Posts Tagged ‘artholidaysinEurope’

Watercolours for Beginners Workshops

  Greece Summer 2017

with

English Landscape Artist

Martin Stephenson

Artist Martin Stephenson

in association with

1oceanlogo_2015

It gives me great pleasure to announce the confirmed dates for my workshops

for Summer 2017 in beautiful Vassiliki, Lefkada, Greece

Week Commencing 4th June

Week Commencing 10th September

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Based in beautiful Vassiliki your painting holiday is in one one the most beautiful areas in Greece,

in fact most of the photographs used by the tourism board in Greece

are taken on this jewel of the Ionian Sea, Lefkada


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Some happy students with their paintings in Vassiliki

Vassiliki is known as one of the best watersports centres in the World so there is lots to do

for Artists and their none painting partners.

  • WINDSURFING
  • SAILING
  • STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING
  • SEA KAYAKS
  • WALKING
  • MOUNTAIN BIKING
  • YOGA
  • FITNESS
  • MASSAGES

You can see the full programme on the Ocean Elements website here

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE WEBSITE

Ocean Elements is Vassiliki’s premier watersports centre

with many years experience in the Hospitality Industry


YOUR ACCOMODATION

Is Bed and Breakfast, staying  in the Surf Hotel, right next to the beach.

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To read about your Hotel please see what the clients on Trip Advisor say

CLICK TO SEE YOUR HOTEL


ABOUT YOUR TUTOR

English born Martin Stephenson is a self taught landscape artist,

teacher and author of the e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’.

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

FREE COPY WITH EVERY BOOKING

He has been teaching Watercolours for many years, running art holidays and art clubs, in his adopted home in Bulgaria, and also at spa resorts throughout Asia. Martin is no stranger to Vassiliki either, and 2017 will be the 3rd year he has taught on Lefkada, finding inspiration in the beautiful and grand natural Land and Seascapes. As well as watercolours, he is also proficient in other mediums, including Pastels, Pen and Ink and Mixed Media.

Martin has had solo exhibitions including ‘East Meets West’ and ‘An Englishman Abroad’. His work is in Private Collections throughout the World, and he also has a dedicated youtube channel for his much sought after Tutorials on Watercolour Painting.

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TO WATCH MARTIN’S TUTORIALS PLEASE CLICK THIS LINK

His simple approach to his first love Watercolour Painting, and stripping the mystique from the subject means his students learn to paint very quickly. In addition his patient nature, comprehensive knowledge and enthusiasm is infectious. His dry Northern humour is also a factor in his teaching style, ensuring that students not only learn fast, but also have great fun in the process.

As well as this blog Martin also has a dedicated Painting Holidays in Greece facebook page, to see it click below

GO TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE

 

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WHAT WILL I LEARN ON MY PAINTING HOLIDAY WITH MARTIN ?

Martin’s Painting Holidays are aimed at Complete Beginners and Watercolour Improvers.

Your 6 painting sessions are scheduled in the mornings, are arranged so you won’t miss out on all the other exciting activities in Vassiliki. The lessons will be held between 10am (after breakfast) and are 3 hours in duration.

Your studio for the week is located outside, but under cover with beautiful views over Vassiliki Bay.

There is provision to paint indoors if on the rare occasion, there is bad weather.

Your lessons start with the basics of watercolour painting and include ;-

  • WHAT YOU DO AND DON’T NEED TO KNOW
  • THE MYTHS ABOUT WATERCOLOUR PAINTING
  • MATERIALS THEIR CARE AND USE
  • LOOKING AND REALLY SEEING
  • ANALYSING A SCENE
  • COMPOSITION AND LINING UP ISSUES
  • WHAT MAKES A GOOD PAINTING
  • WHY YOU DON’T NEED TO BE ABLE TO DRAW
  • PAINTING USING JUST ONE COLOUR
  • HOW TO ACHIEVE DISTANCE IN YOUR PAINTINGS
  • HOW TO MIX COLOURS
  • PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
  • PRESENTATION OF YOUR PAINTINGS
  • HOW TO SELL YOUR PAINTINGS

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING ON MY PAINTING HOLIDAY

All artist quality materials are provided including :-

  • Rowney synthetic Brushes
  • 300gsm Bockingford Rough Watercolour paper
  • Boards and tape
  • Full Range of 48 Tintoretto artist quality tubes of paint
  • Graphite pencils
  • Putty Rubbers
  • Palettes and dishes
  • Lightweight Easels if required (though most lessons will be conducted sitting down)
  • Specialist items, like masking fluid, ink etc

But you can bring your own favourite brushes and materials if you would prefer.

