Thursday, 13 March 2014

Venice revisited

total watercolour - painting two at once
© Teresa Newham
The longer days and arrival of some Spring sunshine have finally wooed me away from my printmaking inks!  To make up for lost time (I've done no watercolour work since Christmas) I decided to make two paintings, going back to the photos I took on our honeymoon three years ago in Venice.

Venice I - early washes and reference material . . .
© Teresa Newham
Hoping to portray something a little more vivid than the February light of my original shots, I printed out the reference photos using Lomo mode in Picasa, to bring out the colours before I chose my palette.

. . .  and for Venice II
© Teresa Newham

The photos fell into two rough groups - one set brighter than the other - so I used different tinted paper for each.  However, I decided to stick with the same palette for both of them: Quinacridone Red, Quinacridone Gold, Winsor Blue Green Shade, Viridian and Dioxazine Violet - not my usual  choice at all - along with some Titanium White. 

more layers . . .
© Teresa Newham

 When I painted up the colour swatches I realised that I'd unwittingly picked the colours of Venetian glass - that's what comes of looking back through old photos . . . and Winsor Blue Green shade is the equivalent of  Phthalo Green - which I've been using in my printmaking.   My subconscious must have been working overtime!

. . .  and some embellishments
© Teresa Newham

I built the paintings up in layers, trying to remember that I was painting the light as well as the buildings, bridges and canals.  Deciding to keep everything simple, I left out a lot of the street furniture (landing stages, other boats, mooring poles) and only hinted at the complex decoration on the houses.

the gondoliers appear . . .
© Teresa Newham
I left the figures until last of all - despite the brightness of the colours it's still clearly February in the paintings as both the gondoliers are wearing their winter gear!  At this stage I had not added the water of the canals, so the gondolas appeared to be skating on ice.  

. . .  but where are the canals?
© Teresa Newham
I carefully painted in a Viridian wash, deliberately leaving a lot of white and blue areas.  I could have made it darker, but I liked the reflections, which had been made using wet on wet runbacks, and some dry brush strokes.

Venice I
© Teresa Newham
I still had no names for these paintings - unusual for me, as I often know the title before the painting is started - so I opted for the obvious: Venice I and Venice II.  The titles may not be particularly inspiring but I hope the results hint at the tranquility of this lovely place!

Venice II
© Teresa Newham

1 comment:

  1. These have got a magical, really watery atmosphere to them and the colours are lovely!