ArtWorks 2016 – OCADU Alumni Juried Exhibition

22/04/2016
HARVEST by Barry Coombs

HARVEST
by Barry Coombs

ArtWorks 2016 is a bi-annual OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University) alumni juried exhibition. The exhibition is hosted by the Dignam Gallery of the Women’s Art Association of Canada. The twenty nine artists selected represent six decades of graduates and a beautiful catalogue has been produced to record the event.

The three jurors selected a strong and varied group of work and I’m pleased that HARVEST, my acrylic on canvas (18 x 24″), was accepted. I graduated from Fine Arts in 1981.

See dates, times and address for ArtWorks 2016 below.

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Spring Tuesday Watercolour Class – April 19

20/04/2016

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The Tuesday students work from the same still-life as the Saturday group. Here’s another view of the pile of fishing floats. On Saturday, I used a flat angled brush for the demonstration and I used it again yesterday. Also, my preliminary pencil drawing was limited to broad strokes which established the most basic shapes of the objects. A viewer could not recognize an object from the pencil drawing as it was not carefully refined or descriptive. It was just a few strokes to give a starting point to the brush and the brush did the rest. I focused on individual objects on Tuesday for the demonstration.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

The three-hour Tuesday classes are half the length of those on Saturday. In spite of that, the students created some strong work and several completed sheets of studies in addition to a sustained piece. During a class, I hear a lot of deep sighs and muttering. You’d think the paintings were all disasters but, as you can see, the results are quite impressive.

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Spring Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class – April 16

18/04/2016

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On Saturday, I wanted to demonstrate with a flat angled brush and discuss the relationship between drawing and painting. I also wanted to encourage the students to get a little bit out of their comfort zone. With that in mind, I suggested they stand up to paint (most of them sit, as a rule) and try to work more quickly even if meant taking a few risks.

What better still-life than my collection of fishing floats! These floats have seen it all. They’re rough and weather-beaten. The forms are fairly simple; cylinders and cones and spheres. At a glance, the still-life probably looks challenging but these factors actually make them somewhat forgiving.

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I don’t usually do a whole painting for a demonstration. This demo is on an 11 x 15″ (quarter sheet) of Curry’s 200 lb., cold press paper. It’s an absorbent paper. I used my pencil to ‘place’ the basic shapes rather than draw them carefully. I didn’t want to use my brush to just fill in between the pencil lines. This approach allowed my brush to have a strong impact on the look of the painting.

I painted for just under 30 minutes and discussed the steps and my thoughts as I worked. As mentioned, I used a 1″ flat angled brush and I stood while I painted. It’s not a major work of art but it got some ideas across and the students responded with enthusiasm.

The watercolour painters completed at least two pieces on Saturday. Everyone followed my lead and, at the end of the day, felt that they’d benefited from the experience. The look and feel of your watercolour paintings will never change if you always follow the exact same process and use the same tools in the same way. Once in a while, it’s important to leave your comfort zone if you want to develop your work in a new direction or even add new elements to your painting.

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Sustained Saturday Critique

Spring Tuesday Watercolour Class – April 5

07/04/2016

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Here’s another look at our edible still life from Saturday. The table was set for the Tuesday students and they made a meal of it. My demonstrations for the afternoon and evening classes were virtually identical to that of Saturday. I tried to complete them as quickly as possible because the Tuesday classes are three hours in duration and not six hours as they are on Saturday. The students are always starved for painting time.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

They did very well on Tuesday despite less cooking time. Let them know what you think with a comment.

My next Sustained Saturday class is on April 16 and there are two Tuesday classes on April 19. There’s a spot available for you so contact me if you’d like to join a friendly and creative group in a bright and spacious studio.

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Spring Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class – April 3

03/04/2016

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…of cabbages and things! It was nice to be back at the Arts on Adrian studio yesterday. I must have been hungry when I set up the still life and, by the end of the day, the students had done some delicious paintings.

