Watercolours by Edo Hannema

Let the water be your guide

zaterdag 15 september 2018


The former island of Wieringen is so beautiful! Thanks to Bouk for the beautiful picture of this island.
qrt sheet Millford paper 140 lb

zaterdag 30 juni 2018

Alvaro Castagnet

Every watercolor artist knows him, well I think you should know him if you are interested in watercolor. He is quite a phenomenon in watercolor. His work is very recognizable and full of rich washes with pigment. But behind all that color is a artist mind, that unconscious makes designs and layout in his painting. Well unconscious...., he just paints a lot, and gives many workshops. And its weird but true, from teaching people that can't paint so well as yourself, you learn a lot too.
How many do not stare at their watercolor on a certain stage, and say to them self's how must I do that foreground without ruining the rest of my careful brushed painting. Or they are finished and ask them self what is missing. What part can I add to my watercolor that it becomes better and more of a eye-catcher. Well you are to late! The design must be done before you start, the design and layout must be ready before the first brushstrokes.
But..watercolor is unpredictable and just going a other way then you want it to go, then you must have enough skills to follow your watercolor. its got no use to going against it!!
Keep the design intact, cause that is a part that works, its also why many artist make little thumbnail sketches, or a more worked out watercolor-sketch.
Design is something you can learn, to study paintings, what are the lines, why is it work, why is it I keep looking, why does this painting attract me so much?
This week my eye fell on a painting from Alvaro Castagnet, it is a very clever one made.
His brilliant design works here on his best!

Paris  Alvaro Castagnet Watercolour (1.20 x 0.65 meters)
The feature that stands out obviously  is of course the turquoise roof, from there you are follow the only sharp object on that height, and you land on the second turquoise roof, much smaller but it stands out well, nothing more to see there then blurry shapes but then the light building on the left catch your attention, and the shadow helps you to travel to the street below with zebra-paths and a few cars, people and a red traffic-sign, the small green dots of color leads you to a lighter big green shape that you follow to the other corner, very clever, in that corner is completely nothing. Only shade and darkness. He don't want you to look there!! He made it easy, there is a sort of stairs of windows you climb to the light above, you jump over to the roof on the right, and that roof is directing you exactly where he wants you to look, the green round roof again! Full circle and you stay focused in the painting.
This is  how I see it, there are many ways, and maybe Alvaro thought about it, but I think its more the talent and instinct of Alvaro self. He just paint, and brush down what is necessary to make it work and with a beautiful design! All on his own feeling!
Learn to look at a painting, and your solution what must or what can I do will improve your own work too.
This is one way to look on a painting, and why the painting is working, there are a lot of methods, Edgar A Whitney, Tony Couch and Tony van Hasselt have created systems to value your watercolor on what is missing and what you could do to improve it.
I never did have the pleasure to follow a workshop with Alvaro, but I have his books and a few of his dvd's to get a glimpse of his magic!
website Alvaro: http://www.alvarocastagnet.net/


Can you see it in this one?
I wished I did have half of his talent, I am still learning, and maybe I never learn.
But I enjoy what I do, as long as you have fun, your on the right way!
Regards Edo

donderdag 28 juni 2018

Painting a Dutch Landscape

This is a Frisian landscape.
I painted this before, and it thought it would be nice to make a movie from it.
Hope you all like it, have fun watching.
If you like it please give me the Thumbs up,
its a new thing for Google for ranking video's on you tube.
The movie is on You Tube in HD video
Thanks in advance!

by Edo Hannema

Low Tide Watercolour

Low Tide
You wake up with a idea.
Low tide and dark poles in the water.
Keep it simple and enjoy.
The idea as sketch
The First Wash
Painting the poles
The finished watercolour.
When you inspired by this little watercolour and make one yourself.
Please give me or my website some credit!
Thank you
Painted on:
square Saunders Waterford CP (not) paper 140 Lb 28X28 cm

zondag 26 februari 2017

my palette and colours

I receive a lot of questions about my colours.
I don't have a lot of colours, for landscape art your palette can be taken down to earth colours.

