Rockport MA

Cleaves St. Rockport, MA. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 16”x20”

I was rootling about on google maps for some possible painting trips and came across this scene in Rockport. I’m working larger than usual which poses all sorts of problems for me but it isn’t currently a complete disaster. I’ll leave it on the easel overnight and look at it with fresh eyes tomorrow. I was going for subtle color but may have undercooked it a little.

Paul Foxton Workshop – Apple Value Studies


I’m really starting to enjoy these simple value studies. Although in practice they are quite complicated to do. They don’t turn out to be great watercolors. Paul works in oils so his methodology is somewhat different to what I’m used to. This does shake things up a bit and I have to solve things somewhat differently to my usual working methods. The first couple I did I was a bit dismayed that they came out a little overworked and splotchy and I was working in many more layers that I usually would. As time has gone on I like the effect of all that effort more and more. If the values are right the overall effect outweighs any surface blemishes and the subject matter shines through.

Jo Vloothuis Workshop – Watercolor Landscape


This week’s johannes Vloothuis workshop was watercolor and as such it was easier than last week’s one. Some interesting stuff with credit cards used to scrape out rocks. I approached this with gusto and although a little lacking in finesse it has a certain charm.

Johannes Vloothuis Online Workshop


Workshop time today with Johannes Vloothuis. He did this in oil but I had a crack in watercolor. Doing this always reminds me how hard it is for workshop attendees to do good work. You have to concentrate on the instructor and also keep thinking about your own painting. Exhausting!

But I was fairly happy with this. In real life the foliage areas have less contrast which works better. I almost screwed up the background cliffs but just about brought them back. I’m undecided whether to put in more contrast in the buildings…maybe it’s fine as is.

Here’s the original photo. Pretty tricky. Wonder if I should try this in oil?


Zakim Bridge from Boston Naval Yard Study


I’ve been wrestling with this view of the Zakim bridge from Boston Naval Yard for a while. It has a lot of contrast and my first try I overdid the value range completely. So after finishing the heron this morning I thought I’d just do a quick freehand value sketch with no prior drawing and see how it came out. I think I might finally be onto something. Going in with the mid values first, then the darks and then the lighter values helped enormously to tie this together. Let’s see how it turns out with a full size attempt.

Standing Blue Heron

Standing Blue Heron. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Time for another heron. These are always popular but they are very tricky to do and never seem to get easier. Very happy with this one right now. Some nice detail in the feathers and the background brings out the lighter colors without overwhelming the bird. Let’s see if it still passes muster tomorrow morning.

If it does there’s also video which I’ll upload later.