Well this isn’t the post I’d planned! I’d started on a new addition to my fledgling series of watercolour paintings of boats at Hastings. Everything seemed to be progressing fine, albeit a little slowly, but I had no idea what lay in store!

Here’s the story so far…

What happened next was excruciatingly annoying!

I started in the hull of the boat and was building up the tone, but losing track of how ‘wet’ I was working. My intention was to bring the darkness at the bottom of hull into the shadows across the beach.

Things started to get a little bit out of hand and certainly weren’t going to plan. I picked up the board and was tilting it back and forth to try to get things to move around a little. While I was looking in one direction, I missed the paint that was building up at the rear of the boat until it eventually ran! In the picture below, you can see the stain it left.

Just after it all went wrong!

I was so annoyed! This image was taken after I’d flooding the whole sheet sheet with water, which removed most of the wash that I’d just put down. In doing this, it also added a slight darker glaze over the sky. At this point, I still thought the painting was ruined so left it alone for a while.

When I came back to it, I decided that I had nothing to lose – even if I really went to town on it.

Watercolour nocturne - a watercolour painting of boats at Hastings by artist John Haywood
Watercolour nocturne

After yet another glaze over the sky, I decided that my time and patience was up on this one. It’s one of the few paintings that I’ve done that actually looks better in real life than when it’s illuminated by the back-light of a screen. From a distance, this does still read okay. The boat has a certain ‘glow’ to it and I think the painting is quite evocative.

I do still like the composition of this scene so may return to it again. In the meantime, I take some small satisfaction from having salvaged something from what I thought was beyond being rescued!

9 thoughts on “Watercolour nocturne

  1. Great time to experiment when you have nothing to lose but the price of the paper (which can be up there) but I didn’t think the area looked that bad, just more of a distressed wood look. However, you solved the issue nicely, and made another beautiful piece. thanks for sharing your process. 🙂

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    1. Hi Sandra and thanks so much for this – I’m feeling increasingly encouraged that I might just about have got away with this one! As I’ve said in another response, I’m going to reserve final judgement on this until I’ve popped a mount around it as I think the white of mount might give this a good lift and set off the darks nicely! – thanks so much for your kind comments though, I really appreciate them!

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  2. Hello John. Well done for turning an accident into a success. I do appreciate the way you are happy/brave enough to show us both the good and the not so good!. I like the way this turned out anyway.
    Happy painting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carole and thanks for this, I really appreciate it and am pleased that you like how it turned out too. I’m looking forward to throwing a mount around this to see how it looks. My fingers are crossed that, if you haven’t read this post, and don’t look too closely, you’d never know the back story to this painting and wouldn’t hold it against it! Happy painting to you too!

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  3. Hi John, we we all know about these types of accidents, it is a change for creativity . You turned a lemon into lemonade there, the dark bottom is very dramatic and a good focal point. The love that feeling of freedom when
    You just go for it anyway! Good for you to persevere!

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    1. Haha, thanks so much for this Ang – I really like the lemon into lemonade analogy, definitely a title for a future post! I quite agree too, that sometimes it’s quite liberating when you’ve got nothing to lose – you never know exactly how it might turn out, so you may as well give it a shot (even if it doesn’t work out, you can end up having some fun with it and learning from it too!) – Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

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