Spring Greens

If you recall, this was the painting I submitted for my last session of Paul Talbot Greaves‘ course in using green in watercolour:

Here’s the feedback that I received on this final submission:

“Nice treatment here John, really well done with the value and dry brush strokes on those trees! As you become more accustomed to steering your way through greens, really push the cool greens more towards blue and fully emphasise the warmer greens to contrast. Whenever I use a tube green, I’m conscious that it easily overpowers any second colour added to it and the result on the paper can often be that the greens look the same or at best, there is marginal difference. This is where paper mixing can really emphasise those changes.”

I can’t deny that I felt quite encouraged by this feedback and was keen to try to put this into action. The two paintings below were the practice pieces that I did last week, and I thought I might have a play around with the composition a little and try to take on board Paul’s advice.

The ironic thing is that these two paintings, which Paul didn’t see, did have a greater contrast between warm and cool greens but hey-ho, that’s the way of things sometimes! I wanted to try to combine the composition of the homework piece, so you could see some sky, with the single tree of these two practice pieces:

Attempt No. 3

There’s something that niggles me a little about this – and not just that I still didn’t quite get the variance of cool and warm greens in the central tree. I do like it, and felt more confident painting it, but I think there’s something about the distant background hill that I think lets it down.

If anyone has been inspired by any of the green sessions that I’ve written about of late, you might be interested to learn that Paul has made the video demonstrations from each session available to buy for £15 each from his website. Each video begins with some colour theory with Paul looking at the colour wheel and doing some example colour mixes before moving on to a fully explained demonstration.

Stanmer park, Brighton

I’ve shared a few sketches recently that I’ve done of Stanmer Park, just on the outskirts of Brighton and here’s one that I felt might be worth working up a little larger:

Stanmer Park, Brighton sketch

Here’s the larger version:

Stanmer Park, Brighton, painting

Once I’d sketched the painting out, I didn’t really refer back to the original sketch so when I’d finished, I was quite surprised by how different they both felt! I still have lots to learn on the greens front but I’m certainly feeling much more empowered now having taken this course!

brighton painting Group

The next meeting of the Brighton Painting Group is this Saturday, 9th April from 10am-2pm. The venue for this month’s meet up is St Peter’s Church, in the heart of Brighton. Weather permitting, I’m hoping to make it this time as I was unable to make last month’s gathering. If anyone would like to join in, please get in touch with Elliot Roworth and he’ll add you to the whatsapp group.

In a typical display of impatience, here’s a quick watercolour of St Peter’s Church. Coincidentally, this view is from the grass area to the North of the church, which is where the group will be meeting on Saturday.

Watercolour painting of St Peter's Church, Brighton by artist John Haywood
St Peter’s Church, Brighton

Even if I do make it, I might find myself a bit rushed as I’ll need to dash home as soon as possible as we need to get ourselves all packed up and ready to go as we FLY TO BARCELONA!!!! early on Sunday morning (subject to Covid restrictions/contaminations, flights not being cancelled, not having done the right paperwork, missed our train or any other number of potential scenarios that might scupper our long-awaited and much anticipated holiday! Still, let’s look on the bright side, it might all go swimmingly in which case next week’s post may contain a smattering of Spanish and sprinkling of sunshine!

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Thoughts on Spring Greens

4 thoughts on “Spring Greens”

    1. Thanks so much for this David! all much appreciated and yes, I’m really looking forward to the vacation and especially to a change of scenery (hoping to get a bit of painting inspiration!)

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

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