Start Point, Devon: line and wash, 5×8 inches

Start Point Lighthouse, Devon” line and wash 5×8 inches

Last year, I had planned to do more oils, but somehow very few worthy ones materialised. I get the strong feeling that my work is shrinking in size….except for the pastels, these remain around 8 to 10 inches square or slightly larger rectangles (dictated primarily by the fact that pastel-sticks are quite chunky). This shrinking is a direction I can no longer ignore so it’s time to revisit some old ways of working….and also tackle a medium I’ve used only occasionally.

This week’s piece…the last one for 2019… is a casual exploration of line and wash. I’ve never really been able to do a watercolour picture without some firmly drawn lines in it somewhere. For this one I took one of my holiday photos and worked at making a light pencil drawing on Hot Pressed paper. It was then marked over with a technical pen—I use either Sakura Micron or Derwent FineLiner, both 005 size (the thinnest line). I then left the ink to dry for a while. These pens have pigmented ink, but are not waterproof.

Next step was the colour wash. I had to try NOT to stay inside the lines, to make a more informal image. Hot Pressed paper isn’t the greatest for colour-wash because it doesn’t spread so rapidly, but it suited my purpose for now. The tricky bit (for me) was the rocky outcrop backing up the lighthouse; trying to get it dark enough and actually looking like rock. Having left the picture overnight I returned to it the next day, to complete the wall at bottom right, and then called it done.

I will now be looking to see what else I can draw and then add washes to. Buildings are ideal, especially when supported by organic subjects, such as trees, shrubs, water. Are they paintings or illustrations? I don’t really care what they get labelled as. To me, every painting is an illustration of something, irrespective of the medium used.

The website re-shaping is finished. I’ve been tempted to place the whole thing under the WordPress environment, but decided not to; static pages are still useful; and there are a few technical matters that need upgrading.

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