Just Visiting


As a result of the Widdershins exhibition finishing, I felt a sudden inclination to do a Mythic Village picture. I haven’t made one for a year and a half, but this idea has been sitting around for just as long, shamefully scribbled on the back of a receipt for a projector lens. I’m afraid I can’t get into the habit of using sketchbooks, which is unfortunate because it would make life a lot easier and also help me feel like a proper artist. Too late now, I suppose. Here’s the murky original doodle – there’s just enough information there to remind me of the picture that popped into my head at the time.


Next up, I had to make some sense of it all by doing a large pencil drawing, then scanning it in and adding some tone in Photoshop. In my experience, if the picture is fine tonally, then the colour takes care of itself. I like to tell myself that especially when I’m feeling too lazy to do a proper colour rough.


Here are a couple of progress shots – as per usual, it was a case of drawing the main bits in pen and ink, then a deep breath and on with the watercolour. This painting differs slightly from the previous Mythic Village pieces in that I’ve changed the surface I work on. This one is much more absorbent, so I had to approach it with caution as it’s much harder to lift the paint off when things go wrong.




13 Replies to “Just Visiting”

  1. looks great!
    I find your process very interesting to see as it is quite similar to mine except that I change my line to a sort of warm sepia in PhotoShop and it mostly vanishes under the watercolor.
    What did you change your support to, from what?
    cheers and best, Wendy

    1. Thanks Wendy. The board I used previously was made by Schoellershammer and is now discontinued. I’ve not found anything similar (maybe Bristol Board is the closest, but despite being called ‘board’ it’s very thin and needs to be stretched before use). This was painted on Langton HP by Daler Rowney. I enjoyed using it so the enforced change was not a big problem.

  2. Lovely work, as always David, and it was great to see your pieces at Widdershins. Have you seen Jim Kay’s Harry Potter exhibition in Newton Abbot? Well worth a look if you get the chance. Thanks for your generosity in sharing your process. It’s fascinating to see how different artists approach work. And reassuring to know I’m not the only one who’s lax on the sketchbook-keeping front! In the WIP shot at the bottom, the blues and reds are a fair bit stronger than in the finished piece. Did you use a unifying wash at the end to tone down the colour or do you build it up and tweak as you go? How long does a piece like this take you, out of interest? Questions questions…
    Thanks and Best Wishes

    1. Thanks Keith – I didn’t know about the Jim Kay exhibition.
      You’re right, I did tone the foreground down by putting a wash of payne’s grey over it. Because I’ve changed the surface I work on this was reasonably easy – previously I would have to get the tone/colour right first time or adjust with coloured pencils.
      I’m not sure how long this one took – it was worked on quite sporadically. I would think maybe 4 working days?

  3. Hi David, apologies for jumping on the bandwagon a bit late with this post, but I was having a casual wander through your blog and this piece jumped out at me. It is truly beautiful! It wouldn’t happen to be on sale anywhere would it? (Not the original – as much as I would be honoured to own an original piece of yours, I am running on an apprentice’s wage = not fun) [do you even sell your originals?] Anyway, sorry for rambling! Thank you for sharing your artwork, it is so awe-inspiring and detailed! Best wishes, Anna

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