David Bellamy – Fun techniques during Coronavirus

 It has been a chaotic year so far, making it difficult to find time to write even though there is so much to say. Coronavirus has made things even more difficult, of course, but we persevere. Thankfully, as artists we can beaver away at home on our paintings, but what can we do if we feel inspirationally challenged?

 One way is to get out all those old paintings that have not worked. I have loads and sometimes go through them to see if I can use them in some way, or find just a part of the overall composition that might offer some hope. Over-painting with a weak glaze is a favourite technique, sometimes over part of the painting, sometimes over everything, and this can subdue parts you don’t like and at the same time highlight those parts you don’t touch.

 I’m always looking for ways to improve paintings and often it can be fun working on old paintings, perhaps not taking it too seriously. One technique you might like to try is brightening up dull colours with Derwent Inktense pencils. Because they are so intense I work over colours such as a dull green with an Inktense light green or yellow as I have done in this small watercolour of a rustic cottage, and this has resulted in a much more pleasant scene with a sunnier accent than previously. Note also the sky – a very simple one, but because I used sodalite genuine, a strongly-granulating colour from Daniel Smith it still has impact even without any cloud detail. The painting was done on Saunders Waterford high white NOT paper which is absolutely great when you want to rough it about a little with extra rubbing with the Derwent pencils, for example. The paper can take quite a lot of punishment and I love working on it.

 I’ll get back with more ideas shortly, so try to keep up the painting. Sadly all my workshops and demos have had to be cancelled until the end of July, including our great favourite, the Patchings Art Festival. The course in St Davids may well now be rescheduled for late August or early September, Coronavirus permitting, and I hope that the one at D’Alvaro in Spain in October will still be able to go ahead.  Keep safe, and keep painting!

14 thoughts on “David Bellamy – Fun techniques during Coronavirus

  1. Love that term ‘beaver away’- the joy of art sure helps these times. I play with watercolor but have painted on porcelain for about 15 years and also have begun to attempt fixing old errors on porcelain.
    Keep up the inspiration for all of us please. Your rugged outdoors is a great joy.
    Leni in USA

    • Leni, It’s interesting what you can learn even from others working in a totally different medium. Keep painting and keep safe! David

  2. Lovely composition . Very inspiring David . Can you kindly let me as a novice painter , know which colours you used ? It’s an area I struggle with and would very much appreciate your expert help .many thanks Philip RAILTON

    • Hello Philip: the colours used were Naples yellow on the roof, with touches of raw umber in places, mixtures of French ultramarine and gamboge for the right-hand bush and tree, adding in touches of raw umber in places, and cadmium red in parts of the bushes. The sky was done with sodalite genuine, a Daniel Smith colour. As parts of the scene were rather dull I over-worked them with a light yellow and light green in Derwent Inktense pencils after re-wetting the area. I hope that helps. Best wishes,

  3. Thank you for this! Please give David my regards and let him know I’ve still got the painting I bought from him in Malvern 30 odd years ago! I do hope you’re both well.
    Viv x

  4. Loved the reworked painting David. Keep the blogs coming. I fancy we all will need plenty of inspiration in the next few weeks. Just ordered more Saunders Waterford from Ken Bromley and some new brushes from Rosemary. It’s good that these people are still open for business as is Two Rivers for hand made paper.

    • Good to hear from you, Peter, and I’m glad you are obviously doing quite a bit of painting. Keep safe and keep painting. David

  5. What a lovely surprise to receive your blog ! Always a joy to read your suggestions and advice, perfect in these difficult restricting times. You certainly lifted my spirits today ! Please keep safe David Jenny and all your family.

    • Hi Gill, I’m glad I lifted your spirits! Sorry it’s been so long since I wrote a blog, but it’s been a dreadful year so far, but one thing Coronavirus is doing for me is giving me a bit more time for painting and blogging! There’ll be more soon. Keep yourself safe. David

      • Thank you David, so good to hear from you. I’m guessing there will also be some delay on your new book too ! That will be a treat for us all when life gets back to normal ! Best wishes and happy painting.

  6. Hi Gill, I’m glad I lifted your spirits! Sorry it’s been so long since I wrote a blog, but it’s been a dreadful year so far, but one thing Coronavirus is doing for me is giving me a bit more time for painting and blogging! There’ll be more soon. Keep yourself safe. David

  7. Hi D, been doin that for a while now cos I,m runnin out of space so I sorted the ones that don,t gel and altered em. Believe me I,ve learnt more with a spunge and glazes I did,nt think was possible ,now I,ve got a bigger headache now because they,re too good t throw away or use as scrap paper Keep safe G

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