Basic kits will be available during your stay for a small additional charge.

Spaces are strictly limited to 12 for each workshop, to keep it informal and friendly,

so it’s advisable to book your place early.

THE PRICE IS 819 GBP

This includes flights from Gatwick or Manchester, transfers, and bed and breakfast at the Surf Hotel. It also includes access to all the watersports activities, and six days watercolour tuition (and includes all artists quality materials). Your holiday package can be tailored to suit your requirements, so if you are coming from another Country, or maybe don’t want the watersports included, simply let me know.

artstevo@gmail.com

or contact Ocean Elements

TO BOOK OR ENQUIRE

SEE YOU IN VASSILIKI IN SUMMER 2017

If you would like to read what my past students think about their painting experience with me you can read about it on the trip advisor link above or read my blog below

WHAT MY PAST STUDENTS SAY

 

How to paint a stormy sky in watercolour

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Here is my method of painting a stormy sky.

Let me say at the outset that this method is not for the faint hearted, but it is great fun and totally unpredictable, so here goes.

The sky will be painted wet into wet, that is wet paint onto wet paper. The colour I have used is Tintoretto Caput Mortem, but you can use any really dark blue. In the past I have used Indigo, or Paynes Grey or Ultramarine Blue mixed with Light Red Oxide. I have also seen great results by an Australian artist called John Lovett, who uses Indigo, then pours white gouache onto the paper, with great effect.

Because it’s painted wet on wet, the wet paper will dilute the colour, so you can compensate for that by mixing your colour stronger. Watercolour paints dry lighter anyway so don’t be afraid of the dark side Luke…..

HOW DO I DO IT ?

First prepare your paint, I use a dish. Make sure that you mix more than you need because this sky will take just a couple of minutes, and the last thing you need is to be mixing more colour during this adrenalin rush. You simply won’t have the time. This is why I use dishes, so mix the paint the consistency of gold top milk.

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You can check the tone by dragging the mixed paint up the side of the dish it should hold together underneath the brush, or you can check it on a test strip of the paper you are using. Mine is 300gsm (140lb) Bockingford Rough.

Now wash your brush out and start to paint the sky area with the water. Don’t worry if the water is slightly tinted, as  it helps you see where you have been. Working against the light also helps as I do.  I’m left handed so I work right to left, so if you are right handed start on the left. Work quickly but gently using brush strokes with a large round or mop brush diagonally at about 45 degrees. Choose the biggest brush you can handle, speed is the key on this type of sky.

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At the top of the sky leave a few dry areas, but have fewer (or none) lower down. These spaces will be for the shafts of light coming through the clouds when you start to paint. Aim for a sheen on the paper, no uncontrollable puddles or they will end up causing back runs.

Now very bravely and confidently repeat the same brush strokes with your dark blue paint. Make sure that you have wiped your brush on an old towel or tissue. If you don’t the excess water in the brush both weakens the paint and can also cause cauliflowers.

Work really fast and try and get the paint on the paper quickly. I find that particularly with beginners that they are afraid and want to consider every single brush stroke. Frankly working quickly is more important than getting it right. Just whack the paint on as fast as you can !

THIS IS THE IMPORTANT BIT

Hold your board almost vertically and at an angle AND KEEP IT AT ONE ANGLE.

This suggests rain (and also lightning by the way), and rain comes down usually in one direction. Put some paper towel  on your table to mop up the drips. The strongest colour will be at the top of the painting, and the dry patches we left with the water now start to look like shafts of light between the storm clouds.

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You can use a water sprayer as you move towards the bottom of the painting, but keep the board at the same angle throughout.

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This is how the stormy sky is developing, all those ‘happy accidents’ appearing before your very eyes !

Once you have reached the bottom of the painting, sitting your board flat will stop the movement. Now dry the painting with your hairdryer on slow speed, ensuring that the tape stays stuck or it will ‘cockle’ making your framers job almost impossible.

