My process for producing ‘Spring Surf’ began with a reference photo I took at Winchelsea Beach near Rye on a blustery day. I brightened the reference photo on my computer and looked at close ups to study the wave forms and colours more closely; I then interpreted this into what would work as a painting. I began creating the painting with a loose drawing to indicate areas of light and dark. This was followed by wet washes of watercolour over the entire paper. The next stage was to draw the details in, once the paint was dry, with a shading technique using a range of Caran d’Ache Grafwood pencils from B to 9B. I recently discovered Cretacolor Nero Pencils which are perfect for the darkest tones as they do not have a reflective finish as with the softest Graphite. I then continued to apply layers of Winsor & Newton Artists’ Watercolours until I had built up the range of tones and colours which I felt worked best. I could not erase any of my pencil marks or this would have removed some of the watercolour paint so I needed to get it right first time.
I had left some areas of white paper but the final stage involved adding the splashes of white foam. To achieve a random effect, I masked off some of the painting with scraps of paper before ‘flicking’ opaque white to get the finest blobs of spray.
I like to keep a rhythm while I am painting, continually readjusting colours and tones as I work. This paper is robust enough for me to both apply my pencil mark-making and to build up layers of watercolour and washes until I have achieved the balance I am trying to attain in my paintings.
A painting can be similar to a signature, I am told that my watercolour work is very recognisable. However I am eager to experiment with new subject matter, techniques and materials. I have recently begun combining my love of drawing with watercolours, this technique has been inspired by becoming an SGFA member.
This has meant that I needed to search for a paper which would suit both wet and dry mediums. I contacted Stillman & Birn and tested out free samples of different papers they had sent me, settling on their Beta paper (extra heavyweight, white, cold press) it was just what I had been looking for.
Profile of the Artist: Felicity Flutter ASGFA
Felicity Flutter ASGFA began as a Graphic Designer. She has lived in South East England all her life and is inspired by the Kent and Sussex countryside. In 1992 Felicity began to concentrate on watercolour painting. Her landscapes have been exhibited with the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and the Society of Women Artists as well as being shown in the Society of Graphic Fine Art shows. Alongside painting and drawing Felicity is a committee member for South East Open Studios and the Cranbrook Art Show.
Exhibitions this year include the South East Open Studios, “Florum”, Sevenoaks and regular slots at the Artichoke Gallery in Ticehurst, East Sussex.
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Charlie Kirkham SGFA is Editor of the Society of Graphic Fine Art Journal and a contributing writer. For more information please see www.charliekirkham.com