woensdag 8 juni 2016

Aubrey Phillips

Back in 1987 I began my journey in watercolor, eager to learn paint watercolors.In those days I saw a great future in front of me. John Pike was my hero, he was the absolute top in watercolor. And also the first book I bought about watercolor was from John Pike!Joseph Zbukvic and Alvaro Castagnet were not known yet these days. No books no videos, the dvd didn't exists, and the founder from Facebook was still walking around in diapers!
Kees van Aalst
Zoltan Szabo and John Blockley filled up the numerous watercolor books, and in the Dutch magazines like Palet en Tekenstift you saw articles of Ron Ranson, Tony van Hasselt and the Dutch artist Kees van Aalst. later I found out that Tony is also a Dutch born artist!
Szabo was also a painter that I liked, only his techniques seemed so difficult to me! And of course Jan Groenhart a Dutch watercolor artist with wonderful Dutch landscapes and a master of how the North of Holland must look!
In those days you saw also watercolor books that were not so good, (in my eyes back then) I saw them in the bookstore and convinced myself that this was just very bad quality in watercolor. Just not my taste and not attractive. No... this is not what I want for my road to become a watercolor painter. That book was from Aubrey Phillips.
Oh boy what was I wrong there! 
I was a novice in watercolor, and I didn’t recognized the sublimity of this painter!
It was in the year 2014, I was looking for John Pike photo's I found a site from the Dutch artist Arie Jekel and when I saw the page from his inspiration I found John Pike, Edward Wesson, Edward Seago and Aubrey Phillips!
The first few artist were my heros too, but Aubrey Phillips I remembered, was that painter I disliked.But curious why Arie did have Aubrey as his inspiration I looked up Aubrey’s paintings on Google to refresh my memory and instantly fell in love with the style and simple elegance of the brushstrokes. Apparently my mindset how watercolor must look was 180 degrees turned!
Aubrey Phillips  photo apvfilms
Aubrey Phillips caught me, and I want his book!!! And believe me nowhere in the Netherlands I found it, back in 1987 it was in every bookstore, and now nowhere!!
aubrey phillips 2
The texture of the paper helps to create the atmosphere. Warm colours in the front cooler colours in the background
I found the book in the UK and it was in excellent condition, the only minor thing is that it smells a bit (worse) after a moist basement. I tried the freezer, Microwave, Cat Grits. It's already better than it was, but okay I have the book!
The warm sky in contrast with the cool snow!
The lesson learned is that you have to look further and longer to a artist art. To understand and value it. Dont think its rubbish (like me back in 1987) but study how its done.
The Cotswolds on september evening
The Cotswolds on a September evening
Most of the time when it looks simple it is really hard to make! When something is wrong in a minimalistic watercolor, it stands out like a red flag, therefore everything have to be in the right place. When you see watercolors of the “cracks” among us you will notice the economy of brushstrokes, there is no clutter or mud, just well placed brushstrokes in just the right amount of pigment and water quantity.
“When you can do it in less than one brushstroke you are on the right way!” (J. Zbukvic)
A warm watercolor, and still its a winterscene! It breaths "keep it simple"
Aubrey Phillips have a minimalistic approach to watercolor, he use heavy paper from the Mill Richard de Bas about 400 grams
Colours : Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Monestial Blue*, Cadmium Red, Alizarine Crimson, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Light Red, Lemon Yellow, and Viridian, nothing more fitted in his paintbox
Brushes; A Hake 2,5 Inch and a 1 Inch flat, Nr 14 Sable round, nr 11 and 8 Sable round and a rigger nr 4
Another winterscene.  The vertical strokes of the brush are ideal to suggest water.
Summary:Aubrey Phillips is a member of the Pastel Society and the Royal West of England Academy and was a Gold Medallist at the Paris Salon. He is a regular exhibitor in London and the provinces and runs his own art courses.
Aubrey R Phillips RWA. Renowned for his pastel paintings of the Malverns and the Black Mountains areas. Born 1920, Astley, Worcestershire. Aubrey Phillips studied at Stourbridge School of Art and at Kidderminster. Phillips lectured at Malvern Hills College and Bournville School of Art, and has had exhibitions at the Timaeus Gallery, Birmingham ( 1981) and at the Patricia Wells Gallery, Thornbury (1988). He is  also the author of books on the use of pastels and watercolours. Member of the RWA, PS,WSW and the Armed Forces Art Society. Solo exhibition at the National Library of Wales. Aberystwyth. Gained a Gold Medal at the Paris Salon in 1966. Phillips worked in and around the Midlands for a number of years in the 1970s, He has been called one of the leading landscape painters of the Midlands. his expansive changing skies are captured by strong strokes and his use of atmospheric colours. Lived in Malvern, Worcestershire.
Arie Jekel
Joseph Zbukvic
Tony van Hasselt
Alvaro CastagnetKees van AalstJan Groenhart
  • Monestial Blue is Phtalo Blue, Rembrandt Blue or Winsor Blue
If you like this article, you can read the sequel a friend of my made on his blog after reading this post about Aubrey Phillips.
Click the link below
"brushes with watercolour"
© Edo Hannema

