A Journey In Watercolour

One of my interests is Watercolour. I had a bit of a dabble in Watercolour back in 2010, however, I was steered towards Acrylic by my well-meaning Mother-In-Law (whom I get on very well with and we have the same sense of humour), who has painted in Acrylics/Oil for more than 40 years.

About 18 months ago I started using Watercolour Pencils and Aqua Wash Pens and this led me (almost 12 months ago) to purchasing a set of Cotman Watercolours (40 Half-Pans) but I was struggling to fit in one sketch a fortnight.

There are many reasons that I love the medium of Watercolour e.g. the transparency of the medium reminds me of Photographic Slides; it is unpredictable; no two images will be the same; it is quick to do a sketch on the run and it is so much fun.

I know I have much to learn and I know that the only way to improve is to practice more, so to this effect, last Australia Day, 26 January, I decided that I would attempt to do a Watercolour Sketch a day.

Thus far, I am 7 out of 7 and have included my first 7 attempts below.

For more inspiration, I’ve also joined the World Watercolor Group on Facebook that is run by Charlie O’Shields of Doodlewash fame. Over 25,000 Watercolour Artists are members of the Group.

There is much for me to learn and I am so looking forward to continuing this Watercolour Journey!

Written by David Johnson

2 February 2019

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Day 1 – “Gum Tree”
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Day 2 – “Viewpoint”
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Day 3 – “Channel”
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Day 4 – “Paradise”
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Day 5 – “Citiscape”
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Day 6 – “A Favourite Art Book”
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Day 7 – Reflective”

Walking Isn’t ‘Just Walking’…

During Summer in Sydney, Australia, it is always best to walk early. We are expecting another day of 38C/100F temperatures.

Today, I set off a bit later than usual, at 7.00am. It was 17C/63F when I commenced.

As mentioned in previous blogs, I really enjoy walking, not only from the fitness perspective, but also because I get a lot of ideas whilst walking e.g. today, in a 42 minute walk, I came up 8 ideas for articles for this blog, all jotted down via the Google Keep app. Sometimes I get business ideas, or ideas for images, poems and paintings. If they are not recorded by some means, they will be lost…

Sometimes on a walk, I will listen to the sounds of nature, other times a playlist or a podcast, depending on how I feel.

Today, I chose to listen to a podcast by Charlie O’Shields called ’Sketching Stuff.’ I have been following Charlie’s site, ‘Doodlewash’ for some time but only recently started listening to his podcast.

I would encourage you to listen to the podcast if you are in any way interested in getting into Art or indeed, have already started.

Today, I listened to episode #10 and it was informative, inspirational and entertaining. I will be listening to it again over the weekend. (See link below.)

To finish off the walk, I chose a Classical music playlist as it suited my mood.

Sometimes, I will snap some images with my iPhone on my rounds. I took some today but they will come to light in a different article as I seemed to be shooting a theme today. I also have a DSLR, however, if I took that with me, the walk would double or triple in time!

So you see, walking for me isn’t ‘just walking’… it’s also a way of feeding my creativity!

Written by David Johnson
12 January 2019

Snow Gum Love!

Earlier in the year, I started having fun painting my interpretation of ‘Snow Gums’ in Oils. The Snow Gum is a delightful tree that is native to sub-alpine and lowland habitats in Eastern Australia.

Why did I pick Snow Gums? I was looking for a theme, something that I could have fun with, something simplistic (or so I thought)! They are indeed a challenge.

The colours in real life are vivid and a delight to the eye, particularly in the late afternoon/early morning. My paintings only ‘scratch the surface’ in terms of the colour range that the actual trees have, in real life.

My interest, at present, lays more in painting the detail of the trees than the overall image.

On average, I only get to paint about 2-3 hours a week, though I am looking for ways to increase this. I only ever thought that I would love Photography this much. My love of Painting has now reached that same level.

I can see this series continuing, over time as there is much to explore.

Written by David Johnson
12 September 2018

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En Plein Air Attraction

Earlier in the year I purchased my first set of Watercolour Half-Pans and have been enjoying them immensely.

The Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolour set has 40 different colours with 5 spares and whilst there is a tremendous range of colours I have been reading where, as a beginner, working with a limited palette can teach me more about the mixing of colours.

At the recent Sydney Pen Show, I came across Sennelier Aquarelle la petite Watercolours, pictured below.

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Unfortunately, they had run out of them at the Show so a set had to be posted to me. They just turned up today, very nicely packaged with a bonus Honey-based Soap for cleaning brushes and a Thank You note. The Supplier was Calligraphy Supplies Australia.

All my Watercolour paintings have been thus far, indoors and lately, I am really looking forward to giving En Plein Air a try and having a smaller pallet would be beneficial I think.

The Journey of Discovery continues!
Written by
David Johnson
10 September 2018

Wollondilly Arts Group Inc Revisted

A little over 5 years ago, I was a member of Wollondilly Arts Group Inc. I moved away from the area but not far enough away that I couldn’t have stayed a member. Life sometimes happens, however, and at the time I had to let my membership lapse due to other commitments.
WAG started in 2004 and they are a creative group of Amateur and Professional Artists who get together on a monthly basis to create, share ideas and generally help and inspire each other in their artistic journeys.
There are a mixture of mediums being worked by WAG members e.g. Acrylic, Oil and Watercolour, Drawing, Paper-Making, Textile, Drawing, Sketching, Photography to name some.
Yesterday, I went back for the long-awaited visit to the monthly Creative Workshop I used to enjoy going to so much and wasn’t disappointed.
Although our artistic journeys are of an individual nature, many benefits can be gained from regularly mixing with other artists, and this is what I believe I have been missing out on over the past 5 years.
I have been slowly increasing the amount of time allocated to drawing and painting over those years but have been feeling something was missing.
Yesterday proved to me how much I need to be a member of WAG again. They are a friendly bunch of down-to-Earth creatives who are there to share their thoughts, tips and encourage each other.
In just being there I felt inspired. It also felt like I had come ‘home.’
In the next 2-3 years, we do intend to move back into the area/further away from Sydney as well.
I am excited to be rejoining Wollondilly Arts Group Inc and look forward to the many years of friendship, encouragement and inspiration that lie ahead.

 

Written by David Johnson
15 July 2018