Thursday, 19 July 2018

Rainy Days or no rainy days.....

This month I have promised myself to make the most of the prompts given for WorldWatercolourMonth. The weather is hot and sunny so being in my studio for hours is not a very great way to pass the time. I am painting 'quick ones' and these are great opportunities to be experimenting with my materials.

Today's prompt is 'Rainy Days' - something we have not had for weeks now. That is how the idea of the letter to Santa came up and was turned into a painting.
I have used a sheet of watercolour study paper - not the kind of paper I can use for a painting with lots of water. 
The drawing of the paper, envelope and pen was made first, then I started painting the wooden desktop using the wet-on-dry technique. The drawing desk in my studio was my model. 
After that the paper, envelope and pen were painted, the pencil lines for writing were added and when everything had dried I wrote the letter to Santa and the envelope. Some of the pencil lines were erased, as would have happened in a real letter.

If I were lots of years younger and an American girl I might have done something like this in reality - I think.
As I am not a young girl anymore I enjoyed thinking up this plan and executing it.

More information (materials used, availability, contact information, etc) can be found at my website 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

In the Jungle....

This is another painting inspired by the prompts of WorldWatercolourMonth. For today it's 'In the Jungle' and as we don't have a real Jungle in The Netherlands I had to imagine something. The many documentaries I love to watch (on TV) have given me an idea of how a real Jungle might look like so this is the result.

I have started to make an underground with green, violet and some burnt sienna by letting the paint flow on the paper, just guiding it a little bit.
When that had dried I have tried to follow the shapes that had formed to draw my trees, one that was to be the most important and some more in the background.
Then I added some more violet or sienna to the spots that were already there to make them 'emerge' from the background.

All this is done on the Rough paper I had bought years ago to find out whether I would like that or not. I still have not decided yet. I do not dislike it, but on such a small size  paper the subjects I choose are different than usual. So I cannot successfully compare this paper to my other, Cold Pressed paper. 

More information (contact information, materials used, availability, etc) can be found at my website 

Sunday, 15 July 2018

On the beach!

This painting has a story that is unlike the other ones.
This one started as a submission for a contest with a 'Summer' theme. 
I adapted a scene I had sketched and painted last year and made it an impression of 'Plein Air' painting on the beach. The location is Hoek van Holland (Netherlands) very close to the Pier - where swimming is strictly forbidden.
Of course I did not have much chance in that contest and I forgot to publish the painting afterwards.

This month is WorldWatercolourMonth and I have promised myself to make the most of that, trying to use the prompts given as much as possible. 
The last week has been full of other things so I have decided to publish this little painting using the prompt "on the Beach" as its new title.

Even though I knew I did not have much chance in the contest I made this painting for, I enjoyed the challenge of adapting a sketch by adding a field easel with a watercolour painting in progress. This was sketched from memory and added in a nice spot in the original sketch. This was painted using the colours I had used in the original painting and some extra for the easel, the board and the 'painting in progress' on that board.

Sketching and drawing from memory - without a model in front of me - is something for which I did not have enough confidence in the recent past, but this exercise has given me a pleasant surprise.

More information (size, materials used, availability, contact information) can be found at my website 

Thursday, 12 July 2018

View on the Town Hall of Nieuwpoort

The day I visited the little old town of Nieuwpoort (Netherlands) I have made some sketches on the spot and this view of the former Town Hall was one of the scenes that inspired me.
I have been sketching this from a distance as I was on the ramparts and this building is in the centre of the old town. There is a small canal running straight through Nieuwpoort and this building was constructed spanning the water, protecting the lock in the canal.
The entry of the lock is still there, the dark passageway between the edges of the canal hides the view.
Both sides of the canal have a row of trees that have all of their foliage now.
So the view on the Town Hall was a little blocked by the trees, but what I could see was what I wanted to draw and paint.

My attention was especially attracted by the top of the old Town Hall with the little belfry so I took great care to have those details right.
The view on the Town Hall is so narrow that the only way to do justice to the old building was by cropping the scene to a shape that is not 'traditional'.

This painting took a bit more thinking than usual, but I wanted to do this and it turned out as I hoped it would do.

More information about this painting (size, paper and paint used, availability, etc) can be found at my website 

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Another walk in the 'Alblasserbos'

Our local forest area has two parts that are separated by fields and a Provincial way. There are some differences between both areas, the western area has an old orchard with some high fruit trees, the ones you have to climb to get the fruit. The eastern area has more pollard willows that are still harvested every two or three years.
Both areas are very wet and an early walk is a nice experience as all the birds are singing.
There are signposted walks in both parts of the 'Alblasserbos'.

I usually take my sketch book and pencils with me and I choose a seat with a nice view for some rest and sketching. 
Of course there are lots of trees, bushes and other green stuff where I have made my sketch, so I decided to pick only a few for my composition.

This time the sketch is used for a watercolour painting.
I am still experimenting with different yellow and blue mixtures to get a nice foliage and this time I am very happy with the result.

More information about this watercolour painting (size, colours and paper used, availability) can be found at my website 

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

After the apple pie..

This little still life is the next one I have made after one of the prompts of WorldWatercolourMonth, Family Moments. As I have written in my previous post, I will try to make the best of this watercolour month by painting as much as possible.

As I do not have a dishwasher, washing the dishes has always been a bit of a family moment in my house.

For this still life I have sketched some empty coffee mugs, some cake dishes, some spoons coming out of the mugs and tried to find the right spot for the shadows.
After I have been drawing this sketch on my watercolour paper I have painted the shadows first with a mixture of blue and magenta. This technique is described often for still life paintings and I decided to give it a try. 
I have used rough paper again, so I worked wet-on-dry.
Once the shadows were dry I started to paint the dishes and the mugs, carefully waiting for each shape to dry before painting the one next to it. This is to avoid colour bleeding of course. 
The mugs and dishes have not been washed yet so there are some coffee stains visible.

There may be some mistakes with shadows, coffee stains or the shapes, but I really did enjoy sketching and painting this small still life. And mistakes are there to learn from.

More information can be found at my website 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Almost apple pie - just add water and lots of love

July is WorldWatercolourMonth and I always like to paint some extra watercolours during that time. There are prompts given by the organisation of this event, Doodlewash. I do not have time or inspiration for all 31 prompts but I really want to make the most of it.

One of the prompts is 'Delicious Food' and of course I can try to paint a nice meal before it is eaten but this seemed a better idea. As my husband's birthday is very near, I am gathering ingredients and recipes for cookies, pies and dinner dishes.
This is almost all you need for a great apple pie, as I have said in the title, add just a little bit of water and lots of love  and the result is an example of Delicious Food!

Years ago I wanted to try rough paper - usually I have cold pressed, medium texture paper - and I was persuaded to buy a block of a small size. I did not use it much, because my landscapes need 'a bit more space'. This little still life seemed the perfect occasion to try the rough paper and I was not disappointed.
This quality needs just a little bit of water, perfect for a still life and the texture is nice to work on. I have chosen to work with a balanced palette of orange, mauve and turquoise I have used before.

The texts on the packages are in Dutch, just like they are when I buy these ingredients.
I took great care to make the colours of the apples and eggs look as natural as possible with my limited palette. 
Unfortunately I cannot get the picture better than it is now, the background paper should be white. Both camera and computer do not cooperate as much as I would like them to.

More information (paper and paints used, size, availability, etc) can be found at my website