As you can see on my demonstration sheet, I painted a few studies of some of the vegetables. I also discussed cool and warm whites as white had a large role in our subject. You can barely see the whites on the left side of my sheet.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

The students showed a real appetite for the subject matter. The challenge of the whites was met with success and everyone had fun looking at each other’s treatment of the cabbage. We relished some lovely watercolour paintings when we sat down for our critique.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

SPRUCE LANE FARM, BRONTE – new acrylic on canvas

29/03/2016
Spruce Lane Farm, Bronte by Barry Coombs acrylic on canvas 24 x 30"

SPRUCE LANE FARM, BRONTE
acrylic on canvas
24 x 30″

I’ve added SPRUCE LANE FARM, BRONTE to the Acrylics gallery on my website. This acrylic on canvas is based on a farm located at Bronte Creek Provincial Park in Ontario. The farmhouse dates to 1899. Have a look at my other acrylics on canvas by clicking here.

Plein Air Toronto 2016

17/03/2016

Sketching and Watercolour Painting
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
June 13 – 17, 2016

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Take a plein air painting holiday in your own backyard! The beautiful parks, gardens and historic sites of Toronto, Ontario are the venue for this exciting week of sketching and painting. Five special sites will be visited. Each day we will meet at a different location and begin with a demonstration. The painting day will conclude with a constructive critique. Participants will be provided with directions and detailed information (washrooms, cafes) about each site. We will paint ‘rain or shine’ as several of our sites have overhead shelter.

Click here to see demos and photos from a past Plein Air Toronto Week.

Our workshop will focus on watercolour painting, pen and ink sketching and pen drawing with wash. Participants working in other media are very welcome. Demonstrations, individual attention and constructive critiques are essential elements of this creative learning experience. This workshop is for participants with some previous experience in their chosen medium.

WHAT WILL YOU LEARN? Barry has extensive teaching experience and is able to bring out the best in painters of different levels of skill and experience. He will introduce participants to new ideas and approaches to plein air painting and is very well-known for his insightful critiques. His solid grounding in the traditional fundamentals of drawing, watercolour technique, colour and composition benefits all participants. His own watercolours, featured in the April 2013 issue of the UK’s Leisure Painter magazine, are colourful and playful and loosely inspired by Cubism. At some point in every workshop, he will discuss his recent work and is quite happy to provide guidance to anyone interested in trying this fascinating creative process.

A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Barry Coombs has led workshops in Ontario, Quebec and Maritime Canada for over twenty years as well as many international workshops in England, Italy, France, Greece and Mexico. He is noted for his positive and constructive attitude and ability to work with students of all levels of skill and experience. Barry exhibits his work locally and internationally and represented Canada at the G20 World Artist Festival in Seoul, South Korea in 2010.

TOgroup  TOjean

THE WORKSHOP FEE OF CDN $400 (HST included) INCLUDES:
• Tuition for five painting days; Monday to Friday from 10am – 4pm

THE WORKSHOP FEE OF CDN $400 (HST included) DOES NOT INCLUDE:
• Some entry and ferry fees which will not exceed CDN $25
• Parking

GETTING TO OUR PAINTING SITES
Participants will be provided with directions and detailed information (washrooms, cafes) about each site. We will paint ‘rain or shine’ as several of our sites have overhead shelter. All of our sites will be accessible by car or by public transit. It is possible to arrange carpooling if prior notice is given.

ARE YOU FROM OUT OF TOWN?
Contact Barry Coombs at info@barrycoombs.ca for help with planning your trip and your stay in Toronto.

HOW TO REGISTER
Contact Barry Coombs at info@barrycoombs.ca or use the contact form below to register. Registration will be confirmed when a non-refundable deposit of $100 is received. At that time a material list will be provided. The balance of $300 is due no later than Friday, June 3, 2016.

CANCELLATION
After June 10, 2016 the workshop fee is non-refundable. If the workshop is cancelled by Barry Coombs, for any reason, a full refund will be made.

More from San Miguel de Allende, Mexico!

14/03/2016

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

We were back at our studio on Wednesday morning. Our plan was to paint at the Instituto de Bellas Artes, a beautiful and historic building with a lovely courtyard surrounded by lots of arches. As you can see, I presented a few ideas about arches to the group.

Following my demonstration, we headed up to the Instituto and settled in to work. The Instituto hosts an excellent art and music school. As well as this guitar-making workshop, there are frescoes  and studios throughout.

