Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Drunk on sunshine

Remember this sketch below? It was the light sparkling on the water that had caught my eye and that I wanted to record. The sketch was done in watercolour in my mini moleskine and the memory has been turning over in my mind ever since.

I'm painting on an MDF board that is 80x34cm (the original sketch is 27x8cm) so whilst it is very much bigger I've also played slightly with the ratio which now just feels more comfortable. The colours that I'm using are azure blue, indigo, phthalo turquoise, white and parchment. The phthalo turquoise is a beautiful colour but so very powerful that I'm only using tiny touches in glazes, barely a whisper makes all the difference.

The atmosphere that I want to create is that of a warm summer evening when the light turns mellow and golden... the feeling after a day spent in the sun when you feel drunk and dozy on sunshine as you walk home. I did some experiments with how to vary the size of spatter which I'm making using an old toothbrush (the more fluid the paint the bigger the droplets). It's very surprising the amount of control that you need for this, you can see in the second picture below where I've wiped down some of the spatter in the land toward the right side as it had started to get out of control. I've been painting this one very slowly, there have been layers and layers of glaze laid over spatters of paint. Then more spatters followed by more glaze.  I'm really enjoying the process and gradually the depth and form are starting to emerge.



It's been hard to stay in and paint as we have had a lovely spell of good weather with more forecast for the next few days which makes me want to spend all my time outside. I did have a very last minute whole afternoon of sketching last week which was made all the more special as it was so unexpected. More on that later.

Anyway I'm at the halfway mark, I think, with this painting - lots more glazing to go.


Bruce Sherman said...

Hi there Lisa!...Lots o' sparkle and atmospheric haze in this beauty!

Sketch-to-studio painting most always translates into another kind of painting for certain... given the shifting light... fast drying conditions and time factor outdoors.

However...you've maintained the original spirit and mood of the sketch so far!

Good luck with the haze 'n glaze process! Look forward to seing your finished product!

Good Painting!
Warmest regards,

Michael Bailey said...

I think turquoise has to be my favourite colour but combine it with a nice inky indigo and it's a winning combination. Gorgeous painting Lisa, and to me it's already there but I'm sure you'll take it further so I'm looking forward to seeing the final piece :)

Theresa Evans said...

This is beautiful Lisa! The water sparkle looks amazing and the layers of glazing have given the blues a wonderful depth.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Bruce, I'm glad you think I've caught the original mood. You are right studio paintings develop into completely different animals from sketches. Best wishes.

Hello Michael, thank you so much you are very kind. I hope you've had a chance to enjoy this lovely sunshine we've been having. The late afternoon/early evening light has been great for sketching.

Hi Theresa thank you. I find the more layers the greater the depth with this technique but also that I need to use a few different blues to achieve it. Thank you for stopping over.

Jeanette said...

What a beauty Lisa! I LOVE the atmosphere, light and colour. THe sparkle works so well, not overdone.

You've already got a lot of depth here, I can only imagine what the final image will be once you've added more layers.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Jeanette, thank you. Unfortunately as it has been so very hot here work has stopped on this painting as the glazes are just drying too quickly. I'm itching to get on with it. Hopefully next week I can post the finished painting. Have a great weekend.

Caroline said...

These are an excellent collection of water sparkle paintings Lisa. As I scrolled down I thought Wow! Beautiful colours. I also love the simplicity of the top watercolour, very nice indeed.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hello Caroline, that's high praise indeed, thank you very much! Have a great week.