Work in Progress: “A Blue Day in May” Studio Watercolour Sketch

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Out at the lighthouse on Saturday afternoon everything was blue except for the clouds: blue sky, blue sea and blue islands. The view from this most westerly point on the British mainland is expansive; the weather was fine but rather hazy, and at times white or even grey clouds blocked the sun, but the scene remained strikingly blue though the hues shifted as the clouds passed by. As the wind was too cold to remain on the rocks long enough to make a proper sketch, I took a set of photos to work from and started that evening on a studio sketch, while the scene was fresh in my memory. Stage 2 of the work is above, stage 1 (still wet and so slightly buckled) is below. This painting needs to remain light and airy, so another couple of short sessions should be all that’s needed to finish the sea and add the islands on the horizon. (The top and right-hand borders are handy for testing but will be cropped from the final painting.) Although this paper has its merits, the grain does not run in an appropriate way for the artist to be able to exploit the texture for the sea in the way I would like. Possibly I should have turned the block through 90 degrees before I started, but it’s too late to think of that now 😀

Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolours on Arches Aquarelle cold pressed 140lb (300gsm) paper, in a very limited colour palette using Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Blue Dark and French Ultramarine, with a little Paynes Grey and a touch of Scarlet Lake for mixing shades of blue and greys. These are mainly non-staining and more or less granulating colours, and although these “traditional” blues can’t really be beaten for purity and quality of colour, they are a wee bit tricky to handle. Winsor and Newton seem to be putting too much gum arabic in their cobalt blues, at least in the tubes, which makes them even harder to control; it may be time to try a different brand with a slightly different formula…

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Clouds Descend on Ben Hiant at Sundown: Watercolour Studio Sketch

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A “studio sketch” from my own photographs and memory of the scene, primarily for reproduction on greetings cards and postcards.

As the sun sank down behind Ben Hiant on a cool summer evening and the shadows deepened, the cloud descended, spreading white mists which seeped along the ridges, illuminated by the sun behind. The Isle of Coll lies low under cloud on the horizon, with the northern tip of the Isle of Mull just visible on the left.

Winsor and Newton Artists’ Watercolour paints on Fabriano Artistico NOT paper.

This painting  © 2018 Jenny Chapman, MacAvon Media

Work in Progress: Clouds descend on Ben Hiant at sundown (watercolour sketch)

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Work in progress: Clouds descend on Ben Hiant at sundown
Watercolour sketch, stage 1

9th May 2018

(Scottish Highlands artist’s studio series, no.3)

Stage 1 of a quick, wet-in-wet landscape sketch to loosen up a wee bit after the fiddly and protratcted work on the orca painting. Something like this only takes a couple of sessions to complete, at most, whereas a detailed wildlife image can take a couple of weeks… Of course it doesn’t always come out well enough to use – that’s the downside…

This one needs a fair bit of correcting yet, as well as the final details on the land masses.

Using NOT paper this time (Fabriano Artistico) for the slight grain and it’s amazing tolerance of continual lifting colour back off the paper… Very different from the hot pressed paper (also Fabriano Artistico) I normally use for wildlife drawings. However, it’s not so tolerant of unintentional finger nail scratches, I discovered to my regret 😞

Leaping Orca: Watercolour Painting

Leaping Orca (orcinus orca), 8th April 2018

Despite the misleading popular name “killer whale”, the orca is actually the largest member of the dolphin family. Orcas are quite often seen in the Hebridean waters off the west coast of
Scotland, and more frequently off the north coast and around the islands of Orkney.

The art work is finished, but the masking or extension of the edges for reproduction in different formats is not yet finally resolved, as always…

Original art work created with Winsor and Newton professional water colour paints, supplemented with body colour (white gouache), Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer
watercolour pencils and Caran d’Ache Luminance pencils, on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper.

This image and some others are available on products in my Redbubble shop.

All illustration work © Jenny Chapman, MacAvon Media

This painting ©2018

Leaping Orca: Work in Progress 2

Work in progress: Leaping Orca

5th April 2018

(Scottish Highlands artist’s studio series, no.2)

Things tend to get a wee bit messy as work advances, especially for a subject as dynamic as this one 😀

Compare with the relatively calm earlier stage of this work…

Note to budding artists: this is no way to treat your paintbrushes, unless you can afford to buy new ones frequently…

And there is still plenty more work needed – I underestimated the time it would take to finish this painting.

The final illustration will be posted soon… I hope!

Old Eachann: Illustration

Another of the illustrations from Algys second book, The Tree with a Golden Heart.

This art work was created with a range of media. The heron was drawn with Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, and the background was created using a combination of watercolour, digital painting in many layers, and digital drawing.

This image is available on a range of products in my Redbubble shop

“Old Eachann” is also available as hand mounted giclée prints and on greetings cards – more about this soon, but please contact me if you’re interested 🙂

All illustration work © Jenny Chapman, MacAvon Media

This illustration ©  2016

Young Floraidh: Watercolour Painting

Young Floraidh is a young bunny rabbit who features in my series of children’s books Tales from the Adventures of Algy. This painting was created as an illustration for Algy’s third book The Magical Midwinter Star, inspired by a real and very sweet young bunny who visited my garden a few years ago.

Original art work created with Faber Castell Albrecht Dürer watercolour pencils and Winsor and Newton professional water colour sticks on Fabriano Artistico HP watercolour paper. The actual size of the art work is a wee bit smaller than A4.

This image is available on a range of products in my Redbubble shop.

“Young Floraidh” is also available as hand mounted giclée prints and greetings cards. I will be making these available to buy direct from me online very soon. Please contact me for further information.

All illustration work © Jenny Chapman, MacAvon Media

This painting © 2016

Leaping Orca: Work in Progress 1

Work in progress: Leaping Orca

25th March 2018

(Scottish Highlands artist’s studio series, no.1)

The early stages of a new watercolour painting, intended primarily for reproduction on greetings cards, posters and prints. At least another two sessions to do on this one before the final scan and preparation for print – needs plenty more work on the spray, then final drawing on the orca itself.