A scene in just one colour....indigo

A scene in just one colour....indigo

Summer holidays are in full swing here in our house in Devon, I have teenagers and have seen my role change constantly over the years , I am now official taxi driver and money giver so said children can go out and about.

However between drop offs and pick ups my painting life goes on as normal and recently I have found my work moving in new directions...I don't think we ever stand still, especially as artists.I have been drawn to figures in the landscape ( not my usual subject at all) Also ways of telling a story through a painting, either humorous in some cases, or poignant in others.

I find a single colour like indigo or paynes grey frees you up as an artist, it means you don't have to make too many decisions but a colour like indigo still has the tones to convey the meaning 

Here is a brief blog about this painting of a father and son enjoying the sea together




First you need to find an image or use some old holiday snaps, reduce it down to the story you want to tell, and simply sketch the parts you want to use. An artist is an editor getting to the crux of the matter.



Firstly I paint the sky, I use some masking tape to create the horizon line, and have fun. Lots of wet in wet for the clouds, create some light and dark tones , and have some kitchen role handy to blot out some clouds, paint around spaces and be creative, Watercolour was made to paint skies!



Once that is dry you can move onto the sea, I use a flat brush to paint horizontally, then I use some kitchen roll to blot out some of the surf of the waves and then drop in darker indigo to create the shadows . I change the size of my brushes according to the job they are doing. Think about adding some ripples and splashes but don't add too much to where the figures are going to be.


Now I let that dry and turn my attention to the main event the father and son.

I turned my board upside down



I have no idea why it just felt right, look for some light and dark even in the reflection and a damp clean blush pulled through the reflection adds to the realism of the piece.

Now to paint in the figures 

Just use the indigo to tell the story



Start with light washes and add detail with more concentrated tones, when it looks right, stop. I added few splashes and spray I think with masking fluid before I started,

Let your brushes dance and see what stories they can tell

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I’ve been thinking about trying a painting with just Payne’s blue gray.. Maybe a landscape.

Marie Coar

I love this indigo watercolour. Thanks for showing

Fabiana Migliari

I’ve been loving your seaside paintings. Quite different from the wonderful wild life paintings. The rotund ladies remind me of me!! I particularly like the indigo paintings… thanks for showing how to achieve them

June Bentley

I love this painting, it is so atmospheric, you really feel you are there on the beach.

Patricia Leah

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