My Winning Royal Watercolour Society Submission -“Bardsey Island, North Wales” – On Display, “The Royal Watercolour Society’s,Bankside Gallery” – London, March, 2017


This painting is of Bardsey Island (Ynys Enlli) in North Wales. I chose this landscape to paint as I liked the landscape of the seaside and I chose this to paint as a fine watercolour. My aim was to paint it exactly the same  as I saw it.

I really liked the hills and the mountains and I just loved the scenery. I visit this place often and I can visualize this place.

I used a large canvas. Firstly I drew with a pencil to draw the landscape. Then I used watercolour and painted with thin, fine brush. Then I used a thicker brush and I gradually added the different colours of paint onto the canvas. I worked visually throughout, on location.

I paint each section of the landscape. I wait until it dries and then add other bits of colour because if you paint when the other bits are still wet colours soak into each other. So for example if you want to paint a rock you need to wait until the other colour is dry before you add the new colour. If you have a section that is different colours you need to make sure they are separated so that it looks right as part of the mountain. This gave my painting depth.

I chose these colours as I wanted it to look like a bright. I wanted it to belike it was representing summer. I used colours such as green, red, yellow and brown. You cant always know what colours you mix as I dabbed my brush in the paint and this will blend but you can still see the different colours of paint.

I really like the colours in my final piece and I like the sea and the way I have painted the water. I have painted it to look like big waves I used different techniques such as a stroke and a dab to get that effect.

The colours are right and I feel that there is depth to this picture and it looks excellent.

I really enjoyed painting this scene and feel that I could not add anymore detail to it in terms of colour.

The island has been an important religious site since Saint Cadfan built a monastery in 516. In medieval times it was a major centre of pilgrimage and, by 1212, belonged to the Augustinian Canons Regular. The monastery was dissolved and its buildings demolished by Henry VIII in 1537,but the island remains an attraction for pilgrims to this day. Bardsey Island is now as famous for its wildlife and rugged scenery. A bird observatory was established in 1953, largely due to the island’s position on important migration routes. It is of European importance, cited as a nesting place for Manx shearwaters and choughs, its rare plants, and habitats undisturbed by modern farming practices. It is one of the best places in Gwynedd to see grey seals, and the waters around the island attract dolphins and porpoises. The spirituality and sacredness of the island, its relative remoteness, and its legendary claim to be the burial site of King Arthur, have given it a special place in the cultural life of Wales, attracting artists, writers and musicians to its shores. It has inspired award winning literature, and attracted internationally renowned singers.


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