Wulf's Webden

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Suffering for My Art

Today Jane and I headed out under gorgeous June skies for a short walk at Wytham Woods – and some creativity. I found a patch to sit down and worked up this painting of the path we had walked along:

Watercolour painting

Path at Wytham Woods

What I discovered partway through the process is that I was sharing my sketching spot with various flying, blood-sucking insects. However, the painting was going well and I stuck with it so, although I’ve got a few bites, I’ve also got the picture above for day 22 of the 30x30DirectWatercolor2018 challenge.

Before I started painting, I did a preliminary sketch in another book and I used watercolour pencils to begin to block this one out. Once the proportions and blocks of colour were indicated, I used a waterbrush to start blending the pencil marks and to begin to drop in paint from my palette, gradually working it to a point where I was happy. Back home, I made a few small adjustments to improve the composition – lifting some colour from the point the path leads to and warming it with a touch of yellow, as well as slightly darkening some of the areas immediately around that to improve contrast.

The result is probably my best semi-realistic painting of a complex woodland scene to date and the key lesson (apart from ‘wear insect repellent’) is not to give up too early but to keep on going to develop texture and depth.

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