Thursday, 14 April 2016

First Quirky Quickie on Watercolour Wednesday at Woods of Whitchurch

M&Ms …..
The idea of creating the Quirky Quickie came to me as quickly as the name suggests.  As Woods of Whitchurch’s Artist in Residence we wanted to offer something really exciting, fresh and new for the lovely ArtsCafe upstairs to offer customers and friends, and so I’m really delighted that this imaginative and good humoured idea has taken off so quickly – I’m already fully booked til July!
My first Quirky Quickie is for Malcolm and Meryl and their gorgeous cottage.

I had sight of the picture a few days before Watercolour Wednesday arrived.  That was really crucial actually as initially they kindly sent me a photo of the house on an angle!

A stunning picture, but a very different story to paint a Quirky Quickie.  So I sent a quickie email back to ask for a “full frontal”, which you can see above, and then began to roughly sketch out my idea for their Quirky Quickie.  I decided to pre-sketch as I was nervous that four hours of painting wouldn’t be enough time for my very first Quickie so this was my way of ensuring that I would have it all in the bag by 2pm.

All set, ready to go – you can’t actually see the pencil sketch on my watercolour board, but it is there!  I’m using Bockingford 170lbs/ paper, A3 size and a 2B Windsor & Newton pencil.

On goes the first Watercolour Wash using Cotman Professional Half Pans – they are my favourite at the moment.  This is cerulean blue and violet gouache with water and a little ultramarine.

Here I’ve mixed cadmium yellow with a smidge of cerulean blue to begin to create the box hedging at the front.

And then a lot of colours begin to form in this image – we have the fir tree in the distance coming through using ultramarine, viridian, payne’s grey and various greens made with a selection of blues and yellows.  The roof is a combination of a dirty palette (a sin, I know, but I do love the colours I find there) as well as a little yellow ochre.

That same grubby palette – you can actually slightly see it in this image – allowed me to begin to work on the stone fa├žade while working a little more violet into the sky.

This was the end of my first hour – all the white has been “killed” so to speak and the  essential points are in.  Plant pots, steps, the rather painted iron bench and table, a couple of sets of steps that you almost missed on first look at the photos.

Jumping ahead to the end of the second hour here where I’m pleased to say that I could safely see that the Quirky Quickie concept was indeed viable!  I was on a roll and all going according to plan.  The tiny details are what take the time – many different layers of colour on the house, in the trees, making up the brick work and the ground around the property.  It’s these details that take a while with watercolour as everything has to be either entirely wet or entirely dry!  Damp = Danger!

Thirty minutes later we are almost done.  A few flowers appear in the planters to balance the chimney pots believe it or not. Gotta have a chimney pot colour somewhere else!

And now we are at the finishing touches stage.  Final shadows, an extra plant pot that can’t be seen in the photographs but balances the right edge with the left.

It’s time to sign! Quirky Quickie No.1 successfully accomplished – and I’m very happy indeed.
It’s been a great fun day all in all and I’m really looking forward to next month.