PA Fiona Peart creates wonderful watercolour washes using Winsor & Newton Artists' Full Pans to capture these rather proud looking penguins
I received my first proper wooden paint box when I was 16, it contained 16 Winsor & Newton half pan paints and I loved using them. I have treasured that wooden box which has been all over the world with me, I continue to use the same box today and still use Winsor & Newton paints. I now choose to use the Artists Full Pans and, although over the years I have experimented with tube paint, I prefer the pans, and find the intensity of pigment and lack of binder and fillers suits my style of painting best.
I like the full pans as opposed to half pans as I tend to use the side of my brush when lifting the paint from the pan to mix it, rather than poking about with the point of my brush, which would wear it out much faster.
The full pans are much more economical to use than the half pans too.
I like to use a limited palette for most of my paintings, as I find this leads to a more luminous result and avoids muddy colour mixes.
I therefore recommend that artists buy fewer, better quality paints rather than lots of cheaper ones. I particularly enjoy subjects which have strong tonal contrasts as well as interesting shapes; these have always fascinated me and have led to me painting the subjects I choose to paint today.
Living in Bourton-on-the-Water means that I can pop down to Birdland to sketch the Birds any time I want to. Whenever there is a bright sunny day and I have some spare time I can just go along with my sketchpad or paints. It needn't take very long and the simplest of subjects can inspire me, so I am going to share with you my most recent painting of these wonderful penguins.
The penguins often stand on this narrow ledge above the water; the light bounces off the water's surface creating the most wonderful reflections on the penguins' white fronts. In the sunshine the light then dances on the wall behind them warming their shadows.
It's quite a challenge, but watercolour is a fabulous medium for this type of subject.
|Where accurate product matches are not possible we have selected the closest match|
I then choose my colours. I try these out on a test sheet first (left), mixing them to ensure I can mix a dark enough colour.
Once I have selected my colours I rarely add more during the painting process.
I wet the paper thoroughly using The Golden Leaf brush, pushing the water into the paper and working side to side and up and down to ensure that the paper is thoroughly wet (but not pooling).
Changing to my Classic Round (equivalent to a number 12 squirrel) I drop onto the surface, dilute Cadmium Yellow Deep and Winsor Blue (green shade) letting the colours merge together forming patches of colour.
I then let this dry. This is our first wash done.
Using these transparent colours means that I can overlay washes, one on top of the other, deepening the tones but retaining the underlying colours.
Using the Golden Leaf brush, I wet everywhere I wish to darken. All of the light areas remain dry, as I don't intend to work on top of these again.
Using my Classic brush I then drop in more colours watching as they move into the different areas, adding more pigment where I want darker colours.
I let some of the colours run into the background, especially where I want to add darks later on, this ensures that I paint the background as well as the subject and avoid leaving the background as an afterthought.
This is our second wash completed.
Using dilute Winsor Blue (green shade) and my Classic brush, I boldly add all of the shadows. This colour needs to be dark enough to create the shadow in one layer but light enough to show the underlying colours. Winsor Blue (green shade) is a lovely transparent colour and perfect for this situation.
I keep the shapes simple and am not tempted to fiddle!
This is the most dramatic part of the painting process, adding the darkest areas. Still using my Classic brush I add the heads and dark sections of the wings using a mix of Winsor Blue (green shade) and Burnt Sienna.
If you would like to see more of Fiona's paintings or find out about her workshops and demonstrations, visit www.fionapeart.com
From Photograph to Painting with Matthew Palmer
The Italian Job with Malcolm Cudmore
Spring Fervour with David Hyde
Market Day in Brittany with Marilyn Allis
Cromford Canal with Matthew Palmer
Portraits in Pastel Pencils with Heather Jolliffe
A Passion for Watercolour Painting