David Norman 7th Oct 2022
Street Scene in Watercolours

Thanks, Penny Lamb, for the text and photos.

David Norman is a very experienced watercolourist currently based in  South Devon but with an intimate knowledge of the Dordogne. His training in architectural drawing finds an outlet in his approach to French town scenes which are realistic and figurative while also focused on capturing tone and atmosphere.

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David is currently offering bespoke painting days. For details click HERE

For us he demonstrated his approach to tackling a complicated French townscape . He had predrawn the scene on Arches watercolour paper, using his sketches made on site. He used artist quality paints with plenty of water and a large brush to start with. His palette consisted of colours such as cobalt blue, ultramarine blue, cadmium red, orange, yellow ochre ,cadmium yellow,  burnt sienna , burnt umber, and Paynes gray.

David explained that he draws tightly but paints loosely and isn’t too precious about letting the colours merge and flow together, which makes the colours more interesting.

He showed us how to use perspective in a painting of this sort , but again not too rigidly. Shadows cast by the buildings helped to make the light parts pop more. 

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We all agreed that it was an interesting and lively demonstration that we all learned something from.

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He also demonstrated how to put figures simply into the scene, with the heads of adults on the same eye level. A smaller brush was used to finish the details towards the end and then some designer white gouache was used to lighten some areas. A  card mount also helped to crop the picture to focus the attention on the main area of the scene that was important.

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