I've gone for the smaller 7" x 5" format in this watercolour of Sutton Park near to Boldmere Gate. It's here in Sutton Park where I miss the winter snow we had the most. The open land looked fantastic covered in blanket white.
I've started work on volume 1 of 'My Watercolour Diary' where this blog will be produced in a book format. Again, it will be paperback black and white. I've looked at some of my paintings I've put in the book so far and to be honest I almost prefer them in black and white.
This watercolour of Loch Goil is the subject of my new book 'Watercolour Step-byStep'. Rather than taking photos throughout the painting, as I did for my last book on oils, I've used frame stills from the video I made of the painting which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2y0F173o4I
I find this a lot easier for 2 reasons. Firstly, I paint watercolours much quicker than oils and with elements such as skies, you don't get much time when you're trying to get the sky in before the paper dries to grab your camera and start taking photos. Oil painting is a much more leisurely paced and lends itself better to frequent pausing to photograph your work.
Secondly, when photographing for my last book, I found a couple of times I'd advanced with the painting before suddenly realising I'd forgotten to take any photographs. Using the video stills makes it simple to get images at regular intervals.
The only snag is that the resolution of the stills is nowhere near as high as a photograph so the image has to be a lot smaller. But I think they may be just big enough to get away with.
However, the full page size pictures will still have to be taken with a camera.
I was thinking of producing a book from this Watercolour Diary blog. I don't know if it would be a good idea or not to include other peoples comments below each post in the book from the blog. In fact I don't know whether it would be legal or not to do so. Maybe if I put some kind of disclaimer on the home page? I can see a possible can of worms to be honest. It may be easier to just include my own words and pictures.
This is a very simple watercolour impression of Loch Eriboll measuring 15" x 11". I'd love to do a tour of Scotland. It's crossed my mind to hire a motor home but the prices they charge are ridiculous. I think it would be cheaper to stop in bed and breakfasts. I'll have to have a think about it.
This is a loose impression of the River Cole flowing around the outskirts of Shard End in Birmingham. It's pleasantly surprising what you can find to paint if you look around, even in a city as ugly as mine!
They've even cleaned the lake (opposite the fair) near to where I live in Stechford as part of the Kingfisher Project. The last time I went there I had to literally step around the bird s**t and dead animals as I walked around with my young son.