Watercolour paintings in pairs

Looking on the plus side, had I been on holiday in Valencia this past week, I wouldn’t have been able to do as much painting as I have during my enforced staycation! That said, the time I have for painting still feels like snatched moments in between trying to keep an energetic young child entertained!

There wasn’t any particular plan behind this week’s subjects but it seemed that they just all turned into various ‘pairs’ of paintings. As I have a few more paintings to show this week, I’m going to try to balance things out by saying less!

Pair 1 – the coffee shop

First up is a quick sketch that I did quite a while ago of some people sat outside a cafe in the morning sun….

Cafe sketch

…that I was keen to translate into a loose colour sketch:

Cafe study

I was quite pleased with how this turned out and the original sketch was really helpful in simplifying what could otherwise have been an overly detailed or overly fussy scene.

Pair 2 – Brighton station

Next up, an old favourite of a subject, Brighton train station. It’s a marvel of victorian engineering and iron work, full of intricacies and sweeping curves. Whenever I’m not running late, I always try to spend some time looking up and marveling at its splendour and, when possible, grabbing a few reference photos for a rainy day. On this particular occassion, it was a rainy day!

Here’s my first take on the view:

Brighton train station

Followed by another take in which I wanted to create a greater sense of depth, and to add in some figures to create a little more interest:

Brighton Train Station

Pair 3 – Shoreham harbour

Finally, on one of my allotted periods of time out for little exercise, I cycled down to Shoreham harbour to coincide with the sun going down:

Here’s s slightly different crop of the same painting that think is a little more satisfying:

Shoreham harbour at dusk (1)

Which led me to tackle this view again but in portrait format.

Shoreham harber at dusk (2)

I don’t know what it was about these two paintings, but I really didn’t enjoy painting them! I can’t quite put my finger on what it was but, while there are elements of them that I feel okay about – overall, I can’t wait to move on to something else!

I’ve been aware while writing this that I feel a little downbeat about my painting efforts, but I did just have a light-bulb moment that quite perked me up. All these paintings are views from my hometown! I often find it difficult for some reason to paint ‘local views’ but here I am with six of them in one post!

On this more upbeat note, I’ll set off in search of my next subject! I really hope that everyone is keeping well and staying safe.

Thoughts on Watercolour paintings in pairs

17 thoughts on “Watercolour paintings in pairs”

  1. These are all beautiful, especially the Brighton station ones. Lucky to have chanced on you blog site.

    Regards Teresa

    1. Hi Teresa and many thanks for such kind words about my paintings, I really appreciate it. So pleased that you chanced across my site too and appreciate you taking the time to have a look around and comment. Kind regards – John

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  3. Beautiful work, John. I especially like that wide sweep of Brighton station. I wish I had your courage with foregrounds. I tend to fill mine up! What’s the secret?

    1. Thanks David, really appreciate this! I’m not so sure I’d describe my sweeping foregrounds as courageous but I like the sentiment of it! I got it from studying the compositions of other artists that I like and admire. I suppose the theory is that the foreground is a means of leading the eye ‘into’ the picture and towards where the ‘main’ focal point is. To add too much detail in to the foreground often risks distracting the eye from the main focal point. That at least is the theory! Hope that this may be of some assistance! Thanks David

        1. Haha – now that’s hardly the spirit David! Good luck with your next masterpiece. I often have to remind myself that it’s only a bit of paint and paper and a little time. Nothing to get too precious about!

    1. Thanks David and yes, I quite agree. I think it’s one of the dangers of working indoors so often when there’s no time limit to how long you can spend, so overworking becomes much more likely. I have often tried to set myself time limits – but I quite often then ignore my self-imposed restrictions!

  4. These are super. I especially enjoyed looking at your quick sketch and then colour sketch of the people outside the cafe. Your blog is a real inspiration.

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

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