Painting Large | David Firmstone Watercolor Landscapes

For British artist David Firmstone, working large—often in the 3- to 4-feet range—opens the door to creative techniques not usually associated with watercolors. He has received international recognition for his extremely large watercolor landscapes and seascapes that, while clearly rooted in reality, have a dreamlike, sometimes unsettling, quality.

Painting large opens the door to the application of unusual techniques, and Firmstone has taken full advantage of that. Not only does he coat the paper with several layers of gesso, which he then scores and scratches to create texture, he also uses a spray gun or pours diluted paint onto the surface and moves it around.

“Why do I paint so large?” the artist asks. “It’s because I like to create problems—and
accidents—for myself and then solve them. I frequently ‘pour and draw,’ which requires
a big surface. Initially, it was about getting rid of the white space, but then I found that the marks from the pouring loosened up my watercolor process.”

Learn more about Firmstone and his techniques in the April 2015 issue of Watercolor Artist, available now in print or as a download at NorthLightShop.com (and on newsstands February 17).

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Tree Under Cloud (watercolor under paper) by David Firmstone

Tree Under Cloud (watercolor under paper) by David Firmstone

Backwater Bembridge (watercolor on paper) by David Firmstone

Backwater Bembridge (watercolor on paper) by David Firmstone

Honed by the Wind (watercolor on paper) by David Firmstone

Honed by the Wind (watercolor on paper) by David Firmstone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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