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.

Watercolour Norway Scene

Painting, watercolour

I’m in this lovely position of having started so many projects, that I have more art work than posts. So, I thought I’d update on here with what I worked on yesterday after work.

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I had no white acrylic, and no linseed oil, so it was a turn for watercolours. They’re so difficult! How on Earth do you not make a colourful blob? This is not the final piece by any means, I’m just trying to get a sense of how to use them. They are so freeing, and I love the effect, but I think I need to work on layering the colour. Especially on shaded areas.

The original image is of a photo I took while in Norway. I went with a friend ona boat to the most northern parts of Norway back in March and it was an amazing experience. So, so beautiful. Here’s the original photo:

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I’ve felt so motivated yesterday. I want to paint all the time, but I’m also impatient to be better. There’s a verseĀ in a Kate Bush song sums it up (also no surprises that I’m using Kate Bush as a reference):

I want to be a lawyer
I want to be a scholar
But I really can’t be bothered
Ooh, just gimme it quick, gimme it, gimme gimme gimme gimme!

Anyway, time to start the day.