Monthly Archives: June 2012

Maria’s Ranch Plein Air

Rex Beanland, Maria's Ranch, watercolour, 9 X 12








We were out at our friend Maria’s ranch near Millarville.  I did this plein air study.  I was trying to put into practice all the techniques I’ve been working on especially appropriate values from background to foreground and also connecting shapes.  It’s much harder to do when working on location and faced with the scope of nature.  Much easier when working in the studio from photos.  Anyway, it was a lot of fun and not too bad an effort.

Seaton, Devon, England

Rex Beanland, Seaton, watercolour, 9 X 12








This is another of the photos from our trip to England.  We stayed in the beautiful seaside town of Seaton in East Devon.  It was a rainy, overcast night but I liked the composition of the photo.  So this painting was attempting to capture that particular dark, moody light.

9 X 12


Rex Beanland, Nuthatch, pencil & watercolour, 8 X 11








This is an image from a private drawing class that I’m teaching.  It’s a lovely nuthatch.  I did it on hot press watercolour paper which allowed me to quickly fill in a background in watercolour.  The nuthatch itself was done in pencil.

Thumbnails Again

Rex Beanland, Thumbnail Sketch









Rex Beanland, Thumbnail Sketch Of London










I’ve talked about the importance I put on thumbnail sketches frequently in this blog.  Once again I’m finding them invaluable.

As I’ve mentioned  recently, I’ve been really inspired by my study of the watercolour styles of Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet.  I think it’s a case of ‘when you’re ready to learn the teacher will appear’.  I love to draw and I’m pretty good at drawing things in perspective so I enjoy the challenge of drawing buildings, cars and people. What I’ve learned from these artists  is to combine this love of drawing with a strong and focused use of value.

In these sketches I’m practicing all this knowledge using my own reference material.

The plan is to use these 2 thumbnail sketches  to do larger paintings (16 X 12).   I’ll post the results.

The top one is the alley behind the Central United Church in downtown Calgary.  The bottom one is from a photo I took during our trip to London 3 years ago.



Rex Beanland, Iris, watercolour, 9 X 12










This is an image that I use in my watercolour class.  It’s actually a detail from a larger painting I did.  It’s a neat image because of the extreme contrast between the very dark background and the almost white petal.