Monochrome - or Colour?
As a watercolourist, I am focussed on colour. It's a complex subject, and I put a lot of work into ensuring my colours have the right degree of warmth and contrast with their neighbours. But not everyone wants colour. This is 'Elgin Cathedral', painted as a commission to match a collection of monochrome images:
I'd never painted in monochrome watercolour, although I've worked in pen and ink a lot in the past. I bought in a new colour for me - lamp black. Normally, I mix my darks, and I've never had any use for black. I usually prefer the colour harmony you can achieve with mixed darks in a colour setting. Lamp Black was quite a surprise - it produced an effect just like water soluble graphite but, unlike most watercolours, it can't be removed (at all!) once its been applied to the painting. Most watercolours, apart from heavy stains, can at least be faded if you get something wrong - not this colour! As it happens, it didn't matter, as the painting went very well. I came out beautifully (IMHO!) in fact, and I'm pretty sure there'll be more paintings like this in future.
Now, here's another commission in colour: 'Romany Morning'.
In this painting, which was commissioned to show the details you can see in the foreground, I also wanted to portray a sense of the outdoor life, and sense of space - and places to roam! I have deliberately lost the 'distance' to atmosphere. There are a million places you could go from the gap between the trees! I also enjoyed painting the horses and the detail of the caravan and this domestic scene.
So, did I prefer the colour, or the monochrome painting? Actually, I loved doing both. Colour allows more options as a painter, giving the opportunity to use colour contrast to give depth and life. Monochrome produces a considerable challenge, where only tone can be used for these things. I like to think they both have atmospheres of their own - and I'm happy with the results of both! There'll be more black and white, I'm sure, but there'll also be plenty of colour!
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A professional artist living and working in the beautiful north of Scotland. My work is realistic and quite traditional, though strongly interpretational in nature. My inspiration is the beauty of Nature, and the wonderful colours and moods she shows everywhere.