zaterdag 5 maart 2016

Verbindende Vormen

Vaak zie je een schilderij dat er best aardig uitziet, de bomen zijn mooi, de huizen zijn geloofwaardig neergezet, het perspectief klopt, en de horizon staat buiten het midden, maar toch klopt er iets niet. Bij nadere beschouwing zijn alle onderdelen stuk voor stuk erin gepenseeld, zonder enig onderling verband. behalve dan dat ze op de foto ook naast elkaar staan. Het zijn als het ware losse puzzelstukjes, maar die nog niet aan het juiste stukje vastzitten waardoor het één geheel zou vormen.
De oorzaak is meestal de uiterste precisie van de kunstenaar, die er vanuit gaande, dat als je maar zo netjes mogelijk alles schetst of liever gezegd tekent, je dan ook beter alle verf binnen de lijntjes van de zorgvuldig gemaakte potloodstreepjes kan schilderen.
En dan natuurlijk wachten totdat het huisje droog is, zodat er weer verder gegaan kan worden met het volgende perceeltje, het huis ernaast wordt met dezelfde kleur geschilderd, en hetzelfde schaduwkleurtje wordt aangebracht. Alles netjes, maar jammer genoeg wordt het nooit één geheel. Ik chargeer nu natuurlijk, maar ook ik ben in die valkuil gelopen in het begin van mijn schilder carrière.
Aankomende schilders, willen meestal dat hun werk een mooie losse uitstraling heeft, en een bepaalde sfeer uitstraalt.
Die sfeer bepaal je nooit aan het eind van het schilderij, maar in de eerste opzet, tenminste op de manier die ik hanteer. Een goede vriend van mij is een meester in het sfeer inbrengen aan het eind van zijn schilderij, maar dit vergt jaren ervaring!
Om het voor uzelf eenvoudig te houden, kunt u het beste een foto uitkiezen die met tegenlicht gemaakt is. Dit is misschien niet de beste methode om een foto te maken, maar wel voor uw schilderij. Op deze manier verliest u al een hoop onnodige details en is het gedoe met kijken door uw oogwimpers ook niet nodig.
Kijkend naar de foto
Deze foto is met goede lichtomstandigheden genomen dus moeten we hem zelf vereenvoudigen, het makkelijkste is hem om hem dan in zwart/wit te zetten, of een fotokopie te maken.
Ik begin met een eenvoudige potloodschets, u ziet geen nauwkeurige replica van de foto, maar een summiere notitie waar zich wat bevind, de penseel corrigeert het later wel moet u maar denken.
Ik neem voor deze oefening een drietal kleuren, de eerste opzet doe ik met een transparant tweetal, Burnt Sienna en Ultramarijn Blauw, maar kan om het even welke kleuren zijn, als ze maar met elkaar harmoniëren, zo een eerste opzet zou altijd (mits u met aquarel werkt) met transparante kleuren moeten doen, dan blijft het papier mooi door de verflaag heen schijnen. (Rowland Hilder begon zijn spectaculaire luchtpartijen wel met lampenzwart, maar dan wel heel erg verdunt!) Ik spaar niets uit met eventueel maskervloeistof maar ik laat op de horizon een paar witte partijen open.
Dit moeten we even laten drogen voordat de volgende laag erop gaat.
De sfeer is gezet, nu schilderen ik de omtrek van het geheel, dus niet losse huisjes en bootjes. Ik gebruik dezelfde pigmenten om het dorp neer te zetten, in deze menging gebruiken ik een variabele mix van de twee kleuren, soms in pure vorm, maar wel zodanig dat de kleur overal een beetje bruin en blauw is, dit verlevendigd het aanzien van de aquarel later.
zorg ervoor dat alles met elkaar in contact blijft, u schildert gewoon alles aan elkaar vast.
De toon is gezet en de sfeer kan niet meer veranderd worden, na wederom gewacht te hebben op het droogproces, en hier en daar iets weg gepoetst te hebben zijn we toegekomen aan de laatste fase van het schilderij.
We brengen de details aan die net dat beetje toevoegen om de huizen, bootjes en boompjes te onderscheiden. Ik doe dat met Ultramarijn Blauw en Light Red, de Light Red is een warme rode, die in tegenstelling tot Burnt Sienna niet een muisgrijs geeft, maar een soort warm blauwpaars-grijs, en hij is licht dekkend, maar dat is voor de laatste fase geen bezwaar. We vullen er immers geen grote partijen mee op! Ook hier weer, geen losse onderdelen, maar suggereer, en maak huisvormen, ipv huisjes, iets wat lijkt op een dak zal voor de kijker al snel een huis zijn! En omdat het al leek op water, zal ook iedere vorm die op het water ligt automatisch een boot vormen! zo eenvoudig is dat!
Dan als laatste nog een paar details van masten en hun touwen met witte aquarel verf.
Voor puristen ‘not done’, maar de eerder genoemde Rowland Hilder gebruikte het, maar ook William Turner en John Singer Sargent hadden het ook standaard op hun palet. dus wie ben ik om het te verbieden?
Dit is natuurlijk niet een meesterwerkje, maar een demonstratie om balans en eenheid in uw werk te brengen. En dat lukt niet als u beginner bent, en een kleurendoos tot uw beschikking heeft met 25 kleuren! Begin met een paar kleuren, twee of drie is voldoende. Als u dit soort oefeningen onder de knie heeft kunt u kleuren toevoegen.
Maar dat een volgende keer
Edo Hannema

