Colonnade cafe, Barcelona watercolour

After enjoying last week’s watercolour painting so much, I was keen to tackle it again but this time to do a colour version. Here are some quick work in progress shots to show how it developed:

First light wash

So far so good. Next up was to start adding in the darks into the shadow areas:

Beginning to add in the darks to the top section…
and then continuing to bring them down to the lower section

At this stage, I wasn’t feeling the warmth, so I washed in some light red over the pillars of the columns, parts of floor and the table tops:

Watercolour painting of a cafe under a colonnade in Barcelona by artist John Haywood
Colannade Cafe, Barcelona

I think this, along with the flesh tone of the arm on the central figure really helped to lift the mood and the temperature a good few degrees! After this, I just did a bit of tinkering here and there. I added in a few highlights and, to some of the very dark areas, I re-wetted them and lifted out some of the colour – just to bring in a little more light and variety.

Here’s last weeks and this week’s side by side for comparison:

Personally, I like them both. I think each of them work in their own right but, if pushed, I think the second colour version has the edge over the first. It is undoubtedly a little tighter than the first version, but hopefully not so much that it kills it – and it does bring back to me the sense of light, the warmth of the air and the gentle hum of people chatting together.

In other news…

The 3rd of January was the deadline for submissions for this year’s Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour annual exhibition. I didn’t submit anything last year and while I didn’t feel exactly brimming with confidence with my works in 2019 – I also didn’t like the idea of not submitting anything either! So it was that I entered two paintings. I’ve decided not to reveal which ones, because I may yet choose to enter them into some other exhibitions later in the year but and I’m feeling unusually superstitious! Suffice to say, they didn’t receive the approval of the judging panel! 

Another gentle let down to add to my collection !

Fortunately, it wasn’t the fame and glory that got me into painting in the first place so there’s no harm done!

The good thing about entering into this particular exhibition is that you only have to wait a week between the deadline and receiving a decision – which seems a mercifully short time to wait compared to some!

Hopefully this year I’ll get the chance to visit the exhibition. I wasn’t able to make it last year and I usually really enjoy it and often see some amazing and inspiring work. It’s probably one of the top three watercolour exhibitions in the UK so the competition is particularly high and it’s often a good barometer for me to get a sense of ‘where my work is at.’

In the meantime, I’ve got plenty more paintings to get on with!

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