APV DB5 DVD

Atmosphere in Watercolour

Artist: David Bellamy
Language: English 60 mins
Format: PAL DVD
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Price: £28.55 (Inc VAT where applicable + P&P worldwide)

In this film, David shows us how to get mood, atmosphere and light into our paintings. He sketches in Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire and the Cotswolds, painting a summer sunlit farm, a splashing mountain waterfall, a bridge, an early morning misty lake and a rocky cove. He then produces two finished paintings from these sketches, working in his studio.

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LEISURE PAINTER – February 2003

Watercolour landscapes David Bellamy, who is well known for his paintings of mountain scenery, has produced a video in which he concentrates on bringing mood, atmosphere and light into his work. To this end he makes a number of on-the-spot sketches of landscape subjects and then produces finished paintings in the studio from two of his sketches. The video opens with a distant shot of the artist on the tip of a spray-lashed rocky headland but he wisely chooses a less exposed spot for his first sketch of the adjacent rocky inlet. David uses watercolour pencils to capture the form and outline of the rocky cliffs, later softening some areas with a wet brush. He tackles the sea boldly with pale watercolour washes and lets the untouched paper stand for areas of white water. As with his other sketches, we are shown the resulting studio painting.

David's next subjects are in the Welsh mountains, and he uses grey and indigo watercolour pencils to capture the outlines and sombre tones of the hills. He applies his watercolour washes boldly and freely but uses a black pencil for the detail of a small stone bridge across the stream. He simplifies the foreground rock formations, concentrating on those he considers 'handsome'. An impressive waterfall, also in Snowdonia, comes next and for this he uses smooth cartridge paper for his quick watercolour impression. He again uses watercolour pencils, particularly for the craggy rock formations, using deep tones so that the pale waterfall appears to shine by contrast.

For his final sketch of a Cotswold farm David uses pure watercolour on cartridge paper - Naples yellow and raw sienna for the honey-coloured Cotswold stone in sunlight and French ultramarine and light red for the shadowed elevations. He makes the most of the tonal contrasts in order to convey the effects of light.

The scene now switches to the studio where David uses two of his mountain sketches to produce finished paintings. These are naturally more polished but in my view do not have quite the impact and immediacy of the preliminary sketches. This video will appeal to watercolourists dedicated to painting en plein air and to those who use watercolour pencils.
THE ARTIST - April 2003

Now for the extreme; David Bellamy's welcome new film should carry a warning - don't try this at home! In Atmosphere In Watercolour we find him scurrying from crashing waves in Pembrokeshire, dangling from a rope in Snowdonia, and braving other remote and windswept places. "But even on wild days you can paint in comfort by kitting out sensibly and finding a bit of shelter," he reassures us!

It is a superb film, instructive and exciting. He is a master of location work and he shows that there is really only one sure way of capturing a sense of place, and that is to be there. You may not be able to match his intrepid nature, but you will certainly learn a great deal from his wonderful location sketching and painting demonstrations using watercolour and water-soluble pencils.
THE ARTIST- December 2004

For David Bellamy there is only one sure way to capture a sense of place, and that is to be there. As his exciting film, Atmosphere in Watercolour, shows, there is nothing quite like dangling from a rope in Snowdonia or dodging the crashing waves on the Pembrokeshire coast to put some zest and inspiration into your work and get you painting with meaning and feeling! True, we won't all want to follow his example too closely, although we can learn a great deal from his location sketching and painting demonstrations in which he combines watercolour and water-soluble pencil techniques to excellent effect. For David Bellamy there is only one sure way to capture a sense of place, and that is to be there. As his exciting film, Atmosphere in Watercolour, shows, there is nothing quite like dangling from a rope in Snowdonia or dodging the crashing waves on the Pembrokeshire coast to put some zest and inspiration into your work and get you painting with meaning and feeling! True, we won't all want to follow his example too closely, although we can learn a great deal from his location sketching and painting demonstrations in which he combines watercolour and water-soluble pencil techniques to excellent effect.

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