With advance warning of a commission to illustrate a canal regeneration scheme, I decided to go through some five-finger exercises to warm up. I rooted out a couple of sketches I’d made many years before of some canalside scenes near Llangollen and their reference photos.
I got a couple of passable watercolour studies out of them. I don’t think they look like my usual work, more like the kind of thing you see in ‘how to do watercolours’ books. Or maybe it’s just the subject matter- a little too ‘chocolate box’ for me.
Those studies did stand me in good stead though, as time was short- as ever- to get the commissioned render done. I found both the forms and colours of the canal boats setting the scene came easily to my hand without time-consuming finding and consulting references.
You can see how I used the horse-drawn trip boat at bottom left of the part illustration shown below.