Learning from a master watercolorpainter is always good!
A few years ago I took some workshops from Kees van Aalst, and I learned a lot.
Just by watching and analysing watercolours, he showed me to be different in style, and just using a few colours. He made me aware that the painting is more important then the subject you try to paint!
Kees is a great admirer from John Palmer, and he showed me the books from Palmer. They were and are out of print for a few years now, so I tried to get those books true the internet, and after yes….. 19 months I have them both!
The one on the left was a small fortune, thanks to my bank, that not informed me about the costs of 19 € for alone a money transfer, never the less I am still happy with my 52 € book! The right one I just paid 15 euros! So that equals the money!
John Palmer has a unique style, just like Alvaro Castagnet a very own style has.
But we can learn a lot from looking and observing alone!
The book is wonderful, never I saw in a book so many good hints and tips to make your watercolours better, and you can apply those tips into your own painting style.
I found a small watercolour from John Palmer, were he has painted The Pulteney bridge in Bath, A very complicated scene, with lots of reflections, windows and details.
How did Palmer handled this difficult bridge?
He used just a few colours, a warm yellow, most likely Raw Sienna, and after drying probably a transparent wash from Cobalt Blue over the sky, and not the building, so it stands out against the sky. The edges he didn’t painted much detail in there, just gave us a hint that there is something, but he didn’t want us to look there! The darker colours and the blue tops he painted with Alizarin. A cool red and some Cobalt Blue. The most details are in the neighbourhood of the tower. So that is the part he want you to look! I don’t know if there were reflections on the day that John Palmer painted this scene, but if there were these reflections, they are much to busy for a painting.
So he just added some vertical strokes and some colours he already used to make a unity in this painting!
So the colours are probably these three pigments.
Red = Alizarin Crimson
Yellow = Raw Sienna
Blue = Cobalt Blue
Or something like these colours
Less is More
John Proves it!
The picture from the books is from Peter Ward