Oft and hard textures in Paris

What mainly attracted David to this Parisian scene was the soft, misty mass of the Pont Neuf in the distance against the crisp, strong colors of the barge in the foreground. The other attraction was

Wet paper, dry paper

The paper is wetted with a large mop brush, leaving the area of the barge as dry paper. This is to preserve the whiles so that contrast added later will be even greater. The background bridge and building are then painted wet-into-wet, consciously alternating between warm and cool colors in the washes to give variety and interest.

that this part of Paris was fairly quiet, so he was able to work without disturbance. You'll notice how the embankment provides an area of peace for the eye to rest in an otherwise busy painting.

Handling visual competition

Now some details have been added to the background and more darks have been added, but care must be taken so the bridge does not compete visually with the barge. As the barge itself is painted, you '11 notice how the preserved white paper counterchanges with the crisp dark washes to provide sparkle and spontaneity. The spots of pure color also give excitement.

Paris Watercolour

Adding details and balance

It is time to add the dark details. Notice how the tree on the right and the shadow balance the painting. The minimum of texture and dry brush are applied to make the embankment more convincing, and a few figures are added.

Alvaro Watercolors

Song of Autumn, Murrurundi, 15 x 22" (38 x 56cm)

Lost and found edges are used throughout this painting. The lost edges are predominant in the far background, giving the impression of misty distance. As the painting moves forward, more hard or found edges are used amongst the lost. You'll see this particularly in the three large trees, with their hard edges enhancing the white buildings. As your eye moves to the top of the trees you '11 see that the edges are more lost.

This dam is on David's own land, and here he has used his hard and soft edge technique to great effect. The lost edges are mostly seen on the left of the picture, and as the scene comes forward, more hard edged whites are shown. The edge of the dam is mostly lost, but there are a few touches of sharper brush strokes which prevent boredom. Moving to the dark trees on the right, look at their profiles against the sky, and see how they appear and disappear in an intriguing zvay.

Approaching Rain, Murrurundi,

The painting has got the lot. It thrills me to look at it. Rich, warm and cool colors are used together with wet-into-wet and dry brush to obtain the lost and found edges. Just look hard at this picture for a few minutes and discover for yourself where David created lost and found his edges everywhere. The whites too are important, adding real sparkle. The house roofs in the foreground lose themselves in various places, while some of the darkest darks have been put in crisply and sharply on top of wet-into-wet. Don't you love the top of the distant forest?

Risi Watercolours

ost and found in wooded landscapes

Looe Watercolour

orking on very wet paper in Cornwall

The first wet-into-wet stage

David begins by saturating Arches rough paper on both sides and quickly painting the initial washes with strong color, indicating the main background shapes.

Merging blocks of color

As the paper is drying, strong shapes are blocked in with a flat sable brush. The colours and shapes are allowed to blend, creating lost and found edges, while some of the first washes remain untouched, retaining freshness.

David discovered the lovely town of Looe, on the south coast of Cornwall, while touring the West Country. The harbor there provided him with great subjects, and in this instance he found the fishing boats tied up against the quay irresistible. Having sketched the whole scene on a separate pad to establish the general composition, only then was he ready to begin his finished painting. As I said before, the preparatory sketch is important because it concentrates the mind and helps decide the positioning of the focal point, and the balance of the painting. In this case David decided that the two foreground boats were to be of primary importance, and so he positioned them at a spot which left a different distance from each edge of his paper.

Pulling the painting together

Once the paper is dry, the main boats are more fully indicated, and the rest of the darks added. Then come the reflections, parts of these carried out in dry brush.

Dry Brush Drawing Stage

In the final stage the ropes and mast are added with delicacy and speed. Notice how the strong red has been repeated — repetition is always a unifying factor. The softness of the original washes is enhanced by the sharper details.

Watercolour Lose And Strong StrokeAlvarocastagnet Rainy Day Painting

The crowds of receding figures in this painting seem to draw you into the picture with them. Many of the legs become lost edges, while the torsos are sharp and crisp. This is a clear example of how David applies his technique to figures.

However, there are other parts of the painting in which objects have been intriguingly lost and found— look at the building in the right corner for example, and again to the far left, under the pink awning.

A High Street in Jersey, 11x15" (28 x 28cm)

This is an intriguing painting, where the sharp, crisp edges of the street itself, with its strong contrast, softens and blurs as the gaze travels up the picture. Slowly, trees sharpen at their trunks and gently blend at their crowns into the walls of the houses. Risi?ig still further, the wet-into-wet wooded hillside is full of mystery and by adding the out-of-focus cream houses against the dark woods our eyes are teased and entertained.

etting lost and found in Chinatown and Jersey

Paris Alvaro CastagnetAlvaro Castagnet Paris Street Watercolourimages

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