Thursday, 3 May 2012

Painting, drawing and photos of Margate today and a ramble about watercolour paint boxes, even some bird photos

I managed to get a window seat in the Turner Contemporary Café today both for the pot of tea when I got there and for lunch, so I managed to paint a picture of the view.

I am not very keen on painting from photographs and the options are limited on a day like today that is cold and wet.
For most of my life I have felt that an important factor in maintaining a healthy mind is to do something often that one finds fairly scary, and for me at the moment this is painting in public. 
 This type of bird photography is done with mirrors, in case you wondered.
 Well one mirror.
The black thing is my new paint box, spending about £40 an empty paint tin may seem a bit excessive and I will endeavour to explain later.
I also did a quick sketch of The Kiss while I was at The Turner Contemporary, very quick indeed, with a Pitt Pen, there was a charming lady also sketching and The Kiss a lot better than I did, so I didn’t feel quite so exposed doing this one.
I have got most of the red paints in the paintbox and am working on the browns, more about this later, if I ramble on some more
Oddly enough there is a lot of comment about music on the last post, this is an easy house to find a musician in, to draw, so I had a go at trying to draw a guitar player, so I seemed perhaps that the strings were being plucked, moving, maybe even making a sound.

Not sure if it worked, but it had something about it. the pictures may expand if clicked on.
Well I have done the deed, all the artist’s quality watercolours I have acquired in one box with a label telling me what they are.

The main colours I use are down the left side of the list, the others I use are whites grey and blacks over on the far right.

The main reds I use are the madders, particularly rose madder, the only browns I use burnt umber and yellow ochre, I don’t use yellows much, but find I can only get the colour of magnolia buildings mixing naples yellow and titanium white, most of my washes, sky sea sand, are various mixtures of, cobalt blue, yellow ochre and rose madder. Prussian blue, brown madder and vandkye brown are incredibly strong dyes, using them is like the watercolour equivalent of Russian roulette. I mostly mix my own greens, but can’t achieve olive green. Davey’s  and Payne’s grey are also something I can’t mix. The rest of the paint in the tin I wouldn’t recognise, apart from chrome orange.

I always buy paint in tubes and squirt them into pans because it is much cheaper then buying full pans, but a lot of my mystery paints came as full pans, basically because I wanted the box that was on special offer, because the combinations of paints and box was often cheaper than two tubes of paint. A 5ml tube of paint fills about three half pans.

If I had filled the box up with 48 half pans at between about £5 and £9 each it would have been very expensive, as it was it was just expensive. The paint goes a very long way though I would doubt the painting above has 10p worth of paint on it.


Here are today’s photos, I haven take any of my lunch as it may offend Chris Wells who commented adversely about this recently, apart from the large pot of English mustard that came on the plate individually with both my steak sandwich and my wife’s.

I first assumed it was mustard flavoured mayonnaise, but fortunately tested it first, instead of slapping it on, possibly it was supplied this way as a potential emetic fro unhappy diners.

The steak sandwich was excellent by the way and they have increased the size of the teapots so the ample supply of tea stays hot for about half an A4 watercolour.

Frankly for me it is the painting and drawings that mean something and the digital photos not very much at all, anyway click on the link for the photos http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/laptop512/

Anyway despite the weather a pleasant day off more than paid for by the books I bought wandering around Margate.

One of the funny moments was when the yellow buses pulled up while i was painting completely obscuring the view.


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