As you can see from the first image I have done my basic outline drawing
and put on my sky wash. In this sky wash Iíve firstly pre wet the whole
sky area using my big 1.5" wash brush, then dropped in some yellow ochre
and burnt sienna mixed, then gone on from the top all the way through
with a fairly strong mix of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna. Wash out
my brush, drag out some clouds and then again ultramarine blue and burnt
sienna mixed (slightly stronger) for some darker bits underneath the
clouds, all done whilst still sopping wet.
For the castle itself, once the sky had dried, I used my No.8 round
brush and filled the whole thing in with a weak mixture of raw umber and
yellow ochre and whilst this was still wet dropped in a few tiny daubs of
light red here and there, just to warm it up. Now let it dry. It has to
be said, with this wind it didnít take long.
There is kind of a
roof bit in the castle to one side, and for this I have used a little
bit of burnt sienna. Still with my No.8 round brush and now it's time for
all the shadow, it's this that really brings a building to life. My
shadow mix is ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson and burnt sienna. I
have kept this predominantly to the left-hand side and then with a damp
brush, just spread it across into the rest of the castle here and there.
Look what a difference the shadow makes.
I swapped to my No.3 rigger brush briefly and with just one stroke I put
in a flag post and a few windows here and there, remember at this kind
of distance you donít need to see sash windows and net curtains, it's
just a stroke with the brush. For all of this I used a mixture of
ultramarine blue and burnt sienna to make a black.
In the next image it
looks like Iíve done a lot here, thatís just because it's a big bit of all
the same colours. I started off with the stone underneath the castle
using yellow ochre and raw umber as in the castle. For this I have used
firstly yellow ochre then raw umber all whilst it's still wet, and then put
some of this yellow ochre down and through the rest of this whole area.
Then Hooker's green and burnt sienna mixed and start with grass where my
Now as in the castle, I need some shadow in this whole area, so itís the
same shadow mix, and predominantly again to the left-hand side. Iíve
used my ĺ" wash brush to put all this on but also you will notice that I
sucked paint out here and there to reveal a little bit of light and
curvature to the hillside. Notice how the hill in the distance is
weaker, just a little bit more water.
Coming further forward now and we have a dry-stone wall running along
the front of the castle which, as most of you will know, is actually at
the side of the road which takes you to the castle. Guess which colours
Iíve used - youíve guessed it, yellow ochre and raw umber. Keep the
stonework the same. I used my No.8 round brush for all of this, and
whilst it was still slightly damp, dropped in with a little bit of my
shadow mix to give it a bit more texture. I next changed to my 3/4"
wash brush and suck in the grass below the wall, firstly with yellow
ochre then yellow ochre and Hooker's green mixed. It's starting to come to
For the beach areas I
have used the Charles Evans sand colour which is a fabulously versatile
colour straight from the tube. You can use it for mixing, for lightening
other colours, beaches of course and it's superb for stonework. In this
case, it's just as it is painting my beach areas. For the reflections I
have used the same colours as in the castle and the grass hill, but a
little bit weaker. Once this was totally dry I stroked over with a very
weak mix of the Charles Evans British sea colour. Again a very useful
colour straight from the tube, and it will answer all of your problems
with water in general, just make it stronger for the sea and weaker for
rivers and lakes with the addition of more water.
For the finishing stages I put in a few raw umber stripes into the beach
areas using my 3/4" wash brush, this just helps to bring the eye into the
picture a little bit more. For the grasses in the foreground, firstly
yellow ochre, I bashed all these colours on with my 3/4" wash brush, then
Hooker's green and burnt sienna mixed, then ultramarine blue and burnt
sienna mixed. Flick up a few bits to make it look like grass, and then
scratched some paint out using my fingernails for light grass.
To finish it off totally, add a few people to the hill behind, silhouetted
against the sky. I used my shadow colour and my No.3 rigger brush. A few
sea gulls passing by, three ticks in the sky. And there we go a nice day
remembered on Holy Island. Incidentally, quite often when I go out on
location and people ask where do I get my water from, in this case the
sea was very close by. How about that for a bit of authenticity?