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Ted Wesson
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usergazebo1
Posted: 5 September 2008 12:15 PM
Subject: Ted Wesson
 
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The watercolour palette thread has shown that I am not the only fan of the loose style of Ted Wesson. Like so many others he was self taught and Steve Hall, John Hoar and John Tookey have a similar lovely loose approach to watercolour. Sadly Ted died before the days of teaching videos so we can only learn from his work in his book "My Corner of the Field" and his articles which appeared in "The Artist" and "Leisure Painter" I understand from the editor of "The Artist" that it is not possible to reprint these although Leisure Painter recently printed an extract from the text of one. Does anyone remember these articles or indeed still have copies of the magazines?
userArtwayze
Posted: 5 September 2008 1:13 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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Hi Gazebo (Alan I believe?)

I am another fan of Wesson. (Among others).

Have you visited Steve Hall’s site? I am sure you have. He has produced a DVD, in which he explains some of the Wesson techniques.

I know there is some opposition to DVD's, so for those who don't like using them, well one of Wesson’s 'secrets' is the large, French-polishing mop; and I mean large; a size 10 and upwards. He pioneered the use of these mops as watercolour brushes and this has much to do with his distinctive style. Add a rigger and possibly a number 6 sable, and that’s about it for brushes on location. He also used the handle of the brush to remove colour, when rendering branches and so on.

Most would agree that if we limited ourselves to three such brushes, and a palette of around 8 colours, we would find our styles loosening - if that is what we wanted. Not everyone does of course, yet we can all admire Wesson and painters like him.

One of my favourite contemporaries is Margaret Glass. Now she has a style that is far from loose, but then it isn’t photorealism. What a style! A look at her work is for everyone's edification, whether you be a realist, or an impressionist. Try John Hoare too. His loose impressionism in watercolour is entirely different to Ted Wesson’s approach, but none the less appealing.

Good surfing folks.

John

 



Edited by Artwayze 2008-09-05 1:14 PM
userAqua
Posted: 5 September 2008 1:25 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
Well I do love the work of Ted Wesson too.

There is a long list of artists whose style differ from one another but I love them all.
userHARRY
Posted: 5 September 2008 1:45 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Hi, Me too , realy wonderful, Would have loved to watch Ted paint, and talking of sqirrel hair brushes i have a size 30 which was sent by mistake? But have never used it. All the best to everyone, Harry
usergazebo1
Posted: 5 September 2008 2:40 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Great that so many like his work. I have four books about Ted, the first by Ron Ranson published by David and Charles and three others by Steve Hall and Barry Miles from Halsgrove. Also bought John Hoar and John Tookey on DVD.
John Tookey is really loose. Have a look at his work.
Attended a course by Steve Hall in July and was very instructive. He tries to paint just as Ted did. Dr Robin Macdonald has formed the Ted Wesson Society of which Steve Hall is the first President. Has anyone splashed out on "My Corner of the Field"? Would love it but it is too dear.
I find my Holbein 1000 professional palette good for loose work and use Pro-Arte Blue Squirrel mops size 16 and 12 and medium blue squirrel filbert. I find the conventional ferrule mops better than the Isabay type wired ones. They have just a little more snap.
Happy painting
userjodafo
Posted: 5 September 2008 7:09 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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John Hoare has a new DVD - advertised in this months The Artist page 48 - very tempting!  Now he's a really loose painter.
usergazebo1
Posted: 5 September 2008 7:22 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Have the DVD by John Hoar. Very interesting to see such a loose technique. If anything John Tookey is looser, also available from Townhouse.
userHARRY
Posted: 5 September 2008 7:28 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Hi Gazebo 1, would this be the same Dr Robin Macdonald who made a video where he paintied two scenes in Norfolk, he said on the film he retired from hi job as a Dr to take up painting. He had a frame just like Ted made out of two peices of hardboard, one for the back and the other was cut out like a picture frame and when the painting was finished it left a kind of deckeled edge. I bought a second hand video but had never heard of the artist , it just said that he painted in a very loose way like Ted Wesson, he was also a big fan of Edward Seago and being filmed in Norfolk was another reason why i was attracted to this video, it was realy interesting? IHe also liked to use the very large brushes as well and a rigger brush. Sound`s like the same person ? Regards Harry.
userArtwayze
Posted: 6 September 2008 8:23 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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jodafo - 2008-09-05 7:09 PMJohn Hoare has a new DVD - advertised in this months The Artist page 48 - very tempting! Now he's a really loose painter.


I agree Jodafo. Hoar paints so loosely, you might say it's careless. Not a straight line anywhere. One might think the results would be childish, but far from it. His paintings look exactly what they are; professional watercolours executed in a refreshingly loose style. I'm a fan.

I need to check out MacDonald, and John Tookey looks interesting. But maybe my own style is making me happy, so rather than change, I'll just look on and enjoy the work of other more accomplished artists!

