Tag Archives: Vobster

Wednesday Swimmers

The Wednesday Swimmers

The finished painting.

The finished painting.

This is Sally, Wendy and Cecily (left to right), who often swim on a Wednesday morning at Vobster. I particularly like swimming with them when I get a chance: there is much mucking about, diving, somersaulting, comedy renditions of synchro swimming. Occasionally there is swimming too. It’s all very good material for art: Sally takes fabulous photos, I take snaps by the simple method of pointing the camera in the general direction of the subject while repeatedly pressing the shutter for as long as I can hold my breath, but they are exactly what I need for paintings afterwards.

This is watercolour with gold and palladium leaf, quite big: about 19 x 22 inches. I took photos of the work in progress and posted them as I did each stage on my facebook profile, a slightly unnerving experience as at the start I had a large number of comments that said ‘leave it as it is’ …no pressure not to mess it up then! Here is the full sequence.

I have prints of this painting in my Etsy shop: www.waterdrawnart.etsy.com, and at time of writing this painting is also for sale, though I’ve also earmarked it for an exhibition in Clevedon in October (more on that later…).

The photos

The photos

Sketches

Sketches

Pencil outlines and underpainting in Prussian blue

Pencil outlines and underpainting in Prussian blue

...Prussian Blue....

…Prussian Blue….

...more Prussian Blue...

…more Prussian Blue…

...you know what colour this is by now!

…you know what colour this is by now!

Lots of thin layers of very translucent yellow with a hint of red/magenta

Lots of thin layers of very translucent yellow with a hint of red/magenta

A little more colour, and the highlights put back in

A little more colour, and the highlights put back in by lifting off a little of the colour wash where light catches the skin and for the sunbeams through the water.

The finished painting.

The finished painting. This is a scan and a more faithful representation of the colours than the previous photos.

Detail of tiny fragments of gold leaf

Detail of tiny fragments of gold leaf

Close-up

Close-up

Details...

Details…

Finally, gold and palladium leaf fragments, lots of them.

The metal leaf fragments, catching the light.

Wednesday swimmers - pencil sketches

Wednesday Swimmers

Wednesday swimmers - pencil sketches

Wednesday swimmers – pencil sketches

I like swimming on Wednesday at Vobster, though I hardly ever get to go. There is much mucking about in the water. Here is something I am working on from some photos I took on a Wesnesday recently. It started off with me liking something about the arrangement of the two figures in this one photo, though as an actual photo it’s not one of the best.
The sketch is actually three sketches, scanned and and arranged till I think they work together. Getting the underlying drawing right is absolutely the most important thing with most of what I do so there has been much thinking and faffing already. Don’t hold your breath with this one… I have other work I should be doing now….

Wednesday swimmers - photo

Wednesday swimmers – photo

Lucy

I usually swim with Lucy at Clevedon Marine Lake. A fantastic and free facility but the lake is topped up by the muddy brackish waters of the Bristol Channel on the highest of tides, and if you can see as far as your feet through the water it is a remarkable and rare event.

Lucy asked me to paint a painting of her swimming, so we went off to Vobster with my camera, and I took lots of snaps and this painting is the result. We were just about lucky with the weather – the sun deigned to shine between the November clouds for a few minutes, but the water is lovely and clear anyway, so it’s always good for photos.

This is painted in watercolour with fragments of aluminium leaf for the bubbles.

Lucy at Vobster

Lucy at Vobster

Close-up detail of painting

Sara, diving at Vobster Quay

Underwater photography

I’ve been looking at some of my photos taken at Vobster Quay, of swimmers underwater. I take these as an aid to creating paintings and not as an end to themselves, but I thought I would share this with you. The movements of swimmers are always lovely, it’s the weightlessness, but I particularly liked this sweep down, a dive with two leg kicks.
The camera is an Olympus Tough (orange, now obsolete, but there are newer versions), It’s very wide angle which makes the swimmers look quite far away and quite deep down, even if you see just one photo close-up. Click on the sequence and you should be able to see it in reasonable detail.

Sara, diving at Vobster Quay

Sara, diving at Vobster Quay

Sara

Sara

Last Swim of 2016

Last Swim of 2016, or: ‘Why do you do it?’

‘Why do you do it?’ said the diver, struggling into her drysuit and eyeing my swimming costume with a tinge of horror. Because this is what it looked like; because being in a wetsuit is not the same as being in the water; because I can.

I do admit to wearing gloves yesterday, I had forgotten that, when I drew this. Particularly good for chilly swims when you can’t help but stop and take photos. I had a slight dilemma about adding people to this picture, so I finished two versions.

Last Swim of 2016

Last Swim of 2016

 

Last Swim of 2016 ii

Last Swim of 2016 ii