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You can see the shaft of light coming from between the clouds in close up now. As you can see, this colour granulates, as will Ultramarine Blue. I love this about both this colour and the rough texture of the paper I use.

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All that’s needed is a simple silhouette towards the bottom of the painting, leaving some highlights where the shaft of sun is catching the right hand side of the lighthouse, and hey presto, you have a stormy painting.

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I hope you found that helpful.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE, COMMENT, LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE

You can find more tutorials on my youtube channel, just click on this link

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY OTHER VIDEO TUTORIALS

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There is a whole chapter on painting skies in my free e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ to read or download it please click on the link below

YOUR WATERCOLOUR PAINTING HOLIDAY IN SOZOPOL, BULGARIA

With

Artist Martin Stephenson

Martin Stephenson

Telephone 00359-887-227-161

Thank-you for your enquiry, about a painting holiday with me in beautiful Sozopol, Bulgaria.

Please find below all the information for your holiday, if you require anything further please e-mail sarah.astbury@gmail.com or artstevo@gmail.com or telephone us on the number above.

  •  WHEN TO COME

My painting holidays run from mid June until mid October every year.

  • PRICES

795 Euros per person for 7 nights bed and breakfast in a double/twin room in a 3 star family run hotel overlooking the sea, including 6 painting workshops. Not including flights or transfers.

Discounts for non-painting partners and guests willing to share a room.

  • PAYMENTS AND DEPOSITS

Full Payment : via paypal 30 days prior to your holiday, or balance in cash on arrival.

Deposit : 150 euro secures your holiday.

  • TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Flights to Bourgas Airport from most regional UK Airports. The flight time is about 3 hours 15 minutes.

www.wizzair.com

www.balkanholidays.co.uk

  • TRANSFERS

Transfer time from Bourgas to Sozopol is just  45 minutes, using our English speaking locally based taxi service.

Transfer Costs : 35 euro per taxi each way.

  • MONEY

Whilst Bulgaria is in Europe, like the UK it has yet to adopt the Euro, though Euro or Sterling can be changed at thel banks in the Town into the local currency, Bulgarian Lev. There are also many cash machines around the Town.

  • ACCOMMODATION

Your accommodation is normally in a family run 3 star hotel overlooking the sea and St.Ivan Island in Old Sozopol, which is just a few minutes walk from the our Studio.

To see your hotel please click on the link http://hoteldiamanti.com/en/

Alternative accommodation is also available, from self catering apartments, family run guest houses, right up to 5 star luxury hotels. If you would like a quote for other types of accommodation please let us know in advance of your booking.

  • INTRODUCTIONS

Sarah & Martin

On arrival at your hotel, you will be met personally by your tutor Martin and the holiday manager Sarah, for welcome drinks. Sarah will also be collecting you on the first morning to show you the way to the Studio. Just a five-minute walk through the cobbled streets, if you are staying at Hotel Diamanti.

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  • DEMONSTRATIONS

Your tutor Martin will demonstrate regularly during your holiday, and be on hand for critique as your course progresses.

  • PAINTING CLASSES

Your six painting classes will be 4 hours long and start every day at 10am until 2pm with a break for refreshments half way through. All professional quality materials are provided, but feel free to bring your favourite materials if you prefer. The beginners watercolour course is studio based, as the weather in Bulgaria is typically Mediterranean so can get hot in the middle of the day. For those that have painted watercolours before you will know how important it is to be able to control the drying time, and the studio is air-conditioned, so is  perfect for beginners.

The materials you will be provided with are

300gm English Bockingford Rough Paper

BBOCKINGFORD

Tintoretto Artist Quality tubes of watercolour paint. These will be for sale if you want to buy them during your holiday.

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Artists quality brushes

The studio is well equipped, and stocked with alternative materials like , pastels, charcoal, goache, gesso etc etc. But if you want to request any other materials to work with please let me know beforehand. You will also have lightweight easels to use. In addition for those that want to paint plein air or back at the hotel, a kit can be provided for a small refundable deposit.

At the studio you will be provided with chairs, tables and easels for those that like to stand to paint.

