I mentioned in last week’s post that I was still awaiting permission to share my recent ‘watercolour departure’ and I’m delighted to report that Sue Harley / @bibababe27 has been in touch and has given me her permission and approval to share these images!
Now that the cat’s out of the bag as it where, I can say a little more about why I was so drawn to this watercolour departure. If you visit Sue’s instagram account, you’ll see a lot of images that are tagged as being ‘double-exposure’ and ‘intentional camera movement’. These images in particular really connected with me. There was something about their soft, indistinct haziness that I really loved and as soon as I saw them I couldn’t stop thinking about how I might paint them!
Here’s the first image that really grabbed me:
And here’s the watercolour that it inspired:
I wasn’t trying to achieve an exact copy of the original photograph, but I did want to try to emulate the feel of it, especially the diffused light and the subtly merging colours. I did feel that I was working quite blindly on this. I didn’t do any preliminary drawing on this, and even when I came to do the figures, I did them without any drawing out.
The painting was built up by applying layer upon layer of thin washes. For the most part, each wash would gradually cover the entire sheet. This was partly because I wasn’t familiar with the smooth paper and I felt that one way to minimise any unintended harsh edges was to work across the entire page when it was all wet.
Here are a few close up details:
As I knew that I’d be painting lots of wet washes to achieve this look, I initially started work on three paintings, but quite quickly narrowed this down to just focusing on two. This was the second of Sue’s images that I tried to emulate:
Again, it was more the feel that I was after rather than specifics.
I can’t deny that seeing my paintings side by side here with the photographs that inspired them is a little disappointing!
It reminds me why I decided to stop showing my own photographs alongside my paintings, but on this occasion, I hope it’s helpful to see everything side by side.
On their own however, I do like many of the qualities in these two new paintings. I don’t think that this represents a fundamental change of direction for me. As much as I’ve enjoyed this diversion, it has also helped to make me appreciate how much I love to paint in a bold direct style – not to mention how much I enjoy a good old swipe of a dry brush across a roughly textured paper!
Since finishing these two paintings, I’ve also picked up on the third one that originally started so should hopefully be able to share this with you next week!
I’m sure that regular followers will recognise what a departure these paintings are to anything that I’ve done previously! As I say, while I don’t see this as new style of painting at the exclusion of me painting in a more direct manner, it’s great to have this as another string to my bow – and I’d love to hear what you think of them!
In the meantime…
Another one for the collection
The deadline for the 2020 Sunday Times Watercolour Competition was the 24th September, and entrants received notification of the judges’ decision on 2nd October.
I was, once again, unsuccessful:
I remain, as ever, undeterred!