Archive for category Author: David Howell

Painting in Watercolour || David Howell

This general and wide-ranging discussion of watercolour makes for an enjoyable read. Although it contains a number of demonstrations, these are more of the analytical than prescriptive type, taking consideration of what was done rather than providing instruction on how to replicate them.

David’s style is pleasantly loose and makes frequent use of granulation. He also includes preliminary pencil sketches that show how the composition was settled.

While there is plenty of information, this is a book to sit down with rather than use while you’re working. The examination of approaches and consideration of colour, tone and perspective contain more detail than a simple instruction manual and are related both to the medium in general and the subject in particular.

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DVD: Just Watercolour || David Howell

David Howell travels light. It’s the motorbike, which doesn’t really cater for large or heavy equipment.

This stripped-down approach does, however, allow him to concentrate on the painting, the “Just Watercolour” of the title. A small half-pan box, a couple of brushes, a block of paper and a really quite generous roll of pencils are all he needs.

Ah yes, the pencils. David explains at the beginning that he doesn’t like to sketch on the watercolour block itself; rather he prefers to make a coloured pencil sketch that gets the composition, provides a record “in case anything changes” and also helps with details that may be important later.

With this done, David works straight onto the paper. His first outing, on the Somerset levels, is a series of washes that blend into one another, with more defined shapes, such as a gateway, done wet-in-wet, the result being a graduated progression of colours that captures a misty morning perfectly.

Later demonstrations at Brixham and Salcombe are more complex scenes with boats and buildings and it is interesting to see how David uses blocks of colour, building up a composition of initially unconnected shapes, gradually bringing them together using the pencil sketch as a guide.

The result is an intriguing and delightful wander through the ways of watercolour, with lots of good advice along the way.

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