Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Southwold #2 The lighthouse.

Southwold Lighthouse
watercolour on 350gsm 140lb paper
In this painting I continue the view of Southwold  - two paintings from one photograph, that's a first for me. If you look at the photograph below, you can see that this scene is contained in the vertical red rectangle. The stone house on right here is the edge of the stone house on the left in painting one (see previous blog). These unfortunately, are not a pair as the viewpoint in the first painting is much closer. The girl on right is the same girl as in the first painting, but I moved her further into the scene to aid composition,

Originally I started this painting at art class, but only managed to do the drawing and first washes in the sky and the lighthouse. The first blue sky wash turned out to be too pale, so (horror of horrors) I had to add another blue wash, which gave me great difficulty in blending in with existing clouds, but I think I managed to pull it off fairly seamlessly. Another thing that I have found difficulty with are window panes. In the past I would just do grey or dark washes, but when you study them, with windows you can often see curtains and nets behind them. In others you can see reflections - especially of the sky. Here I think I have gone some way to make them look like they have curtains, but the scale is too small for reflections.
Two paintings from one photo
I have never painted cars before either so this is another first. The lady on the right appears in the first painting, but here she is facing the right way this time, where last time I had to turn her round. The lighthouse required much more shading than I first thought, even though it is white. I had to go really dark to make it stand out against the cloudy sky.

I have learnt so much in this work about washes, shading, perspective, windows and now cars. But that doesn't mean that I am going to get it right next time though! I know it isn't perfect - the scale goes a little wrong in one place and my overall work needs a little more saturation with colour and I also need to work more on my figure work, but this is I feel (though typical of my style of painting) is up to a new level for me. But having said this, I know the next painting could knock me right back down again. Such is the life of an aspiring artist!


  1. Oh Frank, I SO relate to what you say about moving up a level only to fall right back down again! That has happened to me a lot (more so lately). But, on the up side, to be knocked back down must mean that you were up there in the first place - So with this in mind, the more falls means the more rises - right? I hope I'm making sense! Anyway, the painting - Right now, you are definitely 'up'!

  2. Ooh, I really really like this one! Especially the sky.

  3. The lighthouse is my favourite .... and with the pink building directly beneath, gives it a firm grounding - satisfying to the eye. :)

  4. Sandra - I like your logical way of looking at things, more optimistic than the saying 'when you get to the bottom, the only way is up'!

    Angela - thank you so much, I like doing skies because so long as you stick to the basic principal of getting lighter towards the horizon, you can make it up as you go along.

    Alice - you are the expert when it comes to colour complementing, I know nothing about that side of painting. My art tutor pointed out that the orangy red house on the right complimented the blue in the sky, but that was an accident on my part ;)

  5. Looks like I have missed quiet a lot on your blog.

    I loved the colors and freshness in this painting. And I think the sky is a happy accident. It looks great.

  6. Well Frank, I don't see any 'downs' ... you just seem to be going up, up, UP. I love this and I am so envious of your light, fresh colours. First class ... again!!

  7. Thanks for looking in and commenting Prabal. I love those 'happy accidents' that sneak up on you from time to time.

    John, watercolour painting is something of a roller-coaster, there's bound to be a 'down somewhere along the line! Thanks for commenting.

  8. Beautiful watercolour, very fresh and full of light.
    I think as artists we can always see other ways and better things we might have done, but this one is still a beauty! xx

  9. Thank you so much Pat. I don't think that we are ever really satisfied with our work, no matter how good it turns out to be are we?