Keble Bridge is my latest watercolour project and is one of the demonstrations from David Bellamy‘s book Developing Your Watercolours which is published by Collins.
This book is aimed at those who already have some experience painting watercolours, although much of the book will also be of interest and value to beginners and more experienced artists alike.
It’s a wonderful book, and packed from cover to cover with David’s wisdom, knowledge, and know-how, as well as his drawings, sketches, and his breathtaking watercolour landscapes.
I really admire David Bellamy‘s style, and one day I hope to be able to paint just like him. Almost every one of David Bellamy Paintings appears to positively glow with Turneresque warmth, and he paints with a brevity that defies belief, being able to suggest a huge mass of detail with only a few carefully placed brushstrokes, and this book really is one of the best lessons you can buy on how to paint using these techniques in watercolour.
I chose this particular demonstration because it was a winter snow scene that positively glowed with warmth. I wanted to understand how to David managed to inject so much warmth in what would normally be such a cold looking subject.
This project used a palette of 6 colours
- Naples Yellow
- French Ultramarine
- Burnt Sienna
- Raw Sienna
- Light Red
- Cadmium Red
The demonstration was broken down into four separate stages which begins with masking the areas of the painting of the finer snow details.
After the masking was dry I applied a wet in wet wash of Naples Yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna which granulated beautifully and gives the appearance of a misty snowfall in the distance.
Working on the background middle, and foreground, then adding reflections in the water, and finally completing the painting by adding the strong details to the riverbank.
What I learned
The simple wet in wet wash sky of Naples yellow, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna positively glows with warmth, and I just love the way that the darker pigments granulated down the paper giving the appearance of snow falling in the distance. I will be experimenting with this technique to see how I can apply this in my future paintings with different pigments.
The Watercolour Paper I used was fairly old and it soaked up the washes very quickly, in future I’ll remember to use newer paper so it gives me more time to work on laying down the washes with greater care.
I made a bit of a “dogs-ear” of the grey tree in the centre of the painting, but that was because I had the brush loaded with too much watery paint. Next time I’ll make sure not to make the wash so watery and use a dryer brush.
I really admire how David uses this exercise to demonstrate his remarkable lost and found, and negative painting techniques used on the grasses, reeds and bushes. It’s pure genius! With just a few simple and carefully places strokes of the brush you are able to suggest much more detail than is actually there.
I’m really looking forwards to dedicating a lot more time to experiment with the knowledge I’ve now gained of these techniques, and to see how I can exploit this more fully in my future paintings.
Buy a copy of Davids Book
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If you’ve painted this David Bellamy watercolour demonstration yourself, or would like to offer your feedback then please share it with us using the comments below.