Exercise 5.3

For this exercise I first looked at the work of Hayley Field [1]. She investigates the effects of light – one ‘Door and Floor’ has reflected light painted very successfully. The light is oblong or spherical and there are shadows along the floor boards. Some of her work is semi – abstract and she uses a naive style that I like.

Lee Maezler [2] is a realistic painter and has a successful style with the use of shadows.

I have to say that I found this exercise hard – my watercolours are probably my least used technique these days, as I find it hard to get a contemporary ‘look’. I have ordered Simon Carter’s ‘Contemporary watercolours’ book though so maybe I can get some inspiration from that?

Here’s a few sketches trying out views of the house, and different colours to work for each time of the day.


Morning light – this faces east so the light was at its brightest but it was still an overcast day so there were no shadows.


This was early afternoon when it was still quite light with a few shadows.


Late afternoon and the curtains and chair were much darker.

As an extra work for this assignment, I painted a slightly different early morning view without the table in the foreground in oil;


Oil on board A5 size

I tried an ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson tonal underpainting and let some of that show through the loose top coat. I only added cadmium yellow pale and yellow ochre as I wanted to keep the harmony of it. I used some tonking on the right hand side behind the door to give it some depth.

What went well?

This exercise really made me look at  the light although I’m not sure my watercolour skills were completely up to depicting it.

What could be improved?

I could have chosen a less complicated view, because painting the glass door was hard, and really this exercise was more about light and tones. Working on the A5 felt quite restrictive too, and I’m looking forward to some freedom now in the final assignment!


  1. http://www.hayleyfield.info/
  2. http://www.leemaelzer.com/

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