With the weather starting to improve, I have been eager to get outside and paint on location. The last couple of weeks I have been sketching and painting in Lynn Valley, North Vancouver. It’s still cold but I have managed to paint a few nice creek studies. I find with the cold it is easier to finish these painting studies in my studio where I can control the drying process.
Sometimes I find that my paintings come together without any fuss but the three paintings I did were all painted twice and one three times. At the end of the day it is just paint and paper and I feel this approach will help me to improve by not being so invested in the outcome. I am trying to focus on direct painting as opposed to glazing. By painting the right colour and value with one layer of paint I am more likely to keep the glow from the white paper shining through, which to me is the most attractive quality of watercolour.
After making a list of all the things I can do to get better as a watercolour painter, the practise that will make the greatest difference is to paint and draw every day.
That being said, following a detailed plan and showing up in the studio on time in the morning is a great start. Some of the items on my list for 2015 include:
- 100 day painting challenge
- Paint on location at least once per week
- Paint with a 1 hour time limit (on location)
- Paint direct with no underlying drawing
The list I made is long but for now you can see where I am going with this. I will close today with a sketch I painted yesterday from my photo archives of a trip to India. A year after the trip I am just now starting to process the images and thoughts. This watercolour is the view from Agra Fort and the banks of the Yamuna River looking towards the Taj Mahal.
The title of my blog “The Paddle And The Paintbrush” is a reference to the adventure
spirit that was instilled in me from a young age. Along with painting in watercolour, I spent many summers working as a white water rafting guide in Western Canada. The picture above shows me guiding in Bow Canyon, on the Bow River in Alberta.
It’s been a few years since I hung up my paddle as it relates to river guiding but the spirit of adventure, exploring and travel lives on. My watercolour paintings and sketches are often scenes of Canadian wilderness, however I also love to paint my travel experiences and adventures world wide. What I hope to share with people is the beauty I see along the way with a special emphasis on Canada.
I grew up with a fascination and respect for a group of Canadian painters called the Group of Seven. They painted Canada in a style that show cased Canada as a rugged land of lakes, rivers, mountains and forest. This is a big part of what Canada still is and I would like to be a part of that tradition of painting this great land.
The idea behind my blog is to share with you my journey of painting in watercolour. When I couple this idea with my love of travel, hiking and fascinating places, I feel their is no end to this adventure. I would like to think that there is value in sharing thoughts and experiences and so I welcome your comments.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sketching at Lake McArthur, Yoho National Park,BC