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Medium Well Done: 5 Watercolour and gouache
Watercolour is the most inappropriately-named of the popular painting media. Oil paint uses drying oils as its binder, egg tempera uses the yolk of eggs, and glue tempera various types of glue. Water is, of course, not the binder in watercolour, but the diluent, used to turn blocks of... Read more
Favourite Paintings 2: Albrecht Dürer, The Willow Mill, 1498 or after 1506
Albrecht Dürer, The Willow Mill, 1498 or after 1506, watercolour, bodycolour, pen and ink on paper, 25.3 x 36.7 cm. Bibliothèque Nationale, Dept des Estampes et de la Photographie, Paris (WikiArt). This watercolour landscape would not look out of place alongside the works of Turner and other masters 300... Read more
Favourite Paintings 6: Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Blue Rigi, Sunrise, 1842, and Norham Castle, Sunrise, c 1845
Two late paintings portraying tranquil sunlit scenes of dawn over still water, remarkable in their anticipation of Impressionism. Painter Joseph Mallord William Turner Painting The Blue Rigi, Sunrise Year 1842 Media watercolour on paper Dimensions 29.7 x 45 cm (11.7 x 17.7 in) Collection The Tate Gallery, London Link... Read more
Favourite Paintings 6: Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Blue Rigi, Sunrise, 1842, and Norham Castle, Sunrise, c 1845
Two late paintings portraying tranquil sunlit scenes of dawn over still water, remarkable in their anticipation of Impressionism. Painter Joseph Mallord William Turner Painting The Blue Rigi, Sunrise Year 1842 Media watercolour on paper Dimensions 29.7 x 45 cm (11.7 x 17.7 in) Collection The Tate Gallery, London Link... Read more
Favourite Paintings 11: John Singer Sargent, Dolce Far Niente, 1907
This startlingly realistic depiction of idle moments by the side of an alpine stream is composed of bravura brush strokes, dabs and daubs of bright colour. But it is a carefully contrived illusion, in every respect. Painter John Singer Sargent Painting Dolce Far Niente (Sweet Nothing, Pleasant Idleness) Year... Read more
Book Review: Ravilious, James Russell
“Ravilious” James Russell Philip Wilson, April 2015 Soft cover, 24 x 28.1 cm (9.5 x 11.1 in), 168 pp., £25.00, US$45 (due 28 April) ISBN 978 1 78130 032 9 Not available for Kindle, nor in the iTunes Store. If there was ever an example of the stifling effects... Read more
Stag-head Horse Chestnut, Spring: first plein air of the season
The plein air painting season has at last got going here, with fine, warm, and very sunny weather. I am starting this year with some guidelines to try to discipline myself more. First, to try to keep to simple motifs rather than getting embroiled in vast, complex landscapes. Second,... Read more
Great landscape painters like Constable took great pains to paint skies right. The British called it ‘skying’ – rattling off sketches of cloudscapes as they evolve. Constable’s are so marvellous that they are featured in two books, JE Thornes’ John Constable’s Skies: a Fusion of Art and Science, and... Read more
Painting: St Martin’s Down, watercolour on paper, plein air
Over the last week we have had more stable and sunny weather, so I seized the opportunity to go painting plein air at last. My choice of motif was almost deliberately perverse. The most paintable motif for miles around here is the shell of a huge stately home, Appuldurcombe... Read more
Beyond the French Impressionists: 19 USA, Winslow Homer
Normally considered a realist, but he also painted many watercolours and some oils in far looser style which I think can be considered to have significant impressionist tendencies. He seldom achieved the high chromas more characteristic of European impressionism, and many of these works were painted quite briskly as... Read more