Watercolour artist Charles Evans describes in six steps how he created this evocative painting of Morpeth Clock Tower in Northumberland
Morpeth is one of those gorgeous little market towns in Northumberland that is steeped in history and has a wonderful welcoming atmosphere.
In this recent painting, I concentrated on the old clock tower which stands at the head of the main street.
In the first image you will see that I have done my outline drawing and put on my sky wash.
The sky wash is a very simple affair.
First, with my 1.5 inch wash brush, I pre-wet the sky wash area with just clean water.
Next, I drop in some cobalt blue, stronger at the top.
I then wash out and squeeze my brush, then simply suck out some paint to create the clouds, and let this dry
In the next image, you will see that I have created all the distance.
First, for the trees, I use my No 8 round brush and pop in a little well-watered yellow ochre, followed by hookers green mixed with burnt sienna.
I let this dry, and then, using the same brush, fill in the distant buildings with raw umber for the lighter areas, followed by raw umber mixed with burnt sienna for the darker areas.
For the roofs, I use the cobalt blue, this time with a touch of light red mixed in.
I use the same mix for the intimation of windows.
First, I put on a base wash of raw umber mixed with burnt sienna and let all this dry.
For the roofs, again cobalt blue mixed with light red – but slightly stronger than we used it in the past. For the window areas, it’s again cobalt blue mixed with light red.
Notice at this stage that I’ve put the little shop-front in using just alizarin crimson – but again with lots of water.
Now for the big bit – which of course is the tower.
Again using my No 8 round brush I pre-wet the whole of the tower with just clean water.
Then while it’s still sopping wet, I drop in yellow ochre.
Next, I add raw umber.
I follow this with light red and finish it off with cobalt blue.
I allow all these colours to mingle and merge together.
Then I let it all dry.
The road in the foreground is cobalt blue with a tiny touch of light red and lots of water. For this, I used my ¾” wash brush.
Now back to the buildings. I take my No 8 round brush with raw umber and mix in a tiny touch of cobalt blue.
Then with single strokes, I create the image of stone work here and there. Don’t do too many or your building will look like its got chickenpox.
Adding the finishing touches
When I had finished with the stone work, I put a tiny touch of burnt sienna in to the same mix and painted the door in the tower.
Now more water into the same mix, and paint the little bit of pavement with this colour.
Finally its time for shadows.
Quite a strange mix this one: cobalt blue, alizarin crimson and burnt sienna.
Still using my No 8 round brush, I first concentrate on the shadows within the windows.
I then paint underneath the gutterings of buildings, and then change to my ¾” wash brush to do those big broad strokes of shadow on the clock tower and across the pavements.
These are all shadows cast by other building that are out of sight.
And there we go – not too much of a difficult painting to start off this series.