Cypress Swamp in Watercolour

What with one thing or another, a whole month had flown by with no attempt at painting anything at all, so the other day I decided to try to create a very different landscape to my usual Scottish highland views.

This is my very loose, abstract take on a small segment of cypress swamp from my recent trip to visit my in-laws in Louisiana. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a start to getting back into playing with watercolours again… 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Segment

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On the Bayou

The beautiful views along the bayou in Pierre Part, Louisiana, where my husband’s family live and where we’ve been visiting for the last couple of weeks 🙂

Light Touch Coastal Scene

Trying out a more delicate touch today on a water-colour coastal scene, starting off with some wax resist grasses to lighten the overall effect – I’m quite happy with the general feel of it now it’s dried, it’s certainly not nearly as ‘heavy’ a covering of pigment on paper as I’ve been painting with recently so it feels a little bit pale and insipid… But then again, maybe that weathered washed-out-ness is perfectly appropriate for a soft sea-scape?

Word of the Day: Coastal

Things I’m Learning

Things I’ve learned about painting over the last couple of weeks include:

  • I like painting mainly landscapes and flowers so far
  • I like impressionistic rather than realistic paintings
  • I like to paint recognisable subjects, however loosely interpreted
  • I like some things about watercolour paints, but not everything
  • I like some things about gouache paints, but not everything
  • I like to use strong vibrant colours sometimes, and soft translucent colours at other times 🙂

Weekly Prompts: Review

Back to the Drawing Board

Since I started painting again a couple of weeks ago I’ve been playing around with using different types of paint and different brushes and different styles of painting, and I’m really having a lot of fun with it all – I’ve not been bored once! I’ve been exploring and experimenting and taking risks and making mistakes and learning from the whole process, in the hope of finding out what my preferred style might be nowadays?

I’ve tried a couple of things that I now know are definitely not going to be ‘me’ at all – in particular I painted this simplified, stylised seascape in gouache, trying to recreate something similar to the flat printed solid blocks of colour on old seaside travel posters, but I wasn’t comfortable painting it, and I really don’t like the end result so won’t be repeating that particular experiment any time soon.

It’s really hard to get the paint consistency right so the colour always looks flat and not streaky, and of course the outlines have to be sharp and crisp, which isn’t as easy as it looks. As a result, instead of looking smart and sophisticated, this painting looks more like something a child did in art class at school. So it’s back to the drawing board for me on this one, but at least I’ve learned from the experience…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Board/ Bored

Watercolour and Gouache

This landscape started off OK with a sky I was happy with, and the distant background was looking reasonable enough too but I got myself into a real mess with the sandy, sea-grassy foreground – with such translucent watercolour paint it had no real depth at all and just looked all ‘wrong’, and I was so disappointed with how it turned out.

So rather than give up I let it dry completely, then re-worked the foreground using gouache instead of watercolour, as it has a solid opacity that allows me to be able to cover up any underlying mistakes – not completely, but enough to save the painting from being the total disaster it was without it. Ideally I wouldn’t have wanted it to be so heavily painted but needs must – and at least I tried to do something with it!

Surprisingly it not only worked quite well as a rescue fix, but I think using both types of paint on the same painting might be something I try deliberately next time… 🙂