  • WHAT SUBJECTS WILL I BE PAINTING DURING MY HOLIDAY

A splash of Colour in Sozopol

The subject matter we will be painting will include Land and Seascapes, Still Life, Florals and of course the Old Wooden Houses in Sozopol. You will be experimenting with more advanced techniques as your holiday progresses.

  • EATING OUT

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Sozopol is an established holiday resort, and as such all tastes and budgets are catered for. Your Holiday Manager Sarah or I can point you in the right direction when you eat out. With it’s Greek roots, Sozopol has many fine Greek Restaurants, specialising in freshly caught fish from right opposite the Studio. Whatever your budget, value for money is always the case. And don’t forget those tomatoes in the local ‘Shopska’ salad. No doubt there will be one word of Bulgarian you will learn during your holiday and that will be when accompanying the local Rakia and that will be ‘Nazdrave’ which means cheers. Remember to look the person in the eye though when you do it, a local custom.

  • THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN SOZOPOL

Kalithea Panorama

Sozopol is a former Greek Fishing port called Apollonia, and has a rich and ancient History, recorded in the many Museums and archeological sites. It also boasts a tradition for the Arts. Visitors coming at the end of August/Beginning of September will be thrilled by the Annual Apollonia Arts Festival, with concerts and Art Exhibitions. Sozopol has been a mecca for artists for many years, something reflected in it’s many art galleries.

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Your afternoons and evenings are free and you will find plenty to do without even leaving the Old Town. Evenings are usually spent wandering the cobbled streets, among the Restaurants, Bars and Gift Shops. Maybe a late night movie at the open air cinema or an ice cream.

During the season you can also take the hydrofoil to ancient Nessebar another ancient port Town across Burgas Bay.

There are even natural healing mud baths over in Burgas, and they are completely free of charge. Float in the salt water, cover yourself in mud, roll in the sand, bake until cooked then plunge into the turquoise sea to wash it off. You will feel invigorated afterwards. If guests want to do this excursion Sarah and I will take you for a nominal extra fee. Whilst in Burgas you can even visit an art shop to stock up on those essential items.

The Natural Mud Baths in Burgas

So as you can see for painters and none painters alike Sozopol will be a feast for all your senses.

But it’s not all ‘Ye Olde Worlde’ here with many chic music bars, jazz clubs and two very modern yacht marinas, both with great night life, for those wanting to dance the night away.

  • MASSAGES AND YOGA WITH SARAH

The Boat Sozopol

During your holiday you can also indulge in yoga classes or massage therapies with Sarah, who has practiced her therapies for more for than 20 years around the World. Therapies available include Thai, Sports/Deep Tissue, Swedish, Indian Head Massage and Reflexology. Sarah’s Yoga and massages work around the painting classes, so it’s possible to do them too. Both Yoga and Massages are subject to extra charges. Check out Sarah’s stuff here.

www.yogainbulgaria.wordpress.com

 

  • EXHIBITION SUNSET CRUISE AND FAREWELL

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On the final afternoon we will have a mini exhibition and critique at the Art Studio followed by an hours sunset cruise around the bay of Sozopol.

  • AFTER YOU LEAVE

During your holiday you will have been given a link to download my e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ to serve as a reminder of all you have learned. But it doesn’t end there I am always available even on skype if you get stuck or need some help and advice.

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

My teaching style is simple, informative and fun. My step by step techniques are geared to you learning in a progressive manner at a speed to suit you. My clients from all over the World come back time and time again for help with their watercolour journey.

They started with one simple step, their first lesson with me. I hope your own ‘journey’ will start in Sozopol with me in the near future. Even experienced painters have said ‘no one ever told me that’……

If you want to read about their experiences with me please read my blog by clicking on this link https://artstevo.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/what-the-customers-say-about-my-e-book-and-teaching-methods/

The rooms  with sea views at Diamanti Hotel book up fast so it’s first come, first served. As Mr. Pontin used to say for his holidays ‘Book Early’..

Copy of Sarah

Sarah is the person in charge of bookings and logistics and you can book with her directly, or if you have any questions you can email her at sarah.astbury@gmail.com or telephone her on the number at the top.

For general enquiries, if you would prefer, please use the contact form below.

We look forward to meeting you in Sozopol.

