Tag Archives: paintings

Watercolour Tips

Favourite Artists

Watercolour Artists

I’m currently running a 6 week watercolour painting course at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland. One of my top Watercolour Tips is to study the work of some of the great watercolourists.

There are a some terrific books available which are a “must buy” for anyone wishing to develop their watercolour skills.

Starting with Watercolour by Rowland Hilder is the first book on painting that I really took note of. Not only does it contain some great watercolour advice but also some good, simple examples of basic drawing principles like perspective, vanishing points and eye levels.

Another great book by Rowland Hilder is Painting Landscapes in Watercolour. It has a good number of paintings reproduced in stages from the start to completion. This is really helpful if you want to have a go at copying them. Copying paintings is a discipline which I totally endorse as part of the learning process.

One of the finest watercolorists is the American Winslow Homer. His watercolours are breathtakingly beautiful. A book by Helen A. Cooper on his watercolours will be a constant inspiration to anyone who loves this medium.

In June I saw a couple of brilliant exhibitions of Edward Seago paintings in London. One of the exhibitions at the Portland Gallery was to coincide with a new book on Edward Seago by James Russell. It’s certainly worth getting if you like his work. Another book to add to your Christmas list (which contains some larger plates of Seago watercolours) is Edward Seago by Ron Ranson.

For more Watercolour Tips you need look no further than John Singer Sargent. The recent book John Singer Sargent Watercolours which was launched in conjunction with a major exhibition of his watercolours in New York and Boston in 2013 is another inspirational book.

There are many other books on the market which I could recommend. These however, are amongst my favourites.

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

 

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Sargent Studies – 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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“It’s a Big River” Exhibition

Watercolour of the Tyne

North Shields, Fading Light

“It’s a Big River” is an exhibition at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland which is one of many events taking place throughout June across the region for The Festival of the North East.

Over the last few months I’ve been painting various scenes of life on the River Tyne, from where the North Tyne and the South Tyne meet at Warden to North Shields. The painting above titled “North Shields, Fading Light”, is one of several original watercolours on view until 29th June. Prints also available.

 

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Paintings of Durham

Watercolour of Saddler Street, Durham

Saddler Street in the Snow

On the 6th June I will be exhibiting a number of paintings at Durham School for a wine and art evening in conjunction with St James Wealth Management. Several new paintings of Durham will be on display including this one of Saddler Street in Winter.

The painting was started at a watercolour demonstration that I was doing on Wednesday evening for Hartlepool Art Club where the theme was cityscapes. The demonstration was recorded so I hope to have the tape uploaded on to You Tube in a few weeks time.

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Spring Exhibition 2013

Watercolour of my grandchildren

Looking for Crabs & Collecting Shells

My Spring Exhibition starts Saturday 13th April at my Studio & Gallery in Ponteland and finishes Sunday 28th April. The exhibition will feature a number of new figurative paintings including these two new original watercolours of my grandchildren Ewan and Anya.

Ewan can be seen “Looking for Crabs” and Anya is “Collecting Shells”. The paintings carry an optimistic hope for some brighter, sunnier weather after what seems to have been one of the darkest, coldest, wettest and longest winters that I can remember for some time.

If you would like to receive an invitation to the preview weekend then please contact me.

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Paintings of Kuwait

Mubarakiyya Souk

Entrance to Mubarakiyya Souk, Kuwait

In the late spring of 2009 I had an exhibition of my watercolour paintings in a gallery in Kuwait. I travelled to Kuwait in the January to do some sketchbook studies around the city and found myself fascinated by the old Mubarakiyya Souk. I made a number of on the spot sketchbook studies which you can see in another blog post.

I used these studies to do two studio paintings. A smaller A4 watercolour which is sold and this larger 21″ x 14″ original painting which has been published as a limited edition print.

You can see from the earlier blog post that I’ve used the same simple palate as the sketchbook studies, Raw Sienna, Cadmium Red, Vandyke Brown and Payne’s Grey for virtually all of the painting which is currently on view at my Studio and Gallery in Ponteland.

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Longsands Beach, Tynemouth

Longsands Beach, Tynemouth Sketchbook Study on Location

Longsands Beach, Tynemouth Sketchbook Study

On Monday I sold one of my original watercolours painted on location of a beach scene. It was a timely reminder of how much I do enjoy painting “plein air” and the fun I have capturing the natural elements of sky, sea and land. Longsands Beach, Tynemouth provides great subject matter to paint on the spot.

Monday the 3rd September 2012 was a glorious day so we decided to spend the day at Longsands Beach at Tynemouth with the family. Inspired by the earlier sale of the beach scene, I decided to take my watercolours and made a couple of sketchbook studies of folk enjoying the weather which I may well work up into larger paintings.

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Painting of Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle Painting

Painting of Dunstanburgh Castle

I don’t need much of an excuse to paint Dunstanburgh Castle. Northumberland’s Castles are well photographed and painted by amateurs and professionals alike. I’ve often been commissioned to do paintings of castles and I have to say, it’s always a delight. One such project came in 2003 when I was commissioned to do around a dozen large watercolours of the regions castles for a major North East Company for their boardrooms. Dunstanburgh Castle was one of the chosen paintings and I decided to paint it on a summer evening just as the sun was beginning to dip below the horizon.

I recently went back to the reference I gathered on that evening to do a watercolour demonstration for a painting class. They asked me to show them how to tackle a seascape in watercolour. The painting above is the result. I’ve painted a similar version of the scene which is available as a limited edition print.

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Painting of the Pantheon

Painting of the Pantheon

Watercolour of the Pantheon

This new original watercolour of the Pantheon in Rome forms part of my forthcoming exhibition at the Lit and Phil Library starting 6th July. The Pantheon is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Rome and was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa about the time of the Bible’s Book of Acts. Agrippa’s inscription can be seen on the portico which always reminds me of Acts chapters 25-26 where the Apostle Paul is brought before King Agrippa to be tried. So convincing was Paul’s witness of Jesus Christ that even Agrippa said to Paul “You almost persuade me to become Christian”. Chapter 26 verse 28.

I’ve been to Rome a couple of times since my first visit back in 1998 as part of the process of getting reference for my paintings of Italy. Each time I’ve managed to paint a number of watercolours on location. In this particular 14″ x 10″ I’ve tried to retain the freshness of those painted plein air, keeping the brush marks direct and relatively loose compared to my usual studio paintings.

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Food Paintings

Chillies Painting for Print

Chillies Painting

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working on some Food Paintings for an interior design company who are doing a re-furbishment for a North East Chinese restaurant. There are 9 Food Paintings required which include various ingredients for the Chinese meals. I’ve chosen to work from life as much as is realistically possible and I’m keeping the paintings small, working in watercolour. They will be reproduced as giclee prints to the bespoke size required.

As part of the service, I will also be working with the interior designer and the restaurant owner to ensure that the prints are framed to match the paintings and the new decor of the restaurant. The original paintings will be available to see on www.alanreed.com once the project is completed. They would actually make attractive paintings for one’s kitchen.

To see the range of frames and mounts that I have available, please visit the Studio & Gallery in Ponteland.

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