• Bondgate Gallery 51 Fore Bondgate
  • 01388 665919
  • lynn@bondgategallery.co.uk

January 2019


Stuart Semple Watercolours

This is a new palette of watercolours from Stuart Semple which he calls The World’s Colouriest Watercolours.

The set contains 36 pans of ridiculously high quality watercolours. Colours that are so vibrant and so pigmented that your work will totally hit a new level of potency when you use them. You will notice a very different painting experience, and you’ll see that your colours last way longer too. They have strange names such as alchemy, venom and grudge but they are very creamy colours and will be great for anyone wanting vibrant waterolours. At £36 for the set plus P&P they are very good value.

Here is a pen and ink drawing of Provence in which I washed in some of these colours to create the bright washed colours of the buildings. You can see more details of this palette here. Stuart Semple Palette.


Painting in Progress

This is a selection of photos showing how I develop a painting. This is an acrylic painting on canvas of Bishop Auckland at Christmas. Below that is the process used to paint abstract acrylics.

I start by painting in the background sky then gradually block in the buildings getting stronger to the front. Figures are dotted in randomly using just black acrylic, then colour is added to bring them to life. Windows are added and bright spots of yellows and whites accentuate the light coming from them. Some reflections are added to the wet roads and brighter patches of snow are laid down.

How To Paint Abstract Acrylics

  1. Black Out The Canvas.

    Use black gesso to cover the surface of the canvas. This helps gives you immediate coverage and sets you free to just paint.

  2. Use Textured Mediums.

    Mix a textured paste such as resin sand or black lava from Liquitex onto the canvas the same time as the black gesso. This gives a tooth so that paint can be dragged across it just catching the particles on the top surface.

  3. Block In The Larger Shapes.

    Use a large brush to paint in the main shapes of your painting. A brush at the beginning will work the paint into the textured surfaces.

  4. Use A Palette Knife

    Use a broad palette knife to drag colour across just catching the textured surface, Add a lighter colour to the knife and repeat the strokes, just with a lighter touch. Build up the paint to give a more abstract feel with the black gesso peeping through.How to paint acrylics

  5. Add Detail.

    Use a brush to define smaller shapes such as figures or architecture. Then drag an accent of colour over the shape using a smaller palette knife.

  6. Stop Early.

    Don’t overdo the detail in an abstract painting, let the viewer’s eye add their own vision. Less is more.

  7. Review Your Painting.

    Keep stepping back from your easel to see the bigger picture. On this painting the trees were just the black gesso with colour dragged in between and across the broken surface.


New Year, New Palette

I have been given a new palette to start the new year, but I can’t see what’s wrong with my old one. I always like to keep my palette clean, at least for the first week. You can decide which is the new one.

Actually I prefer to keep mixed paint on the palette troughs as there are sometimes good mixtures to pick up with your brush. I tend to pick up one colour with the brush then drag it into another so that when it hits the paper surface some of the colours mix together and some don’t, it gives more variety to your brushstrokes. But I admit the palette on the right has gone a bit too far, even for me.