Norway Watercolour Pen

Painting, pen, Step-by-Step, watercolour

Back at the end of May last year, I started this watercolour painting based on a photo I took from Norway:

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I was in a bit of an art-funk, not knowing where to go with my work. Whenever I get into that kind of mood I like to go back to old projects and try taking them in a new direction. For my friend’s birthday I worked into a watercolour painting with pens to create this elephant piece for her:

(You can see the step-by-step in this post.)

I was happy with the result so decided to go back into my Arctic scene and inject some new life into it.

I started by staying as true to the original photo as possible and used the tones of the sky as a guide of where to add pen and what colour to add. After initially plotting out the pen work, I started following the tones of the watercolour paint itself, go back and forth between the paint and the photo.

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I really wasn’t sure how to balance out the sky, the ground and the silhouette, but I think adding a little bit of colour here and there helped get the overall feel that I wanted. A big part of that trip for me was FINALLY getting to see the Northern Lights so I think that had an influence too. I’m not sure if it’s finished, but I think this is all I can achieve right now.

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I would love to know what thoughts anyone has. I’m working on another piece that’s much more structured (the interior of a grand cathedral) and it’s proving to be much more difficult than this was which is not what I expected at all. I suppose today was just playing around, so there was no feeling of what it should look like at the end, whereas I started the other piece with a relatively fixed idea. Just goes to show you should never stop playing I guess!

Julia

P.S: Hope you’re all enjoying the first bit of Spring! I’m hoping to be able to start painting outside again soon.