Martin and Sarah

 

 

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Our air conditioned studio overlooking the fishing harbour

Here are some examples of what you will learn on your art holiday in Bulgaria.
In short if you are a complete beginner you have come to the right person, and the right place.
I can relate very well to many perceived issues some people have when they first start out on their watercolour painting journey. Here are some quotes from my past students, which you may be able to relate to. I know I could when I first started.

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Fiddling in the extreme

Q. I find myself fiddling with very fine drawing instruments but don’t find it enjoyable.

A. I did exactly the same thing, as it seems much easier to control. At the outset you will be encouraged to ‘think big’ using large brushes, and dishes of paint.

Q. I can’t even draw

A. Depending on the subject matter you choose to paint, there is very little drawing during your holiday, and sometimes none at all.

Q. Isn’t watercolour the hardest medium of all ?

A. It has been described as being like a wild horse. But there are very few ‘rules’, master these and you will be up and running usually after the very first lesson.

Q. I have tried watercolors before and everything turned out muddy, not fresh like watercolours I have seen.

A. This is the most common problem for beginners to watercolour, and ‘avoiding mud’ has a whole section in my free e-book ‘Watercolours for Beginners’ given free with every booking.

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Painting with just one colour

Q. My paintings always look flat.

A. Another very common problem, and one so easy to correct. It’s so important that the very first lesson of your painting holiday is covered here. Painting with just one colour, and how to mix different tones is the first building block.

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Q. When I look at that big blank piece of paper I just freeze especially when considering painting the sky.

A. For most beginners to watercolour skies can be daunting, but by the first few lessons you will be painting skies with confidence, even stormy ones.

Close up of The Old Windmill & The Islands

Q. There seems so many ‘rules and dogma’ attached to watercolour like you can’t use white paint why is that.

A. It seems to be true, but strangely only in recent years, the great watercolour masters used everything at their disposal to achieve a particular result. Just look at Turner’s or Monet’s paintings and you will see what I mean. During your holiday you will be taught how to paint ‘pure’ watercolours, but towards the end of your holiday you will also be encouraged to experiment with goache, ink and gesso. We will even be using some more ‘unusual’ techniques using normal household items like salt and cling film.

Q. When I have tried watercolours before I always end up with ugly stains on my painting.

A. Most beginners have this problem, and avoiding ‘backruns’ or ‘cauliflowers’, and even how to control them is covered in lesson 2 of your holiday.

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Some artists even use them in their work to great effect

During your painting holiday, even if you have never painted before you will end up with all the knowledge you’ll need to make you into a confident painter, whatever subject matter you chose when you go home. But my help doesn’t end when your holiday does. You will have my e-book to guide you on your way, and serve as a reminder of your experience with me.

Copy of Final E-Book Cover Design

My painting workshops are limited in size to ensure everyone gets the personal attention they deserve. My style of teaching is simple, step by step at a pace to suit you. I also like to have fun so you should find the whole experience one to remember. My students from all over the World tend to come back year after year, whether it’s in Bulgaria, Greece and even throughout Asia.

If you want to read about what my students say about my lessons and my e-book please have a look at my other blog by clicking this link http://wp.me/pQX5h-5t

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Sketching at the harbour

Q. What is the best time of year to come to Bulgaria ?

A. My holidays run during June, July, August and also October. A lot depends on whether you like the hot weather, Bulgaria has a typical Mediterranean climate and some of the best beaches in Europe. There will be lots to do here in Sozopol after your morning painting session, which is normally from 10am until about 1.30 with a break for refreshments.

Q. What about my accommodation during my holiday.

A. We normally use a 3* family run hotel which includes breakfast. The rooms have fantastic views overlooking the Sea and the Islands of St.John and St.Peter. There is also a restaurant at the Hotel, a great place to watch the sun go down listening to a classical guitarist. Sozopol, with it’s Greek roots has many fine Restaurants, especially in the Old Town. The Diamanti Hotel is located just a few minutes walk through the old cobbled street to our Studio.

To have a look at the hotel, please click on this link http://hoteldiamanti.com/

The last thing to mention, is value for money. Unlike more ‘fashionable’ painting holiday destinations, everything here is about half the price of the UK. That means that a nice meal with wine will be about 25 lev (around 10 pounds sterling).

If you would like to find out more about Sozopol, just try a Google search.

If you would like an e-brochure with more details of your painting holiday, please fill in the form below.

