Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Another Hahnemuhle experiment

Our art group's Monday evening theme was "Time".  We've had a few days of exceptionally hot weather here and only a handful of us turned up.  As it happened, the temperature in the village hall was very pleasant, with all the windows and doors open, a welcome breeze keeping us cool and the gentle lowing of the cattle in the adjacent field.

I was a bit stumped for a subject - not wanting to use the theme of clocks.  In the end I decided to try a different version of the plein air drawing I did at the beginning of this month - The Mechanics Institute, which has fallen into disrepair and has a very uncertain future.



On the Hahnemuhle Britannia watercolour paper, I applied a background of well diluted acrylic inks (red earth and purple lake).  The drawing was transferred using an Edding Profipen, then the surface was randomly lino printed with white gesso - I wanted texture, but it needed to be more subtle than my previous attempt (above).  Several layers of watercolour were added, then I resorted to some Anilinky paints by Koh-i-Nor which I have had hanging around for ages - these produce strong colours, but I am not sure of their permanence.  The foreground foliage wasn't working and in my impatience I scribbled over it with a black Posca pen making it even worse!  An off-white Posca pen helped to cover up the black, topped by some white Anilinky paint before re-colouring the area.

The Hahnemuhle paper didn't buckle at all, and the surface stood up excellently, despite the amount of over-working I subjected it to.

Approx. 9" x 7"


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Hidcote Manor Gardens

A glorious day out visiting this National Trust property in Gloucestershire - an Arts and Crafts garden comprising over 20 different garden "rooms", borders and lawns.





It was a riot of colour and there was so much to see, but I did manage a couple of quick pen sketches to which I added watercolour later at home.

One of two small pavilions at the end of the Red Borders
Access to these little buildings was not possible as they were undergoing conservation work, (I left out the workmen's bags of cement, buckets etc.).

Thatched barn in the courtyard

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Hahnemuhle watercolour paper

Hahnemuhle 140 lbs rough watercolour paper
A few of weeks ago, I made a start on testing out this watercolour paper, but other things got in the way and I completely forgot about it until yesterday.

Watercolour trials
I didn't like the way my background turned out on the small composition on the right, so I had  covered the original colours with white gesso, just retaining the flower heads - awaiting inspiration on how to continue.  Rediscovering it last night, I thought I might as well "go for broke" and see if anything could be done with it.  I started to rework the background with more watercolour washes, painting negatively around the leaf shapes.

Water splashed and blotted in the background washes to add texture,
I also tried out some gel pens and watercolour markers

I think this is as far as I am going to go with this experiment
(or should I try some pastel on top of it next??)
Despite a rather messy outcome, I really enjoyed using this Hahnemuhle paper.  The watercolours retained their brilliance, the paper stood up well to the various media used and the rough texture in no way overpowered the subject matter.  A "thumbs up" from me!









Monday, 5 June 2017

June Sketch Outing

This month we met up at the Glue Pot pub in Swindon's historic Railway Village.  The village was built 170 years ago to house the families of the employees of Brunel's famous Swindon Railway Works.  We were able to sit outside in the sun and sketch some of the surrounding buildings.

A warm-up sketch of The Platform



The Platform is currently used as a Youth Centre and community venue, but was originally called The Barracks and provided lodging for single male railway workers in Brunel's day.  However, in the late 1800's it was converted into a Wesleyan Chapel, and in more recent years served as a museum.

The Mechanics Institute - pen on gesso printed background
A while ago I had randomly printed some foam stamps on a page of my Hahnemuhle Grey Book - I thought this might provide an interesting background for this sketch.  I used a fine pen which doesn't show up very well on the page, so later at home I added further penwork and some watercolour washes in an attempt to bring out the subject.


Further penwork and light watercolour washes
This building has been derelict for quite some years, with windows broken and boarded up, so I took the liberty of re-instating these after researching old photos.  There is much local interest in restoring this building to its former glory, but it is all a question of finding the necessary money.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Paper flowers

Playing around with card, paper and paint and following some Youtube instructions on making paper flowers - just for fun.

The two flowers on the left were made from thin card, the central four from copy paper and the one on the right from painted tissue. All the leaves were cut from my scraps of painted papers.