Watercolour Canvas

A little while ago I stumbled across a ‘Watercolour Canvas’ product in Spotlight, a material and craft store in my local area. Not that I’m all that experienced in Art but I didn’t know there was such a thing called Watercolour canvas. I thought canvas was for mediums other than Watercolour.

It is made by a business called ‘Semco’ and although it is branded ‘Artist Quality’ I’m not sure you would class it as such bearing in mind where it is being sold, the minimal cost and the fact that the term, ‘Artist Quality’ seems to get put on a lot of materials regardless of whether it is or isn’t ‘Artist Quality’. It comes in a range of sizes just like normal canvas and is available in a board or in stretched form.

My first attempt on a board is below, an image using a reference photo I took on our third trip to Norfolk Island, earlier this year. I did a light sketch of the image in pencil, then sketched over the pencil with pigment liners then started painting. The paint sticks sometimes and glides across other times and I used about 3-4 layers in some areas.

I particularly liked the painting in weathered boat areas.

“Old Lighter” – Norfolk Island

My second attempt on the board is below, a rather simpler, straight Watercolour image. Painting the ocean was particularly challenging as the paint hardly seem to stick to the canvas with the first attempt to apply paint. After letting it dry, I applied more paint and the original paint seemed to get disturbed so, in the end, I used less water and a bit more paint and painted very lightly.

“Feeling of Summer”

I have a few more boards left and look forward to experimenting with them, though I might apply some Gesso first to see what that does. I also have a couple of stretched Watercolour canvas 8×10’s here, one of which I’m experimenting with.

All good fun!

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

31 July 2022

Winter Sun

Dusk…A Special Time

Earlier this week we were treated to some beautiful colours at Dusk.

I was inside during this time, painting and I happened to glance out of the window at just the right time. The images below were snapped with my phone as often the colours will disappear quite quickly, and as someone once said, ‘the best camera is the one you have on you at the time…’.

I hope you enjoy ‘Mother Nature’s Art as much as I did.

Written by David Johnson

28 July 2022

Bumboras Beach – Norfolk Island

In February this year, Susan and I visited Norfolk Island for the 3rd time, this time to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.

The first 2 times we went there (1997 & 2007), I was deeply entrenched in Photography. Whilst I took photos again on my DSLR, I also took a lot of reference photos on with my phone camera for when I returned.

The image below is one such image.

On Saturday last, I chose this image as my reference photo for Day 1,220 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day.

Bumboras Beach – Norfolk Island

In 3 visits to Norfolk Island, this was our first visit to this popular picnic spot. The island in the distance is Phillip Island.

Materials used:

  • Moleskine 200gsm Sketchbook
  • Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.05
  • Winsor and Newton Artist Quality Paint
  • Neef Watercolour brushes

I think I am getting better with my sketching/painting of rocks/boulders and am happier with the bottom half of the image than the top half.

I will have another attempt at this on a small scale and then would will aim to do an A4 size.

If you are ever on Norfolk Island, don’t wait until your 3rd visit to visit this beautiful spot.

Till next time!

David Johnson

6 June 2022

Renew

No. 7

Light That Inspires!

Over the years, both as an enthusiast Photographer (entering competitions up to International level) and Photographic Judge (up to National level), I have been asked, ‘what is your favourite subject?’

I imagine that people are expecting me to say things like, ‘landscapes, seascapes, people, architecture etc’.

My answer is simply, ‘light and its effect on subjects’.

Light of course needs shadow to create contrast so maybe I should say that my favourite subject to photograph is, ‘light and shadow and their effect on subjects’.

Here are a few images of ‘light and shadow’ that inspired me on our recent trip to Norfolk Island.

Till next time!

Written & Photographed by David Johnson

30 March 2022

Horizon

actors on the sky stage

One of the things that I must admit that I haven’t done for a long time is lay on the ground at gaze at the clouds as they drift on by…

It is something that I remember to be quite a meditative experience. One such time was during a bushwalk (hike) in the Blue Mountains, West of Sydney Australia. We were on our way out to a place called ‘Ruined Castle’ which was a rocky outcrop that looked, from a distance, a little like a ruined castle.

On the way out we came across a large expanse of flattish rock so we stopped for a rest and I remember laying back and gazing at the sky. So relaxing. Only the sounds of Mother Nature apparent with a gorgeous blue sky as a backdrop to the clouds, changing shape as they did, moving about like actors in a Play.

Sitting here typing this, my mind is cast back even further to my school days back in the 1970’s when, at lunchtime, I used to lay on the grass sometimes and gaze at the clouds. Again, so relaxing. My mind would drift off and be thinking of great memories but also thinking about the future as I lay there in the present.

Of course, clouds have entranced me in other ways as well. My Photography interest dates back to my childhood but in particularly from the early 1980’s when I became serious about it as a key interest.

The images included with this article are all taken on a phone and have been captured mainly on my walks over the past few years. Clouds have fascinated me for as long as I can remember and will continue to do so. Light, and its effects on objects fascinates me too, but more on that another time.

Below, I have included some cloud images that I found particularly interesting. Sit back and enjoy these actors as they dance across the stage of the sky!

Written by David Johnson

October 2021

A Way To Escape!

One of the ways I’ve been ‘escaping’ in this current lockdown environment is my walks which are allowed, currently within 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from home. We are blessed to have access to the Nepean River at Camden which is a beautiful spot to walk through (and picnic in normal times).

During lockdown and due to time constraints of the working day, I only get to go down to the Nepean River, Camden on a Wednesday and on the weekend. On other days, I just walk around the suburb. This may sound quite boring, and it could be if not for my nearly 40 years training my eye, firstly via photography and now via sketching and painting as well.

By ‘training me eye’ I mean looking within the scene and the way light interacts with a subject. There is just so much beauty around in seemingly mundane surroundings.

The following images are taken within the suburbs of the 5 kilometre radius we are are restricted to at present.

There are many benefits to be obtained from walking, with exercise being just one of them. I get ideas whilst I walk, for paintings, photos, poetry, articles and business. I either listen to Mother Nature, podcasts or music.

It is quite an immersive experience and a perfect way to ‘escape lockdown.’ I get to walk more days than not during the month. I’m not a good ‘cold-weather’ walker normally so to know that I commenced my latest walking programme in July, which is the middle of Winter in Sydney, was quite pleasing for me.

In programmed walks I have walked 51 kilometres (31.6 miles) in July, 72 kilometres (44.7 miles) in August and am around the 40 kilometre (24.8 miles) mark in September so far. In Winter I walked more towards the middle of the day and as it heats up during Spring/Summer I will walk earlier or later in the day.

Once lockdown is over I shall continue my walks and continue to view the beauty that surrounds!

Written by David Johnson

19 September 2021