These paintings are not watercolours in a traditional sense, or any time honoured purist technique.
Watercolour is at its finest worked fast. A number of factors work against this ideal. It's reputation as a difficult medium is not without foundation. Most problems occur when the paint is drying or adjusting colour balance. Making corrections when the pigment has dried is virtually impossible.
I have changed all that.

My use of the now non-excistant CS10 Media 6 card, plus a unique method of extending and reviving the pigments workable "open time" has allowed me to work for weeks, even months, on my paintings in a much broader and less confining manner.
How many artist's can continue to work on a watercolour they put to one side months ago! Within fifteen minutes I can work on it again as though I had never stopped.
At the same time my experience back in the late 70's, was that many galleries did not want so called "dark paintings"
I was told that moonlight subjects were too gloomy, depressing or hard to sell.
By careful attention to subtle gradations of light, I take considerable comfort in having proved that untrue. The majority of the many watercolour compositions sold over the years have been moonlight subjects. As a result moonlight paintings have become a strong identifying image for me.
I also take great pleasure in folk wondering how they are painted. All of them combine the elements that true watercolours demand.
Speed of working brings vitality. Attention to undertones and transparency without having to worry about drying times, allows for a loose, peaceful gesture, bringing a special dignity to the medium watercolour.

"A feature of Galloway is the abundance of water, and its reflective quality seems to bounce the light up to the overcast sky and down on to a shimmer of golden reeds, dried grass, or more water.  Cobalt Violet, Alizarin Crimson, hints of Raw Sienna and Rose crop up in the most unlikely places.  The ability to be sensitive and bold is inherent in watercolour.  There is also a kind of diffuse mystery in watercolour, and that mystery is ever present in Galloway.   

The constant quest for the possibility within the painting, or rather, the paint, comes down to just how far a chosen medium can be stretched.  It is possible to fuse the figurative and non-figurative.  This is one of the reasons I enjoy the freedom of my own landscapes based on Galloway, as opposed to a blow-by-blow picture of a particular place.  It is amazing how many people tell me one of my works is such-and-such a place, when it’s just pure imagination.  Whenever I feel that I am ‘starting to paint pictures’, a stiff correctness takes over.  I am sure many artists identify with this."

from Watching Paint Dry


24 Ryan Gardens,
Ryan Bay Caravan Park

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'They all have a unique translucent quality which William defines so well and has made his own.'
Keith Emerson

Copyright © William Neal 2015. All Rights Reserved.