Boat in Amble Harbour – Watercolours
This is a lovely little scene that I painted, in watercolour, in Amble harbour near my home in Northumberland. As you can see, I’ve done an outline drawing, making sure that the boat is leaning against the wall.
This was a fairly simple sky wash, using my 1 ½ in Aquafine washbrush. I pre-wet the whole sky area first and dropped in a little yellow ochre mixed with burnt sienna in the bottom area. Then ultramarine blue with a touch of burnt sienna in it, from the top downwards. I then simply washed out the brush and sucked out a couple of clouds.
Once the sky was thoroughly dried, I changed to my ¾ in flat Aquafine brush and, with a little raw umber mixed with Charles Evans sand, painted the bottom part of those distant sand dunes. And then above that, I used hookers green mixed with a lot of yellow ochre. Whilst this was all still wet, I dropped in a few touches of very weak light red, followed by a few touches of very weak ultramarine blue. I let all this merge and do its own thing. I waited for this to dry before I painted the posts using a mixture of ultramarine blue and light red and used my no 4 Aquafine rigger brush.
Now it was time for all those buildings on top of the quayside. For all of these I used my no 8 Aquafine brush and a mixture of raw umber and Charles Evans sand for the walls of the buildings, slightly darker to the right hand side and then more water into the mix for the left hand side. The roofs of the round topped buildings were a mixture of ultramarine blue and light red and the roof of the big building was again raw umber and sand. Once it had dried, I used my rigger brush to put on a few squiggly lines of the same mix. but darker, to give the effect of tiling. The streetlights were ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, mixed, but this time using the rigger brush.
Time for the harbour wall. The ¾ in flat brush was used for all of this. And it was simply raw umber to start with and then a touch of blue into the raw umber for the darker strokes at the base of the wall. And for the few lighter areas in the ridges of the wall, I dropped on some very strong yellow ochre. Ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, mixed as a black, and my rigger brush gave me the railings at the top of the wall and the ladders coming down the wall.
The next bit was to start and paint the reflections in before I did any of the water and I did this using the ¾ in flat brush and a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, keeping it nice and dark. Don’t try and replicate everything above it, it’s just a dark shape.
Before I started on the top part of the boat, I washed out my ¾ in flat brush, squeezed it between my fingers to give me a sharp edge, and sucked out the paint where the larger parts of the white superstructure would go. Then I changed to my no 8 round brush and with ultramarine blue and light red mixed, I put a weak wash to the right hand side of the wheelhouse, leaving the left hand side of the wheelhouse white. For windows I used a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, weak, and the same colour, slightly stronger, for the roof of the wheelhouse. For the big piece of gubbins behind the wheelhouse, I used ultramarine blue mixed with the tiniest touch of light red.
It was time for the rest of the superstructure. Because the drawing was already in place, this was not in the least bit difficult. With a mixture of ultramarine blue and light red and the rigger brush, I simply ran down the right hand side of each bit of the rigging with my rigger brush.
The main hull of the boat was done with the rigger brush and a good strong cobalt blue. Above this a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, as a black. I left a little strip of white paper in between the two colours (and notice that I painted around the tenders hanging down the boat). I left the top front part of the boat white. Finally, at the front, that little triangle of red for which I used alizarin crimson.
Using the no 8 round brush, I used light red to fill in the tenders at the side of the boat. Then I washed the brush out well to stroke a little bit of really well-watered ultramarine blue into parts of that white bit that I left on top of boat. This helped to give it a little bit of shape. Remember, white in shade has a blue tinge. At this stage I also painted the light red tenders to start the reflections.
Then it was time to reflect the boat using my no 8 round brush. I simply repeated the colours below the boat.
Next was to put the reflection of the small boat in using ultramarine blue and light red mixed. For the harbour wall to the right, I used yellow ochre on the top and raw umber and yellow ochre mixed below it. I then changed to my rigger brush to paint the big lamp post standing on top. This was done using the same mix as the other lamp posts but a little bit stronger. Then, still with the rigger brush, I stroked down a bit of black down the right hand side of this. I reflected all of this below.
Once all the reflections were completely dry, I used my ¾ in washbrush and a mixture of ultramarine blue. Hookers green and burnt sienna, with plenty of water, to paint the water. Big broad strokes going horizontally, also stroking through the reflections and making sure this mix became weaker as it went further away. Finally, I washed out the brush, squeezed it between my fingers to get a sharp edge, and sucked out a few light bits.
Once all the water was good and dried, I painted the little rowing boat. For the hull I used a mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, then I sucked out a little bit of paint at the front end of the boat just to give it a little bit of shape. Then I painted a little raw umber around the top edge before showing a little bit of the inside of the boat by making its original blue a lot weaker. Once this had dried, I used the black mix to indicate the ribs of the boat. For that tiny touch of harbour wall at the left, I used big broad strokes of yellow ochre mixed with raw umber and then just raw umber to indicate the edge of the wall. The final strokes were with my rigger brush and the black mix. This was just to paint in a few ropes here and there.
And there we go. An intimate little scene in Amble harbour. I do hope you enjoy giving this one a go.