Boats with direct watercolourPosted: June 7, 2019
I haven’t had much time for plein air painting these days so I’m feeling a bit rusty. Today’s outing resulted in two paintings, one that ended up in the recycling bin and this one.
The first try was too literal. I spent time on the drawing but the painting lost its freshness. This often happens when I haven’t painted in a while. I used too many colours, got detailed way too early and lost my way multiple times.
For the second attempt, I stowed away my pencil and aimed to capture the same scene in a more concise and simplified way using direct watercolour. I haven’t had a chance to participate in the #30x30DirectWatercolour2019 challenge that’s going on right now, but I’ve been avidly following the work of organizers Suhita, Uma and Marc on various social media platforms.
So what does direct watercolour mean? It means no preliminary drawing, no pen or pencil, just pick up a brush and go. In some cases people use the brush to draw, but I just painted shapes with a big flat brush.
A sailing lesson was about to start so mixed up some blue paint and started by painting the sky shape around the while sail. I brought that big blue sky right down to the tops of the boats, and then I painted another big blue shape for the water below the boats. After that it was a matter of adding in all the details of the boats and their reflections, and then the vertical masts. I was aiming to capture the essence of a marina on a bright day.
Because I was painting the scene a second time, I was already familiar with the shapes and could take some liberties with them. Of course a pencil drawing might have resulted in a more interesting design. The sailboat that I painted so boldly sailed away just minutes after I painted it, and no doubt the whole design of this might have been more interesting if the white of the sail was reflected in the water, but hey, that’s direct painting.