Monday, 8 February 2016

Venice in Watercolour 2016

 Venice on my Easel
A work in progress

 Having shared the small study of my idea recently to paint a scene from Venice I thought I would share the stages of the larger painting. Someone mentioned on my Jean Haines Watercolour Facebook page that this looked difficult. To be honest at first it might be but once you get used to working in my style you can adapt it to any subject at all. Including landscapes and architecture.

Stage 1. A Wash
For paintings of this kind I always start with a soft atmospheric wash. I choose colours that will help my finished painting sing with life. So they may not be exactly true to what I see, more likely they will be glowing colours that add to the beauty of my vision.

There is no preliminary sketch. Just my placing colour where I feel it works best for detail to be added to at a later stage.

 First soft wash.

Stage 2. Finding a Starting Point
 I need to find a starting point. You can easily imagine where this might be when it comes to painting animals.With them you might start with the eye or nose. But with buildings I usually find a section in the composition that appeals to me and work from there.

This is a complex scene so I have painted a few lines to give me a great base to work from and to give consistency to the piece in form.

 Lines added and hints of statues and windows.

Stage 3. Adding block of colour 

Next I add shapes.  Simple beautiful and odd shaped shapes! These will act as the base for my more intricate detail to be added as the painting develops.

 Adding painted shapes.

Stage 4 Adding Intricate Detail 

Now I take my time. I don't want to add too much detail, I don't want to add too little. I paint half a door, half a window, maybe all a statue in places only to be softened with water to create atmosphere.
This is all about personal taste. To some viewers the painting is complete long before this point. To others this needs far more information to be complete. The most important point is that I loved painting it and may continue to add tiny brushwork over the next few days.

Its' full of atmosphere at the moment. Time will tell when it is finished and I listen to my artwork. believe it or not it always tells me what to do next or when to stop. This isn't saying stop just yet!
 Or is it?

 Venice on my easel
A work in progress


You can discover more about my watercolour techniques in each of my books available on

No comments: