Tower St. Martin, Soreze

Photo: Fuji Finepix digital camera
Picture: Fuji Finepix digital digicam


“Tower St. Martin, Soreze” 2009 21 x 27cm watercolour on Arches tough 300gs

Allan Kirk’s impressionistic watercolour train reveals find out how to seize the temper of a shiny, and and sunny day in medieval Soreze within the Tarn in southern France.

For Allan Kirk watercolour impressionism is the fixed pursuit of sunshine. Originating from the north east of England Allan now lives and works as an artist within the south of France. Allan, collectively along with his spouse Lesley runs week lengthy watercolour holidays at their secluded renovated farmhouse within the Tarn area. Discover out extra at

Allan was startled when a pal and inhabitant of Soreze instructed him it had been sacked by the Vikings, positive, it was previous however what have been they doing within the south of France removed from the ocean?

Nicely the medieval historical past of Soreze is affected by battle, from the Vikings to thirteenth century mercenaries. Soreze was established within the eighth century subsequent to a Benedictine monastery, and in foothills of the black mountains. Most of the current buildings embody stone from the monastery after it was deserted.

On this train, Allan has taken a viewpoint wanting down an previous medieval road in direction of the tower of St. Martin, that so dominates the skyline of Soreze. Overhanging and crumbling medieval homes, outlets and eating places present an inviting path in direction of the tower.

It’s the method historical past and the current exist collectively that offers Soreze it’s allure. It isn’t a museum, and dealing as an artists in it’s many medieval streets is an actual privilege.



  • Arches Tough, 140lb (300gsm)(27cm x 22cm)



  • French Ultramarine
  • Cobalt Blue
  • Windsor Blue
  • Cobalt Turquoise
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Burnt Umber
  • Uncooked Sienna


  • Massive Squirrel Mop
  • Pro Arte collection 007 measurement 12
  • Sable measurement 10
  • Professional Arte sword liner (medium and enormous)
  • Professional Arte collection 007 measurement 8
  • Sable measurement 4

Masking Fluid

  • Previous brush to use masking fluid

1. The Course of

The completed watercolour ought to be accomplished in round Four hours. In between washes use a hair dryer to hasten the drying course of for the following stage. Utilizing a hair dryer could be helpful. With out, it might take a while for a watercolour to dry sufficiently to be labored upon once more.

Use a palette with deep wells for mixing color, with a number of water. Additionally use a giant water container (like a toddler’s seaside bucket). You will have entry to a number of water.

I favor work with my paper between 30 and 40-degree angle. It is best to select the angle that you’re most snug with.

2. The Composition

I’ve rearranged the composition for this image, I’ve made the tower just a little extra dominant and added a foreground shadow for steadiness. Additionally you’ll discover I’ve not included the ‘No Entry’ street signal.

3. Portray what you see not what you assume

While you paint attempt to paint the sunshine and never the objects you may see. Focus upon mild and tone within the composition. When you fear about particular person home windows or shutters you’ll are inclined to over elaborate and put an excessive amount of element into your portray. Attempt to see shapes, color and tone, not actual world objects.

Usually once we put an increasing number of element into a piece we lose sight of the general topic. As well as we kill the spontaneity and transparency of watercolour.

Step 1: Drawing and Masking Fluid


Preliminary Drawing

To start with lower the Arches tough 300gsm watercolour paper to measurement (22 x 28 cm) and utilizing masking tape connect it to a board. You may simply use an previous piece of hardboard as your portray board.

Now full a easy line drawing utilizing a 4B pencil. Use a mushy pencil to attract with, and don’t thoughts if the pencil is seen on the completed image. It may be erased, however you don’t must trouble.

Focus upon your drawing and attempt to get it to be correct. You don’t need element, however you do need accuracy at this stage (that’s you need the drawing to appear like what you may see).

Keep in mind to compose and steadiness your image and rearrange the composition to extend the dimensions of the tower, add the foreground shadow and don’t embody the ‘No Entry’ street signal.

After drawing apply the masking fluid with an previous brush; by no means use a very good portray brush. Apply it sparingly, it may be seen on the drawing because the darkish gray marks.

Masking fluid is helpful on this train because it lets you produce actual highlights in a portray of nice contrasts, particularly wanting down the medieval road.

Step 2: First Wash


First Wash

Wait till the masking fluid is totally dry.

1. Moist the paper completely with clear water.

Use your massive squirrel mop brush and moist all of the paper completely with clear water. Guarantee that the paper is moist throughout.

