November 2018: Watercolour painting by Louise Bougourd
Louise Bougourd provided us with a delightful demonstration of her unstuffy spontaneous approach to painting. She has worked in oils and more recently in mixed media with all its open-ended possibilities, but for us she opted for a watery woodland scene in watercolours.
Louise combines naturalism and imagination to create expressive, vibrant art. She makes many sketches on location and uses them in the studio where she is bold and gestural in her mark-making. Her aim is to create art that makes you look at your surroundings in a new way, with fresh eyes.
She brought this previous mixed-media work [left, and a gloriously textured detail below] to act as a very loose reference point
Louise often works on Saunders Waterford Watercolour paper blocks or Fabriano Artistico watercolour paper.
Working very loosely she began with a wash of translucent Schmincke Turner's Yellow and then Indanthrone Blue [aka Indanthrene].
Louise's secret weapon is a 'sludge' (her term!) consisting of a mix of colours that like to separate:
Indigo, Opera Rose [a magenta colour], Raw Sienna and Cobalt Turquoise Light.
This she mixed in the middle of her circular palette. The resulting shadowy colour was then added with unconventional forced upward brushstrokes creating loose and spontaneous trunk/branch shapes. A sturdy nylon-bristled brush was needed to survive this technique but the reward is a pleasingly 'free' feel to the shapes created.
At this stage, Louise disturbed and lightened any darker patches of tree to keep the atmosphere nicely vague and misty.
Next, while things were still wet she used horizontal water-laden marks to create ripples.
Her tip: DON'T do the ripples with straight lines
Damp reflected tree trunks
Adding definition and tone
Louise used an Australian make of rigger that is longer than usual, both handle and hairs. Held at the far end, the marks that are made have a fluid free look to them. We were reassured that they are not kangaroo bristles!
The next stage, having established the atmosphere of the piece, was to increase contrast and darken many of the trees, plus the general adding of more 'considered' marks. A large sable [size 14] was used to add deeper 'sludge' [!] to particularly the tree on the right, with the rigger for the smaller branches.
And finally, you can't beat a good old bit of splatter!
Sorry, the pictured wasn't washed out as shown here. The photo below is a bit more like it.
Louise Bourgourd with the finished picture