Bosham Creek, the finished painting

Bosham Creek

This is the finished painting, which I happen to like, although I will admit to one or two scary moments

I have managed to keep to a rather limited palette. Cadmium Yellow which I mentioned before and Ultramarine Violet, together with Transparent Brown which I softened with Violet. This is still my favourite shadow colour. I used Vermilion for some distant red clouds behind the trees, and also for the red paint along the hull of the hulk on the beach.

After getting the sky about right or so I thought, as the dark clouds coming in from the sea might have been darker, I put in the distant buildings along the shore line of Bosham village. The steeple of the Saxon church, so well-known as to need little introduction, is probably the only building that needs to be recognisable, although I have done my best with the others, plunged in shadow as they are.

To the right are two beached boats, one clinker built and the other which looks as though made of fibre-glass, so not the easiest to convey in watercolour. The dunes with some coarse grass rise in front of them, and make a convenient break

The beached hulk is one of those things that are fun to paint. So many details and textures with rusting metal and flaking paintwork on the timber. I mentioned that someone had daubed white paint on the prow, which I could have left off but decided to include. I daubed masking fluid on and then overpainted several times with the dark brown mix. When the masking is removed, then that should look like white paint over rough brown planking. That was the plan. I hope it has worked.

The real test of course is getting the light right and the highlights in the right place. I hope I have done that. The camera again has bleached out the colours, try as I might, so in reality the shadows are much deeper, and appear more convincing. Oh well, in the scheme of things, not the worst problem one could have.


Going back to the Bosham Painting

Bosham Underpainting

We are going back now to before the last two commissions, which I was pleased to take on, challenging though the last one was. I still await the final judgement from the client on that one, as she comes back from holiday on the 16th only, so fingers crossed under the table on that one.

I had started this painting of Bosham Creek, or rather drawing, with just the main elements in place.

So far I have added two dilute coats of watercolour across the page. Violet running into yellow, mostly with a watery coat of vermilion over the whole thing when bone dry. I dashed some pure yellow pigment into the area where I think the sun is setting. In the photograph this yellow shrieks at you. In reality it doesn’t. I am often intrigued how the camera sometimes disagrees with the human eye. Possibly one of those paintings which won’t sell on the internet, alongside a few others.

The hulk on the beach, I am hoping will provide most of the interest. The detailing on this sort of subject is usually a lot of fun, and tends to draw the eye. I noticed in the photographic reference, that someone has daubed white paint along the prow. I have used masking fluid here in a dry-brush fashion. Going over this later with dark brown pigment, and then removing the masking, should leave the illusion of white painted roughly over dark brown. I hope that makes sense. We will see later if it works or not. I have done it successfully in the past, which is of course no guarantee of success in the future

Since taking this picture I have started to darken the clouds and will gradually go on, wet over dry until I like what I see, hopefully. That will be the judgement, not getting them too dark or yet too wishy-washy. We shall see, and much still to do.

Langstone Harbour: The Finished Painting

When I finished the last post, I was about to put in the background trees and then the shadows on the buildings themselves

The trees I painted with a fan brush with crinkly bristles. Wide brushes like these are useful, as they can be used to pick up two colours at once, in this case French Ultramarine and Light Red. I used Sepia as well, where I needed to create definition, along the side of white buildings for example.

Imagining a low, bright light coming from the right-hand side, I used a blue – grey wash to put in shadow on every left-hand surface of each building including shadows that would have been cast on the ground. On the mill tower, which is round obviously, and which in real life is black, I again wanted to create the effect of bright light striking the round surface.  To get this effect. I painted blue-black down the left side whilst down the right half I brushed clean water. Then I let them meet. They did the job for me, and obligingly dried as I wanted. Along the left-hand perimeter, I brushed a thin line of neat Indigo, which gave the look of deep shadow on the far left.

Probably best to look at the image at this stage.

Langstone Harbour & Mill

Sadly, the camera leeches out some of the colour no matter how many different lights I use for the photography. The colours are subtle, anyway, so notices on the jpeg, whereas the painting itself works perfectly.

As I said, when I started out, I was going to attempt the style of Rowland Hilder, the famous watercolourist. I have used his colours, but I think my own style has crept through. Nevertheless, I am still happy enough with the finished painting

So let’s talk through the detailing

On the left-hand building, I have defined the window recesses with Indigo, as well as the guttering and down-pipe, and the roof line with Sepia

On the centre building, again I defined the roof-line and painted a rickety fence in front of the sluice gate. I may have mentioned earlier, that this was a tide mill as well as a windmill, so seawater flowing through this tunnel would have powered grinding machinery somewhere. I can’t tell you more than that, I’m afraid, as these buildings were derelict when I was a boy in the 1950’s, and had been for many years, so nobody knew their history. Thankfully, they were restored for residential use.

The right-hand building took more work, as the space underneath where the house is standing on brick stilts, is very dark, and took various coats, even using some black eventually. Window recesses were defined as was the balcony.

It just left the masking fluid to be removed, and to paint in the posts and flag, which was a splendid opportunity to use Cadmium Red, nice and bright to guide the eye into the picture. The gulls were tinged with grey under the wings and black at the tips. We were done!

I hope that you enjoyed this long journey. Thank you once again,  for reading my blog