Courtyards

Courtyards are often very personal places, created for the peace and tranquillity that their position offers, with an abundance of light and shade - ideal for the watercolour painter.

Ultramarine

Raw sienna

The colours that I use most frequently in paintings of courtyards are associated with warmth

Ultramarine violet

Burnt sienna

Ultramarine

Ultramarine violet

Raw sienna

Burnt sienna

Burnt umber

Sap green

Cadmium red

Cadmium yellow

Burnt umber

Sap green

Cadmium red

Cadmium yellow

Courtyards are often places where colour and interest can be found: pot plants, chairs and tables, parasols, all the trappings of outdoor living. They can be very private places and, as such, are often protected from both the glare and heat of the sun, and from the gaze of strangers by swathes of ivy. vines or trees. The result of this is that one of the most characteristic features of many courtyards will be the dappled light that filters through these protective leafy barriers.

Consequently, courtyards are good places for the study of light (the great intangible aspect of painting) and shadows. The most important points to consider here are that shadows are coloured, and that they hold the qualities of the type of natural light that occurs on the particular day that you have chosen to paint them. I tend to use ultramarine violet as a base for my dappled shadows, particularly for the well defined shadows that are thrown by the intense sunlight of hot climates. The ultramarine violet will often be toned down by the addition of a little cobalt blue: alternatively, it can be strengthened by the addition of a

mixture of ultramarine and burnt umber for putting in the deepest, darkest recesses where little light can penetrate.

As for the highlights - the edges or corners where direct light is reflected off an object - I often leave these unpainted. allowing the strength of the white paper to do the work for me. There can be few better contrasts for the watercolour painter to exploit than that of a rich, deep violet shadow against the clean sharpness of a flash of white paper.

( OURI YARDS. <1 OIS I IHS AND QUI I: I (ORXI RS

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