Happy Painting.
John
usercaz
Posted: 6 September 2008 9:38 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
Can't help on the article front - but just been off to look at his work - I can see why everyone admires his style!
userArtwayze
Posted: 6 September 2008 10:29 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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Indeed Caz. I just checked out Macdonald too. Yet another watercolourist who paints as I like to see. I also like Arnold Lowry, who seems to be adept in any medium. Plenty of excellence to aim for online these days, even if I can't manage to see these painters' works in situ!

Happy Painting and hooray for the w/w/web!

Regards

John

useralan owen
Posted: 8 September 2008 7:49 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
I try my best to copy wesson ,,(no luck yet)i have bought his and seagos hard backs ../well
while out with my lancs heeler the other day . the children asked why I was picking up their lolly sticks ,,...I have been using a piece of sharpened bambo .for the tree branches , but the lollies make better lines .especialy for the rigging of boats ,,at my age its hard to do with a rigger brush ...also I mix a bit of black ink in some my colours (only a spot mind you ) thanks for the chat
bye all .
userPaul Beattie
Posted: 9 September 2008 1:37 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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alan owen - 2008-09-08 7:49 PM

I try my best to copy wesson ,,(no luck yet)i have bought his and seagos hard backs ../well
while out with my lancs heeler the other day . the children asked why I was picking up their lolly sticks ,,...I have been using a piece of sharpened bambo .for the tree branches , but the lollies make better lines .especialy for the rigging of boats ,,at my age its hard to do with a rigger brush ...also I mix a bit of black ink in some my colours (only a spot mind you ) thanks for the chat
bye all .

Welcome to the forums and nice tip too cheers.
userRoger
Posted: 9 September 2008 10:59 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Hi all
A new member,another Edward Seago,Edward Wesson,John Hoar,Ron Ranson,etc fan.
My favourite though is Edward Wesson,I look at most of his work and try to see how he has achieved certain effects.
I believe his palette to be ,Winsor Blue,Ultramarine,Cobalt Blue,Burnt Umber,Raw Sienna,Winsor Yellow,Cadmium Yellow,Light Red,Burnt Sienna.
Correct me if anybody knows different please.

Regards Roger
userArtwayze
Posted: 9 September 2008 11:24 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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Hi Roger,

That's about right...
I was given:

Ultramarine
Cobalt Blue
Winsor Blue

Burnt Umber
Light Red
Burnt Sienna

CADMIUM YELLOW
and Raw Sienna.

2 larger mops
1 round No. 6 or 8. Maybe also a Rigger at times.
He used the handle of the brush to deliniate pale tree-trunks and posts against darker backgrounds, by removing darker colours from the paper (Which was Bockingford)

He painted inside a frame (like a mount) that was hinged to a backing board held together with bulldog grips. He sandwiched half a dozen or so sheets of paper between the frame and the backing board; removing them as he finished a picture, ready to start the next. All this is as I was reliably informed.

My palette varies slightly. I use aureolin instead of cadmium yellow and I added alizarin and neutral tint. So two more colours. I also vary my brush strokes to suit me, but I keep in mind what Ted Wesson always said. 'Cut the chat and get down to business!' I also see the shapes and see the tones.

Hope you enjoy your painting.

John
userWilliam
Posted: 10 September 2008 5:58 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Wow...what a wealth of knowledge there is on this forum! I find it fasinating reading the details of how these great artists worked. Thank you. I think I would struggle with Ted's palette though, particularly his lack of a strong red. I am in awe looking at his wonderful work.
userArtwayze
Posted: 10 September 2008 8:53 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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Hi William,

I think you'd find light red quite strong enough. It tends towards an 'autumnal' red, but it's quite strong.

I also forgot to mention one other colour that Ted Wesson used; namely 'Filth'. I.e. the dregs from the small corners in the mixing areas of his sketch-box!

Some of us clean out our palettes after working, but apparently Ted didn't do that so often and he found good use for the residues.

Regards

John

usergazebo1
Posted: 10 September 2008 2:40 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Hi William,
Try Brown Madder. It is a lovely red, makes clear greys and I find it more transparent than light Red or Indian Red
Alan
userArtwayze
Posted: 10 September 2008 4:09 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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gazebo1 - 2008-09-10 2:40 PM Hi William, Try Brown Madder. It is a lovely red, makes clear greys and I find it more transparent than light Red or Indian Red Alan

Agreed Paul. Madder is very similar to Alizarin. Alizarin stains, is its only problem!

Cheers

John

userWilliam
Posted: 10 September 2008 8:03 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Thanks for the advice Alan and John - I will certainly have a look at Brown Madder. Just out of interest, do you alter your palette colour choices depending on the subject or season? Or do you find that you can paint different subject matter effectively all year round with the same colours?
userArtwayze
Posted: 10 September 2008 9:16 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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Hi William, (and Alan whom I called 'Paul' again! Sorry!)

