Old Harry's Rocks, Studland.

Old Harry's Rocks, Studland.

Excellent drawing. How big is your sketch book? I am always in a state of indecision about what size is best.

You draw really well. This is a beautiful drawing. I was just about to post a reply to a comment made by someone about one of my paintings; they had praised its 'looseness' but I wasn't able to hide my irritation at this obsession with 'loose watercolour' so I aborted my reply. I understand why people like loose painting style but it should never be set up as the objective. One only has to see the vast quantity of horrendously bad imitations of Edward Wesson's painting style in order to see where that misguided approach leads. Rather than chase the loose style, those who wish to really paint more freely should start by making drawings like this one of yours. Lots of them too. Tentative, tight painting, if it be to antithesis of loose painting is usually the result of lack of confidence and intuition when it comes to drawing.

'If it be the antithesis' is what I meant to write!

This kind of wonderful drawing if practised often enough leads to a sureness of touch in painting. So many people seem to set up 'looseness' in painting as their one objective. Not only is that misguided - look at all the hideous imitations of Wesson's watercolours - but it just leads them away from their own unique way of seeing.

Hi Rupert, I so agree that the basis of good painting is good observational skills often improved by drawing. I find these days I can really paint from my drawings as my visual memory has improved by doing them. I love your water colours. The colours and the clever accuracy.

Hi Gudrun, It is just a small Moleskin.😍

Hang on Studio Wall
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Drawn last week up on the cliffs East of Swanage, Dorset.

About the Artist
Shirley May

Always loved drawing and painting. Studied biology at UEA, PGCE at Sussex, then part-time art studies at Sussex and Brighton, including printmaking. Now have a little class of water colour painting once a week, and looking to grow and expand my work. A really wonderful way to spend time, when I am…

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