Saturday, 11 May 2013

Skellig Morning

Skellig Morning
watercolour
© Teresa Newham 2013
For some time now I've been meaning to produce a companion painting to Skellig Sunset, and my recent watercolour experiments have encouraged me to finally get to work.  So I laid down some diluted raw sienna, and when it was completely dry added some very wet washes of cobalt blue, watching with interest as the water ran back across the paper in what I hoped was a reasonably controlled way:

initial washes drying into runbacks
© Teresa Newham 2013
The composition was loosely based on a watercolour sketch and some photos looking South West  from Valentia Island, taken during our holiday in County Kerry last October: and to make the whole exercise more interesting I decided to restrict myself to using just the two colours.  They worked together well in an earlier painting of mine called Swan, so I thought I might be able to get away with it again!

the Skelligs - a painting in themselves!
© Teresa Newham 2013
Once I'd painted in the Skelligs floating just above the horizon I was tempted to walk away from the piece right there and then, and get it framed up just as it was.  There is so much light and space around these rocks when you see them for real, it seemed a shame to add anything else!

adding the rocks
© Teresa Newham 2013
But it is supposed to be a companion piece, after all, and although the composition is not the same as Skellig Sunset, I thought I'd better add in some more rocks, and the foreground, so as to put everything in context.  Plus it's given that raw sienna and cobalt blue the chance to sing out against each other at full strength!

finished painting & source material
© Teresa Newham 2013

4 comments:

  1. It's lovely to see that time we spent sketching and painting developing into a proper work of art. I really admire you sticking to two colours! I could never show that level of restraint, and it works so well.

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    1. Thanks, it's good to have the opportunity to work those field sketches up into something! using the two colours is an interesting exercise but I've never done it using any other colours - only raw sienna and cobalt blue. For some reason they just work together! in fact I rarely use cobalt blue at all, but raw sienna is one of my favourites.

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  2. I love this - I think it's one of your best paintings, possibly your best of the Irish pictures - you can really feel the wind on the heather and the promise of early sunshine.

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    1. thanks! although as I recall that promise of early sunshine never delivered :-)

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