I tend to leave my palette as it is with ten colours, but  generally using just eight.

For autumnal work I use Burnt Sienna, for leaves and the Neutral Tint is an ideal purple/grey for rainy skies, so I don't need to mix. (This replaces the Payne's Grey that many painters use. I just prefer the more purplish tone.)

Occasionally, I might bring in the Light Red too, as a variant for dead leaves. The sum total is ten. (Eight colours I use regularly and two that I juxtapose.)

No need to use Neutral Tint just because I do William!

It's a colour I got used to when I studied Rowland Hilder's work. He was fond of Kentish scenes and the wherries. A fine artist, but a different painter to Wesson; not so loose, but his work is appealing in its own right and his skies are stunning.

Hope this helps.

John

userWilliam
Posted: 10 September 2008 11:03 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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Thank you John for letting me in to your secrets! Neutral tint is not a colour I would even have thought about for a sky (don't know why). Having looked at your "Aftermath - Gloucestshire Floods 07" watercolour though, I fully understand your reasoning!

Your portfolio is stunningly beautiful John.

Edited by William 2008-09-10 11:04 PM
userjodafo
Posted: 11 September 2008 10:50 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
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The Artist magazine has just arrived - I see that John Hoar has an article showing how he constructs a painting.  His loose style is so easily recognisable, and very appealing.  I guess he uses a very limited palette.  
userArtwayze
Posted: 11 September 2008 11:27 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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Thank you for your kind remarks William.  I'm not sure if the things I do with watercolour are secrets; I think most would notice I used some solid white in this one. (Well, if Tom Coates can be 'naughty', as he puts it, then so can I.)

As for 'secrets', I am only too pleased to pass on anything that might help, in the same way that I am open to suggestions from anyone else.

Thanks again William; my pleasure if I have helped you.

Regards.

John

userArtwayze
Posted: 11 September 2008 11:50 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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jodafo - 2008-09-11 10:50 AM The Artist magazine has just arrived - I see that John Hoar has an article showing how he constructs a painting.  His loose style is so easily recognisable, and very appealing.  I guess he uses a very limited palette.  

Hi John,

I don't take 'Artist', so unfortunately I won't see this article, unless I make a special trip into Sutton Coldfield to try and find it in WHS!

I have John Hoar's video (Simplifying Watercolour) and I was taken with the looseness he manages to achieve whilst at the same time not descending into the 'novice' look. 

There's a thin line between 'professional  impressionism' and  the 'novice' look, yet we always seem to know the difference.

In the DVD, he talks about a limited palette of Thalo Blue, Light Red, Burnt Umber and Raw Sienna.

He uses other colours, but as far as I can tell, just various blues, reds and yellows. As he's primarily discussing landscapes here, those colours sound about right! I think John Hoar's work is excellent and again, I am a fan!

Thanks John; I'll seek out that article.

Happy Painting

John  

userMeltemi
Posted: 11 September 2008 11:57 AM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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jodafo - 2008-09-11 10:50 AM

The Artist magazine has just arrived - I see that John Hoar has an article showing how he constructs a painting.  His loose style is so easily recognisable, and very appealing.  I guess he uses a very limited palette.  

Hi jodafo, could I read your when you have finished with it please? My subscription copy has yet to arrive....
useralan owen
Posted: 11 September 2008 1:13 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 
looking close at brushes .old painters use/
often they seem to prefer the longer designer brushes (side on trees) and some use worn down tips .for windows etc ,Those fore ground washes look as though .commenced with a 12 round worn tipped brush .(looks better than a sharp pointed start to the stroke ) similar to the round squirel ones . (not as soft) I have some of my sign brushes that i am going to try for full wash floppy trees ,,,fletcher watson uses an old worn round isaby .I want to avoid a cottage with picked out stones that are sharp at one end ,and i dont want my hand full of tiny chissel brushes
enlighten me ,,what do you use ?
/cheers all // nice thread this
userArtwayze
Posted: 11 September 2008 1:33 PM
Subject: RE: Ted Wesson
 


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Hi Alan,

A number of watercolourists use the signwriters' brushes. John Hoar as we just mentioned, uses them in place of riggers. Terry Harrison designed something similar to a signwriters' lining brush; a brush he called a 'golden-sword' that he uses to paint reeds and other broad-bladed grasses.

I use two of them as riggers and for the occasional flick of foliage. I have a 1/4" stencil brush I 'stole' from my grand-daughter. The brush has short, stiff bristles and using this brush, I can stipple convincing trees in watercolour. I use an old shaving brush to do big washes, on large paintings. (Not many of those with paper the price it is!) Also, a credit card pushes wet colour around well, to render rocks and stone walls. There are loads of options.
I am sure you'll enjoy experimenting.
Right, now I am actually going to do some painting!

Regards
John
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