A Daily Sketch

Watercolour of Temple of Aphaea, Aegina

Temple of Aphaea, Aegina

In 1999 we had a week on the Greek Island of Aegina. Whilst exploring the island I came across the ruined Temple of Aphaea and made some studies.

Last weekend I was doing a watercolour demonstration for a local art club. As part of my demonstration, I started a small watercolour on a 14″ x 10″ Arches watercolour block based on the reference I gathered on that trip.

Notice also the smaller study made in the moleskine sketchbook that was painted directly onto the paper without any pencil preparation.

Some of the links on this post are affiliate links to products which I personally use available from Amazon. If you click on the links and buy any of these products then I will receive a small percentage of the sale from Amazon at no extra cost to yourself.

 

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A Daily Sketch

Sketchbook Study of Olive Trees in Italy

Sketchbook Study of Olive Trees

Several years ago I was commissioned to paint a client’s property in Italy. As part of the research for the commission, I made some studies in my leather-bound sketchbook of the olive grove that surrounded their house in Umbria.

It was a friends 60th birthday recently so I painted her a handmade card of the scene based on the location watercolour.

To find out more about commissioning handmade cards of special places for a loved one go to the commissions page on my website.

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Spring Exhibition

Ponte Vecchio Painting of Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Firenze

Florence is possibly my favourite Italian city. I’ve been fortunate to travel there several time since my first visit back in 1998 when I sat on one of its bridges under the warm autumnal sun and painted a watercolour of Ponte Vecchio in an Arches Watercolour Block.

During my last visit there in 2011 I did a small sketchbook study of Ponte Vecchio from Piazza Michelangelo, a view which I’ve also reproduced as a very popular limited edition print.

This new original watercolour takes elements from the sketchbook study which I painted on location to depict the famous bridge stretching over the River Arno and the surrounding buildings.

I’ve also made this painting available as a small limited edition print.

Both the print and the original can be seen at my Spring Exhibition at the Studio & Gallery, Ponteland.

Some of the links on this post are affiliate links to products which I personally use available from Amazon. If you click on the links and buy any of these products then I will receive a small percentage of the sale from Amazon at no extra cost to yourself.

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Paintings of Oman

Last Light, Ruwi, Oman Painting

Last Light, Ruwi, Oman  

This studio watercolour of Ruwi in Oman is the result of spending many hours making sketchbook studies on location in Oman. I’ve often risen when it was still dark to make sure I was in the right spot to capture the early morning light, however on this occasion it was a case of being in the right place to record the last throws of the middle eastern sunlight catching the distant hills.

The district of Ruwi can be seen nestling in the surrounding foothills with its white architecture coated in cool shadows. I’ve used a limited palate of Winsor and Newton watercolours on a very rough handmade paper to create a distinct contrast between the dark purple, craggy hills and the lighter crisp edges of the buildings.

The links on this post are affiliate links to products which I personally use. If you click on the links and buy any of these products then I will receive a small percentage of the sale from Amazon at no extra cost to yourself.

The original watercolour can be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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A Daily Sketch

Gouache Sketch

Gouache Sketch of “Old Man with a Dark Mantle”

For the last few weeks I have been continuing with my daily discipline of a sketch a day. I try to do this for 20 minutes to an hour, 5 or 6 days a week, usually in my Moleskine Sketchbook. 

Most of my studies have been made with a charcoal pencil, however today I decided to do a gouache rendition of John Singer Sargent’s oil sketch of “Old Man with a Dark Mantle”. Although I would prefer to paint this in oils, the advantage of using gouache paint is that it’s quick drying.

I’ve photographed the palate, brushes and Winsor and Newton paints, together with the reference book I’ve used, John Singer Sargent Figures and Landscapes, 1883-1899 by Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray.

Richard Ormond and Elaine Kilmurray have written some brilliant books on Sargent’s paintings which give a fascinating insight into his work.

To follow my daily sketches on twitter, go to @adailysketch

The links on this post are affiliate links to products which I personally use. If you click on the links and buy any of these products then I will receive a small percentage of the sale from Amazon at no extra cost to yourself.

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Sketch of the Day

Charcoal Sketches

Studies of John Singer Sargent Drawings

Every so often I like to set some kind of painting/drawing discipline to keep on top of my game. Good habits are hard to form and easy to break and sadly the converse of that statement is also true!

I tend to find that my regular sketching habit falls by the wayside, particularly if I’m busy with commissions or working towards an exhibition. However, despite being very busy at the moment working on a series of portraits in oils of City Church, Newcastle members, I’ve decide to set myself the goal of doing some kind of sketchbook study every day for about 10-30 minutes.

The two charcoal sketches above were drawn in my Moleskine Sketchbook and are studies of John Singer Sargent’s Portrait drawings. Making studies of this kind is a great way to develop your own drawing technique, particularly if you are unable to find a willing model to sit for you.

To see my daily (hopefully) sketches, you can follow my twitter accounts @artistalanreed and @adailysketch

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Sketch of the Day

 

Burnham Overy Mill, Norfolk

Burnham Overy Mill

 

I’ve had a couple of very enjoyable trips to Norfolk with my family where I was able to produce a range of watercolours painted on location.

Some were on watercolour blocks and others, like this one of Burnham Overy Mill were painted directly into my leather bound sketchbooks.

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Grey Street, Spring

Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne Spring

Grey Street, Spring

It’s 22 years since I first painted this amazing view of Newcastle’s Grey Street. Over the years I’ve captured it in all the seasons.

One of the versions was painted on a Saturday morning and in 2011 was featured on BBC’s “Show me the Monet”.

I’ve just completed this new original watercolour of “Grey Street, Spring” which is going to be on show at my “Spring” exhibition at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland starting Saturday 8th March.

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Painting of the Roman Baths

Watercolour Painting Roman Baths, Reflections

Roman Baths, Reflections

Bath is a stunningly beautiful city which boasts some of the finest Georgian architecture in the country. In 2010 and 2011 I entered the Bath Prize with a number of original watercolours of Bath. I came runner up in 2010 with my painting of the Royal Crescent and won the Circus Prize in 2011. Also in 2011 my painting Pump Room in the Snow was Highly Commended. One of my favourite subject though which I have painted several times on location was the Roman Baths. This particular scene depicts these ancient waters bathed in the early evening torchlight with the architecture reflected in the pool that dates back almost 2000 years. The original watercolour can be seen at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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John Singer Sargent Watercolours

Sargent Book

John Singer Sargent Watercolour Book

One of my Christmas presents from 2013 was this lovely book on John Singer Sargent’s Watercolours. The book was published to celebrate a wonderful exhibition of one of America’s finest artists at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston over the last few months.

John Singer Sargent Watercolours is available from Amazon. It contains 175 colour illustrations tracing Sargent’s painting trips across Europe and the Middle East as he explored the themes and subjects that truly interested him and recorded them with such skill in watercolour.

The book contains some very informative biographical essays and fascinating studies into his watercolour technique which any student of this most difficult of mediums will find both insightful and inspirational.

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