On the weekend that the clocks here in the UK leapt forward an hour – extending the days and enabling me to put my bike lights into storage until the autumn – it seemed only appropriate to celebrate the extra daylight with some especially daylight filled watercolours:

La Placa Reial, Barcelona, a watercolour painting by John Haywood
La Placa Reial, Barcelona

I’ve painted this view before a few times before, and have always known that it was only a matter of time before I returned to it. The first two efforts, on the right below, were done about a year ago. I didn’t refer back to either of the first two before embarking on this third version.


This is the first time that I’ve seen the three together and I’m struck by both the similarities and the differences! I think each of them works in their own right, but I think this most recent version is the most evocative, accomplished and painted with the greatest degree of confidence. Not necessarily in every respect perhaps but, overall, I think it’s the most sensitively handled and there’s a much greater warmth, especially in the buildings, that is much closer to the actual scene.

My second offering is another revisiting of a subject that I’ve painted before, albeit from a slightly different viewpoint and in a different size and format:

Cafe, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, a watercolour painting by John Haywood
Cafe, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex

This painting is a quarter imperial sheet, and you’ll probably be able to discern the viewpoint that this is taken from based on my original half sheet painting:

Sunlit Cafe at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex, a watercolour painting by John Haywood.
Sunlit Cafe at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex

I was keen to try to imbue this version with more warmth – which I think I did successfully with a much warmer first wash of light red, and an orange-ish mix of cadmium red and Winsor yellow.

There’s much that I like about this effort, but I still think that the composition and feel of the first painting are much more fulfilling and engaging.

It did feel good however to mark the onset of our longer days with a couple of light-filled paintings. Hopefully, these will serve as a precursor to the bright days and bright watercolours that lie ahead over the spring and summer!

10 thoughts on “More daylight, more watercolours

    1. Thanks David and yes, I agree. I think I need to go out and paint some gloomier scenes before I forget how to paint them! I’m aware that I’m becoming a little reliant on ‘bright light’ – which we’re not always blessed with in this country!


    1. Thanks so much for this – I really appreciate your kind comments (although I fear I have many many more years ahead of me before I reach anything that might resemble perfection!)


  1. These are fabulous! It’s interesting to see the progression of the first set. I think the latest is incredible with the sense of sun and light and that shadow is awesome. I rather like the cropped view of the second set… there’s more story there, but oh those shadows of the full scene! Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Charlie – really appreciate your kind and generous comments (not to mention your continued joy and enthusiasm for Doodlewashing – you remain a constant source of inspiration!)

      Liked by 1 person

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