The Gordon Harris Online Watercolour Competition 2018
This is our annual online competition. Members email a digital image of a painting done during
the last year. 42 works were submitted in all manner of subjects and styles. The images were sent
to the judges who then conferred by email and phone. They selected these winning paintings:
'Auckland Viaduct, Studio Greys' by Amanda Brett
'Waikato river' by Bernadette Parsons
'Parnell at Twilight' by Ginette Wang
The Online Competition People’s Choice Award
For the first time we have run an online voting system for a People’s Choice Award sponsored by Gordon
Harris Ltd. Voting was open to members, friends and family and anyone interested in watercolour paintings.
518 people took the opportunity to study the entries, discuss them and cast their vote. The new online aspect appealed to young artists. The first and second placings are young mothers grabbing moments to paint while tending to children. Both are in small towns – Otorohanga and Oamaru. The sponsors, Gordon Harris Ltd are delighted with the response for this new award.
'Toni’s Fur Babies' by Rebecca Ngapo
'Eager Eye' by Tracey Vickers
'Auckland Viaduct studio greys' by Amanda Brett
Winner of the Gordon Harris Online Watercolour Competition 2018 - 1st place
Auckland Viaduct, Studio Greys
by Amanda Brett
I started with a thumbnail value drawing, then applied a simplified sketch to my watercolour paper. Painting in ‘en plein air style’ i.e. top down, I started with mixes of greys (phthalocyanine blue,
alizarin crimson and burnt sienna), warmer hues gradating into cooler and sometimes painting with clean water, all this around planned whites. Once the shine had left the paper I splashed in some light value spatter and continued to paint stronger washes. For parts of the ‘office’ and fishing boat I used colour straight from the tube. I painted in some dark figures and scrubbed out some lighter value shapes. While the paper was still damp I had the freedom of soft edges and more spatter. I started to add accents of raw sienna, cerulean blue and splashes of white gouache. When it was close to dry, I made some final hard edges and added calligraphy marks to seal the deal.
: Rigging and ironwork combine to form an interesting arrangement of shapes on the paper against a backdrop of soft greys. It’s a clever demonstration of how the use of imagination can turn an unlikely subject into a good picture.
Winner of the Gordon Harris Online Watercolour Competition 2018 - 2nd place
Waikato river on its way to the sea
by Bernadette Parsons
: Starting this painting the clouds were creating wonderful shadows across a familiar Franklin landscape, a mixture of green grazing and typically red cropping land. My challenge was standing on the side of the road, to paint fast and rough. I wanted to have areas of warm green in the middle ground but still show the distance of Port Waikato. Luckily I had the red earth to bring me forward again. Because of my haste, brushstrokes were one attempt, the result of which later, not at
the time, can bring you such joy.
Thank you Watercolour New Zealand and Gordon
This painting has employed a very lively technique and a very sure brushwork to give us a beautiful landscape. The use of light, the convincing handling of the passing cloud and the deft brushwork unite to give us a great sense of vista. The artist’s skill makes the work look deceptively simple, but requires a high degree of skill.
Winner of the Gordon Harris Online Watercolour Competition 2018 - 3rd place
Parnell at Twilight
by Ginette Wang
: Street scenes are one of my favourite painting subjects. I have
left many footprints in Parnell village from my university years. The
old French patisserie café that I often go to for my quiet reading is long
gone, but the atmosphere at twilight is still the same. Parnell at twilight
is to capture that relaxing atmosphere of the soft colourful sky backdrop
framing the colonial style building in the village with people casually
strolling along the footpath, which will never change through time in
Almost a monotone, using reflections and shadows
to give a lively atmospheric scene. The figure-work has been handled
well, backlighting some figures, and just enough detail to show some action
around a doorway. The car to the right has been depicted with the
minimum of brushwork to avoid taking the eye from the central focus of
the painting. A very satisfying result.
People’s Choice Award - 1st place
Toni’s Fur Babies
by Rebecca Ngapo of Otorohanga
I especially loved doing this painting because the dog on the left was not happy sharing the limelight with her friends. She was sulking and not looking at the camera. I painted this as a surprise gift for my friend’s daughter. I hadn’t painted anything like this before and challenged myself. The result has given me confidence in my ability as an artist. Thanks for organising the competition.
People’s Choice Award- 2-nd place
by Tracey Vickers of Oamaru
The subject is my brother’s farm dog waiting eagerly to be
let out to work. I am a keen photographer and base my paintings on my photos. I like to paint in realistic style with careful control. I love vibrant colours and watercolour has the “umph!”
''Beneath The Surface'' by Ruth Killoran