Thursday 30 May 2019

santa maria de badain - step by step

It's been a while since I interrupted by sketching to take some step by step photos! Long overdue, some would say, as I've been getting a lot of messages and comments asking me about the order I do things when I'm painting outside.

This romanesque church is in the little village of Badain in the Spanish Pyrenees. I've sketched the whole church before, so this time I decided to get much closer and concentrate on just part of the building. This would give me to opportunity to do much more detail than I could manage in my previous sketch.

I start with a very rough pencil sketch to get the perspective correct. Stairs! Always a nightmare for me. Then I ink in all the detail using my trusty Lamy's - the fine nib for all the detail, the broad nib for a few shadow lines and the dark windows. (More on my pens and ink in the Tips & Techniques section above!).

Finished ink sketch of part of the romanesque church of Badain, Spanish Pyrenees.

Next I do the first very light wash of watercolour. All wet in wet with a large round brush, dropping in shades of brown, sienna and payne's grey for the walls and stone steps.

First watercolour wash for the sky and stonework. Wet in wet.

I complete the first wash and start adding glazes of colour to strengthen areas. Wet on dry now. I add all the tiny details with a smaller round brush.

Completing the watercolour washes and adding details with a smaller brush.

Shadows! This is where it all comes together. I use a mix of Payne's Grey and Burnt Umber to add a light shadow, wet on dry. Once this is dry I use a thicker mix of Payne's Grey for the darker shadows.
While I'm waiting for this to dry, I initial and date the sketch and add the location.

Almost done - shadows added.

Final details - I use my Lamy with the fine nib to strengthen some inkwork and use a white Uniball Signo to add touches of highlights, mostly to the grass in front. Done!

Done! Santa Maria de Badain - watercolour and ink painting.

You can see other step by step tutorials in the Tips & Techniques section above, as well as info about my materials. 

Hasta luego!

There are over 50 tutorials (videos and step-by-steps) on my Patreon and Renee's Studio. Find them here ...

Tuesday 28 May 2019

there's snow on the pyrenees

Monte Perdido, Spanish Pyrenees

Plenty of snow still on the Pyrenees. Yay! Always so lovely to see the snowy hills against a blue spring sky and fresh spring greens. Good to be back :-)

Friday 17 May 2019

three weeks in serra de montsant

Tiny ermita on the summit ridge of Serra de Montsant

So good to be back in Spain! Our first 3 weeks we spent in the Serra de Monstant - starting back exactly where we left off last October. This region is fantastic for climbing and hiking and, as a result, I didn't do as much sketching as normal.

The light here is truly wonderful at this time of year and the deciduous trees are just starting to get new bright green leaves, including the grape vines, which seem to get leafier by the day. Such an incredible contrast to the cool autumn light we had when we left here last October.

Rock pools, Riu de Siurana

Spring vineyard, La Morera de Monstant


Rainy day, Panta de Margaleft

Old romanesque bridge

Now on to the Pyrenees where I'm hoping the snow is still on the hills.