Fishing Boats – Watercolour, 9×12 in., 2020.

Please excuse my bad cropping. I take these shots with my phone and lining them up by hand is a bugger.

I’ve been studying our dear old Mr. Turner’s work again. Trying to learn how he handled light and paint, particular in watercolour, as that is my medium of choice right now. I’m still on break from oil painting. Multitasking makes my brain hurt these days.

I’ve done a few watercolours of late, all experimenting with light and intensity of pigment. I can hear Mr. Turner now: ” Objects must appear to float as if suspended in a soup of light!” Tough act to follow.  Besides, I tend to like bread and butter with my soup…

City Skyline – Watercolour, 9x12in.

The nice thing about editing software is that you can make a watercolour like this look like it did when it was still wet. Intensity of pigment is always an issue with watercolour. Only through repeated layering can you hope to build up opacity. I get the feeling though, that Mr. Turner liked the etherial quality of the wispy pigments – let the natural light do the rest. Pigments however, had different qualities back then. You can’t beat a pulverised mineral for light refraction or extract of Indian cow urine, which produced his favourite yellow – apparently it glows under UV light.

Here are some others. Not all experiments are successful, mind you…

Although, the point of experimentation is to learn. And I have at least learned what not to do in achieving that light, airy soupiness. Possibly.

4 thoughts on “Capturing Light

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