On a larger scale

Watercolour paintings are generally of a small to medium size.

I tend to favour 11" x 15" which is a quarter size watercolour sheet. However, recently I've had a desire to paint some larger watercolours so having purchased some full sheets which are 22" x 30" (pretty much the largest size you can get in watercolour paper) I set about considering what to paint. I was careful to pick two scenes that I had painted several times before and had always thought that they would work well as larger paintings.

Working on a larger piece in watercolour is quite a challenge as you need to paint in a very different manner. The medium dries very quickly so you need to work pretty swiftly and there is a greater likelihood of the painting drying too quickly in areas that you want to keep wet!

Quite a challenge!

The key to this was using a large paintbrush. I used a Ron Ranson hake brush for the large washes as it holds a lot of water. I chose two scenes; firstly, a Barn Owl in flight which is a scene I have painted many times before and was quite keen to paint it on a larger scale. I wanted to paint the owl almost life-size to convey the appearance of it flying in the sky and needed to have sufficient background. The other scene I chose was a Pembrokeshire coastal scene at Abereiddi. I had taken down a small sketch of this scene in acrylics while Kate, Rosie and I were out for a walk on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path from Porthgain to Abereiddi.

It was quite windy that day so I took down a quick sketch simply to get some information which was enough for me to use as a reference along with some photographs I took. I wanted the sunlight catching one of the distant cliffs to be the focal point and the sheep in the foreground were painted quite softly so not to detract from the panoramic view of the coastline in the distance.

I think the two scenes I chose worked very well as large paintings. The downside to larger paintings is that any lack of detail or inaccuracy in the scene will be more noticeable. If you are considering working on a larger scene I would suggest working out the scene on a smaller scale first.

I definitely enjoyed painting them and will add these sizes to my collection and some of the scenes I have enjoyed painting in the past may now be reborn on a larger scale!

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