Secret Solutions to paint better

Well I say secret, in fact it is something I became aware of during my search to paint better watercolors.
Every new book about watercolor I bought I look first which colors or paper my new hero is using.
and oh yes there it is… Fabrioarchi super rough paper he use!
Where is it? can I buy it? and try it to get better?
And look this other painter on Facebook have 3345 “likes” on his painting and I see on his website he makes the sky with tigereye morningblue and the shadows with Raspoutin Red Marsglow.
I bet when I buy this paper and pigments I can paint better.
Then the new book arrive or magazine, I see a amazing painter,
and he use brushes from Lapland, reindeer beard brushes.
Takes a lot of water and pigment. so that is how he makes such pretty washes! I need to buy these reindeer-beard stuff too!
Maybe I become better in washes??
Joseph Zbukvic
Watercolor Joseph Zbukvic
Then I bought a DVD about watercolor painting, OH, look at that palette, it got 7 deep wells and a enlarged mixing area, and made of pure stainless steel and the color on the mixing area is the same as the paper you use!! 635 Dollar, Its expensive, but a good investment to paint better!
Its maybe a bit exaggerating this intro, but you all know what I mean.
Our quest to paint better, is in real a quest to paint worse,
in other words a quest with a longer road to get better.
Chien Chung Wei
Watercolor Chien Chung Wei
We compare ourselves with better painters. But they have walked the long road to! They enjoyed the process. And when you enjoy what you do it shows in your work!
Original as we are we don’t copy another artists work. We don't copy his work, lets copy his gear, then we know we have good stuff!
And it is legal!
Sure is, but it is gear this artist is used to and we don't.
And maybe if the next artist comes in sight we change our gear again.
Anders Andersson
Watercolor Anders Andersson
The point is all artist have a certain skill and talent and use paint, paper and brushes he likes. these tools became his second nature.
When he paints, he distilling the scene in his mind.
Makes a preliminary sketch or not and then make the watercolor.
Thomas Schaller
Watercolor Thomas Schaller
His pencil flows over the paper, the washes are fluid and rich, the artist don’t have to think what to mix, his palette is cool and warm. He paint rough and soft textures, Light to dark and from large shapes to smaller details
All in a effortless motion.
I mean it not wrong, but it is like he look at the scenery and takes it to his brain-filter and he sees the watercolor in front of him!
He knows the best way to paint that particular watercolor.
We know that it is this artist filter cause we recognize the style he have.
We could say we know how his “filter” looks like.
And we want one just like that!
Alvaro Castagnet
Watercolor Alvaro Castagnet
Of course that is what we want. Let me tell you that you can do that to, but you have to stop trying out other artists gears.
If you don’t know how you going to paint your next watercolor in your mind. What will happen on the real paper?
Okay now the (secret) solution to get better.
PAPERThe number one for a good painting is paper, its the surface your watercolor will be on for long time!
Choose a good quality paper, buy something good, that is on sale maybe.
The brand is not important, as long as it is watercolor paper.
Paint a lot on that paper,make it yours, become to know every annoying or wonderful thing about this paper.
If your painting is not successful, its probably your skill on this paper that let you down, not the paper!
(I went from Arches to Noblesse, it took about 10 watercolors to get used again on new paper)
Number two is pigments, less important then paper but..
Buy from the brands you know that are good, it really doesn't matter which brand. And it doesn’t matter you use different brands together.
Don't buy a lot of colors, a beginners chest with 48 colors is in fact a nightmare for every beginning artist.
As a landscape painter you need probably 8 colors, maybe a few more but start with 8.
If you do portraits you need some special colors so you can make skin tones. I understand that. Or delicate flowers, then you need also a few more yellows and other pigments. But for a simple landscape 8 is sufficient. It brings you harmony and better watercolors that are in tune!
