Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Time to Play 1 - Millennium Cross

Millennium Cross - watercolour
© Teresa Newham

Recently I decided to add to the palette of colours I use.  It's all too easy to get into a rut, and I was looking for a little inspiration - so I pored over the Winsor & Newton colour chart and ordered myself some new paints.  Then I made my own chart from the old and new colours and put it in my paintbox.

my personal colour chart!
© Teresa Newham

Keen to try some of the new shades out, I took as a starting point a photo taken at the Millennium Cross in Rosedale, North Yorkshire.  It was a favourite place of my mother's, and we'd made an emotional visit to it in August - I wanted to capture the atmosphere and how I felt when I was there.

the original scene
© Teresa Newham

Still in the spirit of experimentation, I'd also bought some 640gsm Arches watercolour paper.  I'd never used such a heavy weight of paper before - it didn't even need stretching, and certainly soaked up the initial washes. I  wet the sky with my new spray bottle to create some clouds, before layering on more vivid colours to depict the hillside.

getting the right colours down (eventually) . . .
© Teresa Newham

I immediately regretted my choice of  Perylene Maroon for the heather, but it didn't matter - this paper is so good that I simply wiped the offending colour away and replaced it with Quinacridone Magenta (the other colours I used were Sap Green and my beloved Raw Sienna and Cobalt Blue).

 wiping out a ghostly cross!
© Teresa Newham

This grade of Arches is popular with many artists because it will take a lot of punishment -  just as well, as I needed to remove some of the hillside in order to paint the cross itself.  The effect was quite ghoulish for a while!

the cross taking shape
© Teresa Newham

A little more work to the foreground, and I had the painting I wanted. This picture takes me straight back to Heygate Bank and that lonely cross on the moors.  I really enjoyed playing with the new paper: and as I have a few sheets left and some unopened tubes of paint to explore - watch this space!

the finished result
© Teresa Newham

1 comment:

  1. This is a lovely picture - a fitting tribute to a very meaningful spot. I particularly like the way the sky and the heather have been captured.