I look forward to seeing you in Sozopol to start your personal art journey.

Martin Stephenson aka Stevo

WHAT WATERCOLOUR PAPER SHOULD I BUY ?

I was asked this question the other day during one of my lessons, so thought that I would share this on here.

Call to prayer in Istanbul

The washes on this painting were done very wet and you can see slight buckling of the paper.

Q. What paper do you use and why ?

A. I use 140lb (300gsm) Bockingford rough paper Why ?

BBOCKINGFORD

Well a few factors really I like how the rough texture, suits my subject matter, and my quite wet painting method.

When I first started I used to stretch my paper, using gummed tape, but now find that I can use masking tape which leaves a nice white edge around the painting, and obviates the need for all that stretching and planning ahead. I can also use the same paper for my students too, as it’s not too expensive.

Another factor here in Bulgaria is that it is usually available in my favourite art shop in Burgas, the Armstrong Centre, where I usually buy a whole pack of 25 sheets at a time sealed in it’s bag. This ensures that after the factory worker that made it, (St.Cuthberts Mill in England) that I am only the second person to handle it.The reason this is important is that the surface should NEVER be touched with your fingers, which always have residual oils on them, which can ruin your finished art work . Something your average art shop assistant seems unaware of !

I would encourage you to experiment with the paper you can buy locally, and when you find one that suits you STICK WITH IT and get to know it’s qualities (and maybe it’s limitations too) .

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE VARIOUS WEIGHTS  ?

If you paper is too thin it will buckle badly when you wet it and leave your finished paper in ‘stripes’ where the paint settled in the hollows. Too heavy and whilst it won’t buckle at all the surface can be a little ‘dead’ and un-responsive.

WHAT ABOUT THE FINISH ROUGH OR SMOOTH ?

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This is a very personal thing, a flat paper surface sometimes called ‘Hot Pressed’ is more receptive to flat washes and more detailed work . ‘Cold Pressed and Rough’ gives all those lovely ‘happy accidents’ where the paint sediment collects in the hollows.Try doing  a wash using say Burnt Umber and Ultramarine and you will see what I mean.

I think that if you stick with the main brands of papers from Saunders or Arches you really can’t go wrong. Most of the main manufacturers will send you samples so you can experiment. A google search for Watercolour Paper should get you to all the manufacturers Worldwide.

CAN YOU PAINT ON BOTH SIDES ?

Yes you can, but I rarely do, as the paper, having been painted previously on one side is never completely flat. By the way you can tell the ‘face’ front of the paper by checking for the logo. Sometimes you have to hold it up to the light to see the watermark.

DO YOU CUT OR TEAR YOUR SHEETS OF PAPER ?

I always used to cut my paper, to fit my 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8th sheet standard mounts, but it was very labour intensive especially if I was preparing 20 pieces for a large workshop class. After reading a book by one of my favourite Australian artists John Lovett I used his method of simply marking my board with half, quarter and eight sheet sizes, laying down the sheet and tearing against a large metal square, bought from a DIY store. I handle the paper only by the edges when tearing, then storing it in plastic bags to keep it in pristine condition.

If you are a complete beginner, and find that big white piece of relatively expensive paper intimidating,  (GIVING YOU THE FEELING THAT I SIMPLY MUST PRODUCE A PAINTING) try using Wallpaper lining paper, that should be a liberating experience. Stand up, put some music on, and get out your biggest brushes, and just have fun !

I hope this has been helpful.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ‘LIKE’, SUBSCRIBE OR LEAVE ANY COMMENTS.

Happy Painting !
Martin

Call to prayer in Istanbul

‘Call to prayer at the Blue Mosque, Istanbul’

On our recent travels to Asia we used to fly from Istanbul, as it’s a mere 6 hours by bus from Burgas in Bulgaria.

Even as a child I was always intrigued by stories of the Roman Empire, and Constantinople (now Istanbul) and a place, a gateway for exotic travel where East truly meets West, and you can sense it everywhere.

The first time we went I was amazed by the grandeur, the smells, the colours and even the sounds. As we approached our Hotel in a taxi I could hear the mosques calling people to pray, and insisted on opening the taxi window to soak in the atmosphere.

This was my inspiration for this painting.

Martin

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, please feel free to comment and subscribe.

