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Watercolour Inspiration

I am using watercolours at the moment to get some ideas together for my Light and Life Quilt. We are house sitting in Sunny ? Sawtell so I don’t have my fabric and sewing machine here. I have joined the Sawtell Art Group and been inspired by the watercolour teacher Helen Goldsmith and the other talented artists in the group. They have all inspired me to paint … paint … paint! Actually, I find that the more I do and redo a subject / composition, the more I am learning about the watercolour medium and how to get the light into the pictures. I hope this will translate to my fabric and quilts.

I’ve added some images of the paintings, I’ve been working on.  In the pictures featured here I am playing with the light sources. There are supposed to be 3 different sources of light in the interior scene. Just to clarify, the three photos are of different attempts to get it all right. You will note that I ultimately decided to make the chimney blue brick (photo #2) rather than red brick, and changed the density of the flowers in the vase, as well as made the book case into a chest with drawers.

initial drawing

initial drawing

blocking in light sources

blocking in light sources

adding light

adding light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the woman sitting on chair, there is a light source from behind her shoulder, as well as from the open door behind the cat (also within the mirror).

Cat came back

Cat came back

Watercolor Holiday

Last weekend, I took a two day break from my PhD writing activities to attend a watercolour workshop at the Sawtell Art Gallery.

Helen Goldsmith was the teacher with a focus at this workshop on interiors. It was a fantastic weekend. I loved how Helen gets so much light and energy into her paintings. 

It was a developmental process over the two days, first sketching an interior composition. Helen reminded us that we could arrange the interior however we wanted. “It’s a painting not a photograph!”

Lay back and relax. Easy to fall asleep in.

Lay back and relax. Easy to fall asleep in.

I had done quite a bit of thinking about interiors I really liked and what I would like to have remind me of places I have loved. My mind took be back to Finland and the rocking chair where I read the book Travels with Charlie , and several others. The Finns have a rocking chair with a long runner. So, I wanted to include one in my painting. I also thought I would include other Finnish memorabilia and asked Taphyl to photograph objects from around the house.

Just a few of the treasures.

Just a few of the treasures.

Thus began my imaginative journey into arranging these as a pleasing composition. Helen was a great help here, reminding me that I did not have to have the entire and detailed replication to make the final painting evoke my memories of the Finnish culture.

A Finnish interior-taking a leaf from Charlie's travels.

A Finnish interior-taking a leaf from Charlie’s travels.

We sketched, did pen drawings, and then painted. The great thing that I learned this weekend was to visualise the colours, mix them on the palette and then test before laying down. Boy, do I need lots of practice in the ‘testing’ step. Testing the colour before application in its final location helps to keep the muddy appearance from ending up in the final picture.

Well here is my final work! Can you find the reality?

I added a lamp and afghan from my grandmother’s living room. A mirror which came from my sister-in-law, and a table that used to sit in my Mother’s house. Of course Mom’s was semi-circular, and not blue in colour. But still it was a favorite because it always had a vase of flowers on it in front of a mirror.

I did get the kettle, the trumpeter, and the teacup in as well as the rocker and the warm and welcoming Finnish fires.

My next effort will include the runners of the rocker. I just have to come up with a suitable composition!

This entry was posted on May 6, 2015. 2 Comments