David Bellamy – Creating the effect of old stone walls

Writing blogs on a steam-driven laptop is an extremely slow process, and with extremely poor internet connections it can take me hours, which is the reason I’ve slowed down the number of blogs I do. Technology in Wales seems to be in some sort of reverse decline, and once the black-outs start hitting us it will be even worse. Progress is a funny thing!

Jenny and I enjoyed Patchings Art Festival, where I did two demonstrations in the St Cuthberts marquee to large, enthusiastic audiences. It’s always a joy to work with St Cuthberts Mill, and the Saunders Waterford High-White paper is superb for getting the best out of your watercolours.

I’ve just taken some new watercolours to Art Matters in White Lion Street in Tenby (Tel. 01834 843375) and this is one, showing a quiet corner of Tenby harbour. The lovely old stone walls provide an interesting backdrop, and these were done by laying an initial wash of Naples yellow over the entire area, and once this was dry painting in the stonework with cobalt blue plus cadmium red, to which I added a few drops of yellow ochre while the stones were still wet. I left some of the Naples yellow showing as light-coloured mortar between the stones. Once again I waited until the whole area had dried and then glazed it all with a weaker wash of cobalt blue and cadmium red. This both imparted a greater sense of unity and slightly softened off the edges of the stonework.

The background has been considerably simplified so that the emphasis is thrown onto the figures in conversation, and the surface was Waterford 140lb NOT, which is excellent for taking repeated washes if necessary.

7 thoughts on “David Bellamy – Creating the effect of old stone walls

  1. I absolutely adore the old but lovely stone walls. Thank you for explaining the technique of painting it and revealing the colors used. I can’t wait to try it out.

  2. Just in time as I’m painting a scene with dry stone walling set in Betwys Y Coed . Thank you for your great blogs! I agree about the slow broadband in Wales,very frustrating at times.

  3. It’s particularly helpful to read about the washes you put on initially and at the end. The final wash is always something I don’t consider enough. Great explanations David. I’ve been watching one of your DVDs whilst in hospital with paints and paper to hand 🙂

    • Kudos to you, Dom. That is the true spirit of learning tp paint from a Master Painter, David himself. Both of you are an inspiration for those of us who are striving to get better in painting. I enjoy reading David’s blogs and hope that he will continue to write them for the sake of his students all over the globe. Despite the frustration of the slow broadband in Wales. I live in Canada and love the opportunity to learn from artists from UK through their books, DVDs, blogs and Youtube.

      Painting has helped to save me from severe depression after a serious car accident, which has now left me permanently disabled and unable to work. Despite the fact that I have chronic pain and cannot sit, stand or walk for long, I am able to paint sitting down with frequent breaks. I have gone to weekly Art class for two years now. You can say that painting has given me inspiration,hope and some quality in life.

      • Helen, I get many people saying how painting has helped them overcome depression and truly desperate situations, even if it is only for a while. I’m so sorry to hear of your predicament. You are an inspiration to us all in the way you don’t let the disability overcome you, and I really hope things will improve for you. Keep painting, keep going to art class, and Jenny and I send you all our best wishes,
        David

      • Hi Helen I too think painting has saved my life I too have depression and a chronic pain condition and painting has changed my life. Thanks to people like David and Jenny they inspire so much it makes the often impossible times seem much more bearable. Painting truly is an art of discovery and inner strength my best wishes go to you too.

  4. For David, I love your paintings and how well that you explain your step by step, I know them very well because I have bought several books of yours. Thank you for sharing. For Helen, go ahead. I also suffered major depression and the painting helped me not only to be better, but I fell in love of it and now I have not stopped painting and to learn what I can from the great masters like Bellamy. Best Wishes

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