The painting is for sale, please contact me artstevo@gmail.com if you would like to buy it.

 

 

 

 

TONAL PAINTING

Whenever I teach a course, one of the first lessons, for beginners to Watercolour painting is usually how to paint in just one colour. Also known as tonal painting.

Close up of The Old Windmill & The Islands

Using just one colour forces you to observe the tonal qualities of a scene. Appreciating it’s tonal values, and how to achieve the resulting  recession gives paintings distance, and avoids flat paintings.

When I teach students from around the World I first get them to ‘really look’ at a scene and to analise how many layers, or ‘planes’ are in the scene. Let me explain…..

I usually advocate painting watercolour landscapes from light to dark so taking the example of a close up of one of my own paintings called ‘The Windmill and The Islands’ the order I painted it was as follows:-

  1. THE SKY
  2. THE DISTANT HILLS
  3. THE MID DISTANCE ISLAND AND LIGHTHOUSE
  4. THE FOREGROUND WATER
  5. THE WINDMILL

So this scene has FIVE PLANES, EASY !

Although the sky in this painting is quite dark, this is usually the order to paint it, and sometimes a scene can have as many as say 8 planes. What happens is that as you paint the painting the colour gets both darker and also warmer as you move forward into the main point of interest, in this case the windmill.

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q. Ah but how do you do that as a beginner ?

a. Try this little experiment with say a Sepia colour.

Take a palette and put a little Sepia (any colour will work) in each of the wells. Load a brush with one dip of water and mix all of the paint into it thoroughly for the darkest tone (number 5 on the right above) paint it onto your test strip of watercolour paper.

Now add say three brushfulls of water for number 4, then say 6 brushfulls for number 3. Keep increasing the amount of water until you get to the lightest tone, number 1. Now in your palette is your paint ready mixed for your tonal painting.

So now use your paint in well one (the lightest tone) to paint your sky, then move forward in your painting using ever darker colours.

Painting tonally like this is a great way to sketch too, and you only need one tube of paint. It was a technique I used when demonstrating on a night outside a gallery under street lights. It was impossible to paint in colour under the yellow lights, but easy painting tonally.

The resulting paintings also have a harmonious feel too.

The Mountain Demo

SO GO ON GET TONAL !

HAPPY PAINTING !

Martin (aka artstevo)

Please feel free to subscribe or comment on my blog

 

Here’s a dilemma !

Whenever I teach, one of the most important things I stress is to ensure that the brush has just the right amount of moisture to enable it to suck up the paint into the bristles. This is called capillary action. If the brush is too dry it won’t suck up the paint, but if it’s too wet not only does it change the colour of the paint, by making it paler (due to the added water in the brush) but it can also result in ‘back runs’ also known as ‘cauliflowers’. You know the ugly hard edged marks drawing attention away from the painting.

image1186In the painting above you can see the dramatic use of back runs,

which I think add to the energy of the painting

Now I had always read that these marks were frowned upon in art circles, presumably as they show a certain lack of understanding and control.

I teach that to ensure the brush is just right you can either flick it behind you on the floor   (great for keeping observers back, but a little anti-social) or best just to wipe it on an old towel or kitchen roll.

I had also been lead to believe that the ‘cauliflowers’ cannot be removed, but they can with just a slightly moist brush working slowly along the hard edged mark.

Despite everything I have ever read on the subject, I have noticed especially recently, that some artists actually use this technique in their paintings, proving I guess that they seem to have mastered the technique to their advantage.

199778_103095999773206_100002184192843_27034_3074310_nIn this example the painting seems to be all about the cauliflowers !

So I guess, as with all things in art, and in life rules are meant to be broken !

Personally speaking I prefer not to see them in my paintings but you own comments and personal preferences would be appreciated.

Happy Painting ! (with or without vegetables)……

Martin

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‘Watercolours for Beginners’ is an e-book by English Artist Martin Stephenson.

His step by step guide takes you through all the tips and techniques you will need to get you painting fast.

Martin’s fun teaching techniques strips away a lot of the mystique surrounding Watercolour painting.

The book has 20 lessons and 157 lavishly illustrated pages, using simple to understand graphics.

To download his book please follow this link

https://gumroad.com/l/CSjh

Happy Painting !

Martin Stephenson (aka Stevo)