Watercolour and landscape

Let the paint do some of the work for you!

I have always enjoyed using watercolour. I know it has a tricky reputation and to be fair, there are precise ways of working with watercolour that can be more difficult, but used loosely it is very easy and really good fun. The paint takes shapes as the water dries that can be really suggestive of the natural world, so it is great for landscapes. With a little practice learning about when to apply the next layer or brush stroke, it is easy to use these marks to your advantage. It’s like the paint is doing some of the work for you.

Below are two examples I did in the hour of the session, with the image I was working from.

The group made some really successful images, especially as it was a first attempt for most of them. As always, the way to really learn is to keep doing, but I think you can see from the images below that they have made a really great and satisfyingly atmospheric start.

Thea’s painting. I like the way the strong blue lines (which I think are the edge of an infinity pool) could be an abstraction of the landscape. Dreamy and tempting.
Eve’s painting. I liked how confidently Eve set out, letting the paint move on the page. It’s given the clouds fantastic presence and drama. We talked about how being a little softer and a little more abstract made the silhouettes of the boats, which were very dark and precise in the source photo, sit better in the landscape.
Tessa’s painting. The colour of the sky reflected on the wet sand is just perfect.
Melody’s sunset. Fantastic bold use of colour
Ivy’s painting. The cool colour palette makes this dreamily restful. The texture in the sky suggests overcast with clouds really well.

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