Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Isle of Sheppey Storms I & III



I’ve been recently commissioned to paint some local Kent seascapes for a couple near the Kent coastal town of Whitstable. Visible from the shore there to the west is the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames estuary. Anxious to please, I did a trio of alternative paintings, initially for myself, but took them along unframed to the buyers so they could make a choice. The one they went for is being framed as we speak, so isn't here to show, but was in a similar vein. The sky is a mixture of wet-into-wet and dry techniques applied therafter. Incidentally, I always use BIG brushes. My favourite in fact is a Kolinsky blue squirrel size 26 mop! It holds water like no other and has a fine point should I be feeling in a delicate mood, which is rarely.
On the paper front, it was interesting to see how differently a heavier-weight paper behaved with the water too. This is 400gsm rough and took substantially longer to dry compared to a more commonplace 300gsm paper. The benefit of that of course, is a longer working time, which can be useful. Sheppey Storm I in particular is a good example of the spreading pigments creatinga rainy effect as one colour imposes upon others in the dramatic billowing cloud effects. The rough-textured surfaceI’m very pleased with these, clouds were made for watercolours. The rough-textured surface also lends itself well to dragging a dry brush (with a little pure pigment on) across the sea or sandy foreshore, to great effect. £95 each, inc P&P (UK only). • UPDATE: Friday 6 August 2010 - SHEPPEY STORM is now SOLD. Only Sheppey Storm III remains. Email me for non-UK postage.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The snow mixed with the stars


Still on the subject of arborial landscapes, I bought some white Winsor & Newton ink lunchtime from Cass arts in London’s Berwick Street. It comes in an old-fashioned trapezium-shaped bottle and sits inside a packaging design that seems to have remained unchanged since I first saw it at college when I was 17. Experimenting with stages between undiluted and very diluted, it was a joy to use the white ink on my black sketch pad, watching the pigment sink in and lighten as it dried. The result on such paper inevitably has a nocturnal feel about it, but I’m not complaining. Those birds are up late.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

100113 Winter Walk


This handmade Khadi Indian paper is very pulpy and absorbent, so tricks like the soft-edged clouds are really done justice with this paper. Inspired by the consitent snow we‘re having and my New Year’s walk on the 1st of January in a Kentish wood. Quink ink.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Benson the 64lb carp, RIP 2009


Reading the festive 'looking-back-at-the-year' Angler’s Mail over the Christmas break, I read about and was inspired to sketch Benson, a 64lb common carp, who shuffled off his watery mortal coil to much media attention during 2009. Massive carp aren’t really my bag when it comes to fishing, though I do enjoy catching carp with a fly rod in the summer. But it must be something else to catch a true whopper like Benson and credit to anyone who managed to pull in this bag of spuds! Charcoal pencil and Quink ink on Khadi Indian rough paper.