Friday 31 August 2012

Finished Illustration For A Children's Book...

To follow up my previous post (click here), I can now show you the finished illustration.

I ending up working with ultramarine watercolour as an under-painting which can work fantastically well when you glaze colours on top, especially if you want a cool 'night time' atmosphere. So lots of thin glazes later I was finally able to build up the darker colours in the tree and the grass. I've found by building up the same colour wet-in-wet in clumps I can give a convincing impression of grass tufts.

For the finishing touches I used gouache, particularly on the fur highlights and the odd blade of grass.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Illustration For A Children's Book...

Previously I have posted a map for a children's book and now I can show you the beginnings of an interior colour illustration for the same book.

Above you can see the two roughs I produced to flesh out my favourite thumbnail sketch. On the top is a line drawing designed to show where it character appears in the composition, beneath that is a smaller sketch that outlines the basic values in the composition.

I quickly came to realise that a simple 3 value structure would apply to this painting - dark foreground, mid-tone middle-ground and light background. Dan dos Santos has done a fantastic post about this compositional technique on Muddy Colors.

So here we have a more detail sketch which shows the value structure I was after. As you can see the car has done a disappearing act and the main characters have been enlarged and their poses tweaked.

Hopefully in the next week I will get permission to show you the finished illustration.

Monday 20 August 2012

'Lansdown Road' Watercolour Finished

Despite the very long intervals in-between painting 'Lansdown Road' I finally completed it a few weeks ago. I'm sorry I haven't posted the finished piece earlier, for some reason I thought I already had! 

All in all I'm quite pleased with the final results although maybe I could have pushed the contrasts a bit even though it is supposed to be a hazy spring morning.

(Detail: can you see the seagulls? They really were there!!)

Saturday 18 August 2012

The Bath Prize 2012

Already it's that time of year again, I can't believe it's close to a year since my success in the Bath Prize competition. For those of you who missed the call for entries there is still time to sign up and get your personal location to paint. For more information click here, the deadline is the 16th of September.

As for me I shall of course be entering. My assigned location is North Parade Bridge which is the next bridge down river from Pulteney Bridge. North Parade Bridge might not be as picturesque but the potential to create a striking composition by using it's large river spanning arch is clear. I visited the bridge with my camera one Sunday morning and managed to take same interesting shots. I particularly like the water reflections on the underside of the bridge and the resulting shadow being cast on the river and down the far bank-side.

Even though all I have managed so far is a thumbnail (above) I'm confident I can produce a watercolour that has lots of nice contrasts and a strong composition. I'm also planning to include something flying under the bridge and a few other slightly hidden creatures.

For those of you who would like to sample what the Bath Prize previous winners have to offer, get yourselves to the opening of the 'Best Of Bath Prize' exhibition in the Stall Street gallery in Bath. There is also an evening event in the gallery on Friday 24th, unfortunately I cannot be there.

Monday 6 August 2012

Lansdown Road WIP

I've had this painting on the back burner so long that it's starting to congeal. However during my stint in the 'Best Of The Bath Prize gallery on Saturday I took the opportunity to get stuck into the shadow work on the right side.

The end is in sight, one more full day and it's done but I'm not sure when that shall occur as I need to start my entries for this years Bath Prize. More on that later.