I've read the books, seen the movie, and spent a lot on cabs during the one day I could make it to San Francisco to see the big Turner show at the de Young Museum. I loved the oil paintings in the exhibition, but the watercolors made my jaw drop.
Turner famously worked over his oils,?throwing paint hither and thither in drifts of smoky special effects. In his watercolors, we see a lighter, more subtle touch. With a flick of the wrist here, a dash of the brush there, he gives us?atmosphere and drama. Turner makes a few moves, and a whole world rises up off the paper.
His skies fascinate me.?You can?follow this link to his sketchbook of sky studies. You can turn the pages, as if you were looking over JMW's shoulder.?Once I understood what a fantastic painter he was, I humbly adopted "beginner's mind" and bought this book:?How to Paint Like Turner. If you would like to get started with water color, or loosen up your technique, I recommend it. I did the following exercises after reading the chapter on Turner's skies.
Five monochrome skies over water, loads of fun to paint.
Throwing around some color, trying not to overwork it.
First?attempt at a?nocturn. Turner did lots of these.
Did this one?from?an upstairs cabin window, north of Talkeetna. I love the winter sunsets there.
You might enjoy watching these short videos from the Tate in London, featuring watercolor master Mike Chaplin.
Want to paint like Turner? Watch this film
How do you paint a Turner sunset?
For this week's addition to the series How It Looks in a Frame, here is?Dalton Highway Fireweed,?watercolor, 10" x 7". I painted this a?few summers?back, when we drove?the highway to Deadhorse, AK.?Click here?to see it without the frame.