A gallery of my first efforts
As a beginner I make no claims about the quality of my work but present my own first efforts here in the hope that it will encourage others to have-a-go.
Lesson 1 - Twin Peaks
The first time brush touched paper as I tried to follow the pointers in the book. The objective was not only to see how easily a simple landscape could be drawn but to see how the same colour could be varied according to how much water was used. As with so many of my efforts, it didn't match perfectly with the subject I was copying but it makes a pleasant picture all the same. I was truly amazed that something like this could be so simple.
Lesson 2 - Lakeside
A repeat of the previous lesson but this time with the addition of an island a couple of small 'carrot' people. The people are no more than a couple of carrot-shaped brush strokes but they are very effective in creating the illusion of people. It is hard to believe that such simple techniques can create such effective results. That is why I chose this picture to form the basis of my website banner.
Lesson 3 - Stormy Beach
This next painting introduces colour. I didn't do very well mixing the colour for the distant mountains but overall I found the process easier than I'd expected. It amazes me that every colour you can ever need can be made from a simple set of 8 basic colours.
Lesson 5 - Boat on Beach
A slightly more complex shape in this boat. The upper edge of the boat is supposed to be based on a flattish, horizontal, figure-of-eight. Also introducing some simple shadows.
Lesson 7 - Snow Scene
Before this, I had never considered the fact that 'snow' need be nothing more than 'unpainted paper'. One colour and huge areas of blank paper - what could be easier. To anyone thinking this picture looks far from easy, please remember this is only my 7th painting, the first with snow and my first tree. You can do this also.
Lesson 9 - Misty Hills
Another new technique - creating 'mist'. An initial wash for the sky, as usual, but then a second wash after the hills had been painted to create the mist. Like everything else with watercolours, simple but effective. It is always recommended that paintings should be framed because they look so much better when they are. I framed this one and hung it in my Dining Room for a few days ... it's still there.
Lesson 10 - Sheep in Field
Now for something really adventurous ... animals. Actually, the sheep are nothing more than white circles on sticks with black triangles for heads. As beginners we assume we have to try and achieve photo-quality likenesses but we don't - the general impression is all that's needed.
Lesson 11 - Trees in Meadow
An exercise in drawing trees. Not one I did very well at, however, the painting does give the impression of old trees in a wild meadow and so, in that respect, I can't judge the picture as a complete failure.
Lesson 12 - Crofters Cottage
This was a lesson on how to create smoke. For me it turned into something else much more important. I completely screwed up the area to the left of the cottage and worked furiously to try and salvage the situation. The green hill shouldn't be there at all and hides a multitude of sins.
Lesson 13 - Fast River
A fast flowing river is another example of when 'not painting' becomes the key, just as with snow. The white froth of the rushing waters is created simply by the 'shape' of the blue areas.
Lesson 15 - Mediterranean Coast
It's a lovely feeling when you finally create a picture that you like. It is no longer a 'lesson' but an achievement. This one, for me, was my first real watercolour and it still hangs proudly on the wall of my bathroom where its warm but fresh colours blend perfectly with the golds and beige's of the decor.
Lesson 17 - Snowy Slopes
The moon rising over a fresh fall of snow in Vermont, America. Several of our newly learned techniques come into play this time ... Masking Fuid for the moon, blank paper for the snow, and misting in the far distance.
Lesson 19 - Crofters Cottage in Snow
Again, not really a lesson but the opportunity to practice some of the things that have been covered so far. Whilst making a lovely subject for a picture, I really can't imagine living in a place like this.