Sunday, 8 February 2015

Geoff Rowswell - watercolour landscape

The finished painting
Geoff Rowswell stepped in at very short notice for this demonstration and we're glad he did because this was an excellent demonstration of watercolour painting which he followed up with a lively question and answer session. He also showed us some of the his work that he currently has on show in his gallery, which is over the Farrow & Ball shop in Ledbury.

Geoff encouraged us toward a looser style and the omission of too much detail.

Two things particularly impressed me with the demonstration were: [1] the use of a very limited palette (I think he used only Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber); [2] the light that seems to shine out of this picture.

Geoff had done his drawing in advance and had applied masking fluid to the trunks of the foreground birches. The images that follow show the progress of the painting.

Masking fluid has been applied to tree trunks

A wash of Ultramarine is added
and some pigment lifted out to create a light
area in the centre

We begin to see the river banks

Yes, this is upside down
It's easier to get a straight line
where the sky meets the far bank

Ultramarine is darkened with Burnt Sienna
and washed in to indicate distant trees

More trees have appeared. Trunks on these distant trees
are indicated using the rounded edge of a credit card.

Reflections begin to appear

Paint will run back into the scraped out trunks
and make them appear dark if done
when the paint is wet

Darker paint is added to the foreground banks
in a loose manner

Notice how the illusion of grass on the left bank
was created by the way the tree reflections
have been brought down towards the bank

The masking fluid has gone and some dark branches are
indicated using a rigger. Start from the trunk and reduce
the pressure as to make sure they taper towards the tips

Lighter colour is used to indicate branches at the far side of the trees
Finished picture 

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