Boldt Castle and Value Studies

Boldt Castle. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

I always seem to be writing this but I’m trying to get back in the saddle again and finding it hard. I’m out of practice focusing on painting (and it takes a lot of focus) so this was a struggle. Not a pick of mine but one of the WetCanvas watercolor challenges.

After this struggle I decided to go back to some value studies to get my hand back in. I retried the castle at a smaller size (5.5×7) and in monochrome.


Still not much to write home about but I’m feeling a little less rusty.

Next I plucked a photo from my stash of ‘what to paint when I can’t decide’ and it was a rather boring photo of trees. Now sometimes the most boring photo can make for an interesting painting to paint. And so it was in this case. It still doesn’t possess much flair but I could feel myself getting back into intense observation and was really interesting to do. I should do more of these – really contemplative.


Bamburgh Castle

Bamburgh Castle. Michele Clamp. Watercolor 11”x14”

What a fun painting to do! Enjoyed all of this and I had the video cameras going too so it will up on youtube in the near future. A lot of careful color mixing which paid off and some nice splattering and wet iin wet color mixing in the castle walls. Very happy with this.

Here is the first part of the video – the planning, color matching and drawing stages.

And here’s the second part – the actual painting.

Eilean Donan Castle.


eilean_donan_castle_watercolor_painting

Eilean Donan Castle. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 11”x14”

Always a favorite. There isn’t a view of this that isn’t worth painting. I especially loved the warm ochres of the castle contrasting with the blues of the sky and water.

Some intermediates:

I’ve also included a shot of my preliminary color swatches. I match the important areas to the Munsell system and practice hitting the right hue, value, and chroma. I can always tell if the color palette will result in a harmonious picture from the result. Definitely looked good for this one.


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.