My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Freedom of expression vs. photo-realism…

Watercolour is the freest of all painting mediums.  Washes have a mind of their own: the bolder they are applied the more daring they respond.  They beg to be allowed to escape, to run as they may.  A good watercolour painting is a happy accident.

Why then, do so many of today’s watercolorists straightjacket their paintings in the realm of photo-realism? 

Nothing can equal the freshness of a watercolour that has fallen on the page without the guidelines of a preliminary sketch.  To paint directly takes courage, all the more so when the figure is involved.  But the end result is worth the sacrifice of acres of failures en-route.

During yesterdays life-class, in an attempt to encourage my students to loosen up, I quickly threw this painting of the model down on the page.  Maybe it will go down as one of the failures en-route.  A young boy watching me paint once said: my dad can draw better then that! 

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