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Nancy at work

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NIck at work

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Kate at work

It turned into a surprisingly windy day! Not everyone finished their work but that wasn’t so much due to the wind as it was the ambitious choice of subject matter. It took quite a while to sort out the perspective of the arches for some of our painters. Still, it was another good day and we enjoyed the critique back at our studio.

Wednesday Critique a

Wednesday Critique a

Wednesday Critique b

Wednesday Critique b

I’ve been leading workshops here in the month of March for a dozen years or so. On occasion, we get a thunderstorm overnight or in the very late afternoon. This year, we experienced a meteorological rarity; rain and cool temperatures during the day. On Thursday, I had hoped to paint in the Parque Guadiana, a quiet and peaceful spot. Due to the weather, I changed the plan. I started off in the studio with some more thoughts about foliage. After that, I suggested the group stay close to home and they did. Some worked from the inside of the hotel and looked out windows at their subjects.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

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The hotel cat stayed dry and the rain didn’t last long but the plan stayed the same. Have a look at the work from Thursday.

Thursday Critique a

Thursday Critique a

Thursday Critique b

Thursday Critique b

The sun was shining Friday morning and we walked up to Parque Guadiana right away. It’s a sweet spot; a garden-like park surrounded by gorgeous villas. As it happened, we weren’t the only painters in the park.

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Stew and Frances at work

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Marike at work

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It was a very pleasant day and the last scheduled painting day of our workshop.

Friday Critique a

Friday Critique a

Friday Critique b

Friday Critique b

Saturday was another day of freedom for our participants. Shopping was on many agendas but most spent some time working on their paintings and drawings, as well. We got together in the studio for Final Critique late in the afternoon. Each artist chose three works and told us a bit about them and why they’d selected them. It was a great way to wrap up our workshop.

Thanks for following our creative adventures. I now give you, in alphabetical order, the Class of 2016!

Carolyn

Carolyn

Frances

Frances

Karen

Karen

Kate

Kate

Marike

Marike

Nancy

Nancy

Nick

Nick

Stewart

Stewart

 

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – We’re here!

08/03/2016

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We’re back for my annual painting workshop in beautiful SM de Allende! We arrived last Thursday evening and took it easy on Friday, getting to know the town after our day of travel. The painting began on Saturday morning with a demonstration. I discussed some of the visual elements that the students would encounter while here.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

Many of the group have a keen interest in combining pen and ink with watercolour. I stuck to pen without watercolour for our first day and presented some ideas about the medium as applied to our hotel courtyard.

Pen and ink demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

The courtyard is spacious and lovely and offers no end of stimulating subject matter for our artists. We settled in for a very creative day.

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It was back to the studio at the end of the day for our constructive critique. It looks like a good start to our ten-day workshop. By the way, we have an acrylic painter in the midst of our gang of watercolourists.

Saturday Critique a

Saturday Critique a

Saturday Critique b

Saturday Critique b

As the students painted on Saturday, I made a small watercolour. The plan was to add ink to it as a demo the next morning.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

We gathered again on Sunday morning and, as promised, I discussed the use of pen with watercolour.

Pen and watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

After the demo, we headed off for a day at the local park, Parque Benito Juarez. It’s a pleasant and peaceful place and we enjoyed a productive day. Back at the studio, we had a look at our efforts.

Sunday Critique a

Sunday Critique a

Sunday Critique b

Sunday Critique b

EMERGENCY DEMO!!! Several of our artists had trouble with the plentiful foliage in the park. Some were drawing or painting the pillars that can be found throughout the park. At the Sunday critique, I did a simplified treatment of a foliage background. The idea is to complement the pillar, which is the main subject.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

I devoted our Monday morning demonstration to the figure with pen and watercolour. Over a pencil drawing, I created the shadows with a wash of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. This established the light and shadow on the figures.

Step One - Pen and watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

My next step was to add ‘local colour’ to the sketch. The first wash was dry before I added the second.

Step Two - Pen and watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

I decided to save the pen step for later in the day. We cleared out of the studio and headed up to Plaza San Antonio to find some shady painting spots.

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Once again, we convened for our critique. I started off with the final step of my figure demonstration; the pen.

Step Three - Pen and watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

Monday Critique a

Monday Critique a

Monday Critique b

Monday Critique b

Tuesday is a free day to explