I have been asked on a couple of occasions to show my work space. As I am still working on the snow scene, this seems like a good opportunity.
As you can see, it is rather cramped. We live in a Victorian cottage, built 1889, which is charming but not intended for 21st century living. There is an extension on the back, built around 1980, but that extended the ground floor only, so the kitchen is a good size which is the main thing, but sometimes could do with more space upstairs. But it is enough
This is really the third bedroom which we don’t need so converted to an office. Computer, books and files are all here, and I also paint here. I recommend an easel with a drawer, so that you can get the colours you need, ready to use. Nothing worse than rummaging through boxes looking for a colour with the paint drying on the paper.
I am rather particular when it comes to lighting too. I buy from a company called Serious Readers who specialise in lighting for people who do close work, and also for people with less than perfect sight. Some of their lights emulate daylight. The light that I use is brilliant but warm, which I prefer to daylight. As you can see, my window space is small and faces north. My neighbour’s hedge does not help!! The bulbs are low-energy despite their brilliance, and long-lasting, 25,000 hours as I remember. Mine is floor-standing but they do table models. Their web site http://www.seriousreaders.com will tell you anything you need to know
You can just about make out where I have laid out my favourite brushes on the side, and also my old white dinner plate which I use for mixing and which I prefer to a pallette. Brushes that I use all the time are the large hake for overall washes,and a range of squirrel brushes which are a joy to use, as they hold so much water that you can paint on and on. Also they will come to a point despite their size, so you can use them for detailing too. I do also have a couple of detail brushes as well, and a square edged brush for straight lines
I don’t tend to go in for very fine detailing even with architecture, probably because I can’t but do admire people who can. My excuse is, that I have a tremor in my hands which is not to worry about, just a nuisance. I think it must be genetic, as my father who is close to 100 years old, writes like a lie detector, so that will be me trying to paint one day, I guess. Perhaps I will do Jackson Pollock look-a-likes instead
Just some of my reference books.
These books are like recipe books for artists, and just as well thumbed. Many of them are American, really excellent, from whom I have learned a lot, and maybe I will do a post on one or two in the future. Some of their methods are really interesting, especially when portraying texture in watercolour. Next are my favourite two authors, both British, coming up.
David Curtis produces mouth-watering watercolours in gentle, gentle colours that somehow lift off the page. I can never get anywhere near his work. The other painter, whose work I often refer back too is, Rowland Hilder, now sadly deceased. He is known for winter landscape, especially in his native Kent, in south-east England. The landscape is fairly flat there, so big threatening skies are a speciality of his, some of which I have attempted, sometimes successfully I am pleased to say. He also did a lot of seascape especially around the Thames estuary, as he was also a sailor, and spent a lot of time in and around east-coast harbours
That pretty well completes my article on my work space. If anything I suppose, it does show that you can work in a confined space with just the basic tools. If you need to know anything else about equipment, if I can help then I will