton was built up in a number of layers. Not intentionally, but because I didn’t get my original applications right first time. Everything needed to be revisited and I think this leads to a heavier handed, overworked feeling. This isn’t to say that I don’t like any of it, in fact I particularly like some of the figure work, and I think this scene does have some potential for revisiting again.

Moving swiftly on…

I had reason to take a brief jaunt into the countryside at the weekend and, even though I was only able to enjoy the view from the car as I was driving the scenery was lovely, somehow quintessentially autumnal and English. It brought to mind the work of Hilder, Wesson and Seago and, when I got home I quickly dashed off this Wesson inspired landscape:

Watercolour painting of a landscape inspired by Edward WEsson
An Edward Wesson inspired landscape

This again was done at pace and, while it may not stand up to close scrutiny, it’s not as overworked as my first effort!

Hopefully there’ll be the opportunity for some less rushed watercolour painting in the week’s ahead!

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Thoughts on Rushed watercolour paintings

12 thoughts on “Rushed watercolour paintings”

  1. I like the first effort, it has more depth, better composition and some good watercolour textures in the foreground. That said the second take with just one application does have a freshness about it. Guess it depends on what you were trying to achieve. Either way I’d be happy with both if mine came out like that!

    1. Thansk so much for this Warren, much appreciated and so pleased you like them. I think I probably will have another go that interior again – maybe when I’m less rushed! and will try to focus on getting the colour and strength of tone correct first time around in the hope I can avoid having to do too much overworking. Really appreciate your comments Warren, best regards

  2. As “landscape lover” I think the landscape – Wesson inspired – is wonderful! It makes me feel calm and give me a feeling of tranquility, thanks for sharing it…

    P.S.: John, my wife gifted me with new brushes and new paper, I’m riding the watercolor wave!

    1. Haha, wonderful, with new brushes and paper there’ll be absolutely no stopping you now!
      So pleased you like the landscape painting – I’d love to get out and paint from life more but it’s way too cold at the moment, plus I have so little time! Ah well, maybe next year!

  3. I think these are great, John. Sometimes it is good to rush through a painting – and it is always better than to decide not to paint because a lack of time. These are bold, loose and very atmopspheric – Congrats!

    1. Hi Carsten and thanks so much for this! Your point sums up how I feel so often: whenever possible, it’s always better to paint than not to paint – even if the circumstances aren’t as ideal as you’d like them to be!

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

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