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.

Gary Tucker Online Workshop – Boston


Had a few cracks at this one before I took the plunge for a full painting. The final thing turned out okayish but nothing that really excited me.

Here are the initial value studies

Nothing really grabbed me at this point so I put it to one side for a day or so.

Came back this afternoon and had a rethink about the relative placing of the buildings and came up with this=



This felt better and I was encouraged enough to do a full size one.


Hmm. I don’t know why I had to put so many cars in. The painting doesn’t need it at all and distracts from everything else. Sigh.. Maybe one day I’ll crack it.

Boats at the Naval Yard, Boston Harbor

Boats at the Naval Yard, Boston Harbor. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”


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I’ve been saving this scene for a bit since our painting trip to the Naval Yard in Boston. I had a disastrous outing with a previous scene but couldn’t resist the boats for any longer. I’m pretty happy – the effect of strong sunlight is there and the composition is pleasing. A good days work.

More Sketches – Boats, Castles, Boston


There’s something quite liberating about these small sketches. They’re quick to do and because of the small size brushwork and edges don’t need to be sweated over. And if one doesn’t work out – just do another one and it’s forgotten.

Corfe Castle sketch. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 5×8”

Boston Common sketch. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 5”x8”

Only 3 sketches today. The people in this one were the trickiest bit. A lot of watercolor artists tend towards what I call ‘stock’ figures’ in their paintings. I feel that spoils things so I wanted to get more of a sense of real people walking towards me. I think it succeeded.

Boston Common Sketches


More sketches today. These were all from photos taken in Boston common a few years ago. These were all fun to do and it surprised me how well they turned out. All done quickly in a 5×8” moleskine sketchbook with a quick preliminary pencil sketch and then straight in with colored washes.


Another view of the George Washington statue. This I was pleased with too.


swan_boats_boston_common_watercolor_sketch

This photo I almost skipped over which would have been a shame as it’s my favorite of the day. The swan boats came out surprisingly well.


boston_common_view_watercolor_sketch

Final one of the day. Again another view through Boston Common to the buildings beyond. Not my favorite.

Boston Skyline

Boston skyline. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Two tries today. Both of the Boston skyline. The intention was to keep the colors muted and the values subtle. Not too much detail but enough to suggest buildings. The first one above was definitely the most successful but even this one suffered from some bad brushwork in the water. Nice in parts though.

Here’s the second: