Swans and Sailing!

Today I wanted to do an ink and watercolour wash picture – mostly because I miss my ink pens.  With pencil and with ink I can get the kind of fine control I really want to have over a picture.  It’s something I’ve been struggling to accomplish in watercolour painting.  I find it hard to paint well when there is fine detail and when I need accurate changes in tone.

I sometimes think painting in watercolour is a bit like sailing a dingy – in sailing you have to work with the wind and accept it’s limitations – there are some places you can’t travel to directly – you have to go in a zig zag called ‘tacking’.  That said sometimes you’re at a particular angle to the wind in a sailing boat which is called a beam reach – and then it feels like you’re flying!

This chap looks like he’s on a beam reach. You can see how the boat has risen up on it’s own bow wave. It’s a glorious feeling!

Water colour painting feels like that too – you have to work with the medium and not against it.  Some things you can’t do directly but have to kind of guide the watery paint and  encourage it to do what you want.  The more I learn about this kind of painting the more I see how much of a skill it is to get the paint where you want it.

So, I wanted a break from some of that today and decided to use some watercolour paints to add colour and interest but to form the main body of my picture with drawing in pencil and then in ink.

Here’s my sketch:

swan sketch

Here’s the beginning of painting the watercolours:

watercolour no ink yet

And here’s the finished picture with my beloved inking done!

swans_fin_web

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