How I Work : Landscapes

My watercolour landscapes are painted from a culmination of outdoor, on location sketches, watercolour washes and photographs. Sometimes I’ll return to a place several times at different times of day or year to see how the landscape varies. I like to see the impact the weather has on the mood of the landscape and how the objects within the landscape can rot, wear, rust and dry out due to the weather. I’m a vigilant person (nosey some would say), even as a child I liked to stand still and take in everything that was around me.

wpid-Helen-Parry-Watercolour-Portrait-Artist-Stag-001-1-of-1.jpgWhen I’m painting a landscape I am making a deliberate attempt to capture a moment in time. I’m considering and expressing the way light moves, how nature reacts and how each object or subject has an impact on and a relationship with its surroundings. Overall I aim to let you see what I see, by creating an overall mood to my paintings, adding detail to draw your eye around the painting and choosing an aspect that makes you rethink the world around you.

When I have decided upon the final composition for a landscape, I will lightly sketch a composition on previously stretched watercolour paper. The sketch is a guide, which I might not adhere to as the painting progresses. Usually my sub-concious takes over as I paint landscapes, making me paint something I sub-conciously need to communicate to you. Patience is needed when producing watercolours, as layers might need time to dry, before adding more layers, depending on the technique I’m applying.

After several days or even weeks, when I think the landscape painting is complete I will leave it for a day or two. The landscape painting will sit on an easel and when I look at it refreshed and if I think I have nothing left to communicate within the painting, I’ll sign the painting and leave it to dry. I have a rule, once the watercolour painting is signed I can’t paint on it anymore. I am always aiming for perfection in my watercolours.

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