I spent today leading a watercolour workshop at the Fellowship of Artists Gifford Gallery in Mt Eden. I've been a member for a few years now, and have been invited to give demonstrations and lead workshops on several occasions. Today we worked on a Manukau Harbour scene, one which happens to be one of my favourite images to paint at the moment!
I chose this scene as it provides a real opportunity to to use watercolour in a bold and expressive manner. Most of the painting is comprised of a large wash with details for the ripples on the water - and very little chance or need to 'fiddle' and get into too much detail. Many of the class participants said they enjoy the way watercolour 'does its own thing' and working on a scene like this provides lots scope for this to happen!
Often with beginner watercolour painters there is a tendency to use a small brush, not a lot of pigment, and dive into the details of a painting, before focussing on establishing the overall framework for a painting. The initial / underlying wash and plan needs to be thought through, and successfully completed, for there to be a good chance that the end result will be successful.
Feedback from todays participants made it clear they enjoyed the demonstration, instruction, and individual assistance throughout the day.
I do understand that people are usually quite hesitant to have their work displayed at the end of the day - but its always a real highlight to stand back and look at everyones results together. I think people are usually very pleasantly surprised when they finally see their work from a distance, after struggling over the painting for a few hours, and its always really interesting to see everyone's different interpretation of the subject matter displayed.
A very enjoyable way to spend the day!
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