2. Apply very moist color wash to the entire image.

Put together a number of colors within the deep mixing wells of your palette. Arrange wells of 4 primary colors, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet, Burnt Sienna and Uncooked Sienna. As well as add a nicely of Cadmium Orange. These colors are the principle colors you’ll use for the portray.

Then utilizing a quantity 10 sable brush apply the color mixes to the paper in a really free and unfastened method. Let the moist paper permit the colors to run and blend collectively.

Apply primarily Cobalt Blue to the sky and tower roof. On the buildings and road combine apply Uncooked Sienna, Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna.

Arches paper will proceed working the colors collectively fairly extensively till they’re almost dry.

3. Take away the masking Fluid

When the preliminary ghost wash is full and bone dry take away all of the masking fluid. Do that by gently rubbing the masking fluid along with your hand; alternatively it may very well be eliminated with an eraser.

Step 3: Second Wash


Second Wash

On this step you’ll apply a second wash to the buildings and road.

Use your current color mixes in your palette. As well as add a mixture of Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet and Burnt Sienna. This might be used to create the shadows beneath the tower roof and the chimney prime.

Use a Professional Arte Sequence 007 measurement 12 and Professional Arte sword liner brushes.

Don’t worry in case your palette mixes are contaminated, and don’t worry about mixes working collectively on the paper. Letting the colors combine on the paper is vital to this image. Arches paper is excellent at mixing colors nicely, another papers might not obtain this to the identical extent. For this portray the qualities of Arches paper is right.

The Course of

1. Do add water and pigment to the unique mixes as you’re employed.

2. Don’t worry in case your palette turns into messy.

3. Let the mixes run collectively on the paper, as you apply color positive it touches current color purposes in order that they’ll combine collectively.

4. Do watch out to go away highlights the place you had positioned masking fluid.

5. Use primarily Cobalt Violet, Uncooked Sienna and Burnt Sienna on the lighter elements of the constructing.

6. On the shadows use Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Violet and Burnt Sienna. Hold your shadows heat by utilizing extra Burnt Sienna than Cobalt Blue.

7. Combine your shadows on the paper, it supplies the deep contrasts and variations inside the shadow (you don’t want one boring tone throughout all of the shadow).

Step 4: Shadows


Deep shadows and shutters

Wait till the work from step three has dried utterly earlier than starting this step.

On this step you’ll use the Professional Arte sword liners and develop the intricate darkish tones on the street, on the tower and around the entrance constructing. Use the present color mixes in your palette.

Additionally, you will deepen the buildings and shadows that exist. (for instance there’s a little Uncooked Sienna on the entrance constructing. When you look carefully you will note that it’s moist on dry and has a tougher edge that different washes.

The entrance shutters are a gray color, and you may add the shutter shadows when it’s dry or almost dry. On this train the shutter shadows on the entrance constructing have been added when the gray shutter color was fairly moist. If this occurs you’ll get bleeding, however this in itself can add curiosity to the entire image.

The Course of

1. Apply pigment and water to your palette often as you’re employed. Combine a darkish tone of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Umber for the darkest sections.

2. Work rigorously on the darkish tones down the road, utilizing your darkest combine.

3. Add Uncooked Sienna to the entrance constructing in a haphazard method that signifies the crumbling render.

4. Apply one other wash to the constructing shadows on the left. Hold the shadows various and fascinating.

5. Add the darkish tones to the roof and chimneys.

6. Work shortly and freely, don’t get slowed down in particulars.

Step 5: Ultimate Particulars


To finish the work:

1. Add options of home windows to the buildings in shadow.

2. Add options of hinges on the shutters.

3. Add hanging lamp to road in darkish tones

4. Contact up darkish shadows throughout portray.

5. Don’t over do the darks, preserve the work unfastened and free. Hold the thriller of misplaced and located edges within the shadows.

Completed Portray

Tower St. Martin, Soreze
Tower St. Martin, Soreze

Allan Kirk educated to show Artwork within the 1970’s and taught for five years earlier than pursuing a profession in computing. He now lives and works as an artist within the south of France. Allan and his spouse Lesley have created TARNINCOLOUR HOLIDAYS the place they provide 7-day watercolour portray holidays for small teams from freshmen via to skilled artists. Teams keep and work from their renovated farmhouse within the stunning Lauragais area inside the tarn. You’ll find out extra in regards to the holidays and see Allan Kirk’s gallery at

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