Yesterday Urban Sketchers London ran a ‘colour challenge’ art activity which I had devised. As a consequence of the pandemic, the group cannot meet and sketch. So this was an activity for people to do at home but post on line. The task was to choose a subject each individual could sketch safely, such as a view from a window, balcony or garden, prepare three different coloured backgrounds in any chosen medium, and paint or draw quick colour studies in different colour palettes. The colours were not intended to be realistic representations of the colour of the scene, but to give a different mood or effect. As you can see above, I painted in my garden a group of pots and a ceramic sculpture, with studies based on quinacridone gold, terracotta, and cobalt blue. Here, below, are the three colour sketches:
I have been looking at the work of the French watercolourist, Marc Folly. His style combines very skilled drawings, often of dramatically lit interiors, with very free use of watercolour. The first two paintings of mine here are based on a couple of his works, although obviously lacking his skill.
I then experimented with two paintings based on a charcoal drawing of an arboretum I did last year.
I have been continuing my project to paint memories of walking in the Peak District. Earlier this week I got out my art kit, and a photograph I had taken in January near Stanage Edge. I aimed to experiment with a bolder style, and some less familiar colours, including Lunar Blue from Daniel Smith (which had been a free sample). On rough watercolour paper and working very wet, this produced a high level of granulation. Now, an ambiguous distant image I like, but this was a bit much. There was a rocky outcrop in the foreground and I struggled to indicate this while keeping the distant view as the main focal point.
In another attempt, I gave more attention to a group of trees on the skyline, but failed to make them look austere enough for winter trees.
Today, I tackled this subject again, with a more familiar approach, colour mixing, careful choice of brushes, and the result is below. “Moving out of your comfort zone” is one of the clichés of art. Painting within your comfort zone is pretty hard, actually.