Here's my latest video of a complete painting from start to end - real time. I have also included my reference photo for the early stage outline sketch. Would welcome any feedback and thanks for watching!
A multi coloured slipway - thanks to drops of paint and dried up seaweed. A useful backdrop with the buildings surrounding the bay here, but could have been a bit more useful if they were a few shades darker, but buildings here are mostly light and the sun's brightening everything up. I introduced some darker area on the left. just to highlight the back of one boat. A bit of dry brush stroke for the markings on the boats does add a bit of character to them.
A fairly ordinary building block can be made more interesting with some diagonal shadows repeating themselves across the scene. I have also used some high contrast on the left - see the maximum values of light and dark with the lone figure and white car against the dark background. I must start doing some more cyclists. I enjoy doing them and the easy angle is from the back or front, avoiding having to get 2 circular wheels just right and the distance between them (normally the radius of the wheel is about the distance between the wheels).
One of my last paintings on some old T H Saunders watercolour paper. I will miss it and difficult to come by in the UK now. Well the subject here is a view high up on the harbour wall down to 5 boats at low tide. Somehow, I managed to get in every colour imaginable into the harbour floor. While still damp, I lifted out the reflections of the two left hand boats and added some lemon yellow to the middle boat reflection. White gouache was used for rigging and boat details.
Pedestrian crossings are great things to include in a watercolour painting. Imaging the scene without it - a fairly boring foreground and nothing leading your eye into the painting. The lines need to be of course of centre and I normally dull down the 'white' with anything left over on my palette from a previous painting. No pedestrian crossing is perfect - they're dirty, have missing paint and tyre marks all over them. I made the left hand figure the focal point, leaving the top half bright to contrast heavily with the dark background.
Quite a challenging picture for two main reasons - 1) the complexity of all the apartment buildings surrounding this enclosed marina and 2) the low light conditions with very little contrasts to work with. The row of white yachts helps a bit to get some light against dark. I can remember that the reflections were changing frequently - smooth one minute then a gust of wind is channeled down through the buildings producing multiple ripples.
Corso della Republica running through the middle of Fabriano in Italy. A scene crying our for warm against cool with the warn terracotta buildings and some cooler shadows. I introduced a bit of a horizontal light band across the middle of the composition and then connect above and below with figures and some shadow extensions on the left. I have the white car positioned against the darkest area of the painting for high contrast.
Via Enrico Cialdini, Fabriano. With some big shop windows, a chance to experiment with some reflections. This is the main street going through the middle of this beautiful Italian town and there's plenty of traffic. If I did this scene again, I might try and have the light coloured person swapped with the dark person to its right. Having the dark figure in front of a white car and a lighter person in front of a dark background might make the picture totally different. The smoke effects are done with some white gouache dropped into moist clear water. It's normally the last stage of the painting.
The Playa de las Canteras in the north of the island and a composition of boats and people on the beach. Sand can be a tricky thing to paint. It's almost like painting moving water - you have these highlighted peaks and then bits of shadow behind them. Timing is very important. The beach was is laid down then paint in the shadows and lift out the highlights. I have tried also to create a good bit of bright light from the surf and put some darker figures in front for contrast.
Plaza El Patriotismo, a busy square in the main city in Tenerife. In this painting I have a cool left hand side and a warm right hand side - generally a pleasing thing to have in a watercolour. The right hand buildings were done in a loose style with a suggestion of a few windows and perspective. I don't normally paint around tree trunks against a dark background, but here there is only three, so a fairly easy think to do and of course date palm tree trunks are rarely 100% vertical with smooth sides.