Lake Bled

Lake Bled. Michele Clamp. Watercolor. 14”x11”

This painting lark never gets easier. This is a scene I’ve painted before and I thought would be a walk in the park. I was wrong. Very tough.

My usual method now starts with careful color matching. Makes a huge difference in getting the values right.

And here for comparison is my version from 2 years ago.


Lake Bled, Autumn


Lake Bled, Autumn


14”x11”/20”x16” matted.

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I haven’t posted for a while but I have been painting.   However,  everything I’ve tried up until today has been terrible. Not pleased with anything at all.    In fact last night,  after stopping painting at 8.30pm,  I was wondering whether I’d completely forgotten how to paint entirely.    Here is some evidence :



I’ve wanted to do another version of Lake Bled for a while.    This should have been a walk in the park but oh dear.   Not quite what I’d intended at all.   Very dreary and dull.    

Ok let’s regroup – go back to the sketchbook and see if a smaller format helps at all. 




Hmm no it didn’t.    Although now I look back on this it’s not *too* bad.    How about another? 




Nope.  Not this one either.  I thought a simpler scene would help but obviously not.   I quite like the sky though. 

Ok back to a larger format with the same scene. 



Arrrrgh!   Look at all that green!   All that overworking!   What is wrong with me?   Sigh.   


So what to do.    I wondered whether the composition was hindering me.    A quick browse through Pixabay threw up a few much better pictures.     I also went back to the master Charles Reid,  watched a couple of his videos and took some notes.

Ok – so my plan was this : 

 –  More white paper.   You don’t have to cover everything.   You’re not painting a room

 –  Keep things lighter in value.   Except where it matters and then really have some juicy darks. 

 –  Vary the color.   Drop in pigment into wet paper.    

 –  Keep an eye on those negative shapes.    


And you know I think it worked.    A little different for me but I’m happier than I’ve been in a long while.    



Phew!   I live to fight another day. 


Lake Bled

Lake Bled

At first glance this doesn’t look too complicated but I wanted to have another go at a lake scene and try and get some movement in the water.    This is tricky as you have to wait until the paper has just the right amount of wetness so the ripple marks spread but not too much.   It didn’t work out quite as I’d planned but this is definitely something where practice makes a lot of difference.

Otherwise this isn’t the most subtle of paintings.  Too much quin gold which makes the greens far too perky.   I need to work on toning these down a bit.   Buildings came out well though so all in all things came out positive.