And yes I know landscape painters with a lot of colors in there paint box.
But they have already a good working watercolor filter, and we must work on that first.
I would recommend a Phtalo Blue, Cobalt Blue, Ultramarine Blue. Alizarin Crimson, a transparent yellow, Raw sienna, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber.
With these 8 colors you can mix everything, and they are all transparent so you can’t get mud. (Well you can, if mixing them all together!)
If you are on location, and you can’t mix a certain green, it doesn't matter. Use the green you like most to mix. And make it your green. people get to know you about your green, it becomes your specialty this green! Or purple or whatever which color you master. make these colors yours. Get to know them, and make it work to get them in your filter!
The Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet painted his first 5 books with pigments from study quality, and these books are filled with the most wonderful watercolors.
But he made these study pigments his own, he was familiar how they behaved.
Then he received from the pigment-factory the artist quality pigments.
At first he wasn't happy at all. The colors he used to mix, came out very different. The setting of his filter was altered! He did get used to the new pigments after awhile.
Rien Poortvliet
When such skilled artist loose track switching from study to artist quality with the same brand and same colors!!!
Then you can imagine what happen when you are still searching for your own filter-settings (style)
BRUSHESI have a lot of brushes, but if you ever saw me paint you know that I don't use all my brushes.
I always go for the same few, cause they are familiar, and I know what I can do with them.
If I use 5 brushes in a painting that is a lot, usually I have a wash brush, a flat or a squirrel mop
A synthetic one with a nice point, a nr 8 sable and a rigger. And I use them in this order to.
Sometimes I go back to the wash brush to make a broad shadow.
But I stay with these few brushes.
Choose your brushes, and become to know what you can do with them,
Choose five brushes and paint with them so its like a extension from your hand, you become to know what you can do with these brushes, they become a part of your artist filter.


I know you need a lot of practice to paint watercolors, and its not just adjusting your gear and go. Its also your skill how to draw, see perspective and values.
When you have a photo camera, and you make every photo with a other setting, there are not lot of photos that will be good.
So you must know your settings and the photo or painting will be a lot better and easier.
The most successful artists are using just a few colors and some odd colors. (lavender or Turquoise are the ones I often see.) The artists I know are using most of the time one brand of paper, Rough or Cold Pressed.
And a few brushes, cause they know they can rely on this gear!
You recognize probably the artists from the watercolors in this article,  you notice that the landscape behind the painting is different then the artists watercolor. It’s the style they have developed, and how they see this landscape. I know for sure, they can make this landscape in many ways, cause these artists are very talented. And thanks to that skill they can switch pigment, and paper and still have a good watercolor!
These artists organize workshops. And that is something I can recommend to follow such workshops. You come close to an artist mind, you see him paint, and he will explain how he does certain things and why he does that. I am sure he is not telling you that you must paint like him. But he learn you how you can organize your style and mind set in a way that you can be more successful in your paintwork. He helps you with your own filter to develop.
Iain Stewart
Watercolor Iain Stewart
These are all suggestions that work for me, and maybe for you?
Think about it, maybe it will work?
Best Wishes
Edo Hannema
Artist Websites

Soft light over the waterways

Qrt sheet Millford 300 grams cp #stcmill #Millford #saunderswaterford #dalerrowney