Mills Calendar – September 2010


Baylham watermill. Watercolour and ink. 10"x14"

I painted this in 1993. No photo reference, just worked on site, and in the studio added a little gouache to the windows and penwork to sharpen some edges. I began the painting by applying a light wash of raw sienna and lamp black over the whole paper, and let it completely dry. This is a tip I picked up from a Rowland Hilder book. It means that when you do paint some white (or reserve a little of the white paper for highlights), it looks VERY white.

Looking back I really like this, partly because I know it is a fair representation of the subject – I don’t think a mill enthusiast will argue with the detail – but partly because it takes advantage of what I consider to be some essentials of watercolour. The colour washes are on the whole loosely applied and there is a mixture of sharp edges (on the building) and soft edges (in the foreground). The gouache is there for a purpose – personally I think white gouache is more “honest” than reserving whites with masking fluid. And there is just enough ink to sharpen selected detail. Now that I paint mostly with oils, however, I would find it difficult to paint watercolours in this style again.


~ by noelgarner on November 5, 2009.

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