I had never really tried to do a landscape, although it was always in the plan. I get easily distracted by another good bird to draw! However, I was determined to have a go. A watercolour landscape might not be best suited to my very detailed style, though, so I decided to have a go at something with a lot of detail. The answer was this picture I took earlier this month, of the lighthouse at Cape Forchu, near Yarmouth, with its very dramatic and detailed rocks.
I thought it would be fun to document the process. I do like a detailed drawing to work on. This probably stems from my original pen and ink drawing, so my first step was to get the drawing, in 2B graphite pencil, onto my lightweight watercolour paper.
It was quite a job!. After that I switched to the watercolour pencils to start to work in the sky. I do like watercolour pencils and find them fun to work with. The colour stays where it is put, but it is easy to blend into other colours using a minimum of water on the brush. The paper doesn’t ever get too wet and excess colour or water can be blotted off using paper towel. I have quite a collection, but they all have their own characteristics. It is relatively easy to find the right colour, with such a choice!
The Faber-Castell sets in the first picture are unusual in that they can only be used by drawing on the paper and then wetting it. The Derwent Inktense and Marco Renoir pencils in the second and third picture can be used in the same manner, but also a wet brush can be applied to the tip of the pencil to lift colour, or the pencil end can be dipped in water, allowing additional effects. The Faber-Castell pencils allow a finer tip for detail work. The Derwents are very intense colour, that looks like ink when dried. I generally use a mixture of these pencils, depending on the subject matter, but the Derwents don’t get used much in the bird studies. the last picture shows my main brushes…a no.4 watercolour brush for large areas, like sky. a wider bristle brush for water areas and a very tiny, 10/0 watercolour brush for the details…I generally use this one the most, which is probably why these pictures take several days to complete.
The sky and lighthouse are filled in.
Then I worked on the rockpool and the areas of grass, all yellowed due to having been under snow.
Starting work on the rocks. I decided to try for the feel of the picture, without trying to get the colours exactly right (it isn’t a bird, so I can get away with that!). using the Derwents meant that the colours are bright and pop off the page.
More rocks, working round to the front of the picture. There were more greens and blues in the rocks at the front.
The final picture. I enjoyed the challenge and it has inspired me to try more landscapes. If only there were more hours in the day!