Saturday, 2 January 2016

Pen and watercolour of Ramsgate from The Royal Harbour Brasserie

Being New Years Day and some family and friends felling a little frail after New Years Eve we headed of to Royal Harbour Brasserie which is on the end one of the curved stone piers that form Ramsgate Harbour.

This was a late breakfast, I think about 1.30 in the afternoon and very good it was too.

Including a vegetarian breakfast option.

The Royal Harbour Brasserie was understandably very busy indeed.

The best view of Ramsgate in January, with the sun shining more like a short holiday to sunnier climes.

The houses on the cliff top in the distance are about 600 yards away from the café, and I didn’t think I could paint that small, so I sketched it with a thin pen first. An India Ink felt tip, this one being a Uni Pin Fineliner Pen 0.05mm, doesn’t smudge like a pencil would when you paint over it.

I figured that this part completed picture would interest some people, the pencil is there just for scale so you can see the size, I work from top left to bottom right and put the watercolour on in thin layers, so the trees have about four layers of paint on them and are just starting to get a bit three dimensional.

Time wise there is about two and half hours painting and drawing in the picture so far, I don’t normally paint or draw from photos, so this one won’t get finished off until I get back there.


  1. Fascinating sketch of the Royal Crescent, Michael, from The Brasserie. Really like it!!
    By the way, I do hope you are carefully keeping all your wonderful sketches, so they can be published in due course. For example you could self-publish using Blurb. But I'm sure you know all about that.

  2. To be honest Simon I haven’t got a clue about how to approach some sort of commercial aspect with the art work. Up until recently the pictures weren’t good enough for anyone to want them, so it wasn’t an issue, the one I did of the centre of Canterbury several people wanted, either to buy the paining or a print of it, with watercolour, scanning and printing is a professional thing as the colours are subtle and printers and papers are tuned to printing photos.

    I think the problem really is that I am approaching the pictures as though the last hundred years hadn’t happened by drawing and painting directly from life with topographical views, rather than using a mixture of sketches and photographs to paint something in the studio.

    Going back into the eighteen hundreds I think an artist would have made a sketch like this one and then it would have gone to an engraver, a few hundred prints would have been made and perhaps fifty or a hundred would have been hand coloured using the original as a reference. Either that or the artist would have taken it back to the studio and used it to paint an oil paining.

    Theoretically the demand for small detailed watercolours isn’t high, the people I know who run art galleries tell me that it’s oils that sell.

    With the winter pictures, apart from the time the main cost is bills in the cafés making the business of painting and selling a detailed watercolour not pan out sensibly. Of course my intention is not to make a living out of painting and I guess to me I paint for my own pleasure and put the photos of the paintings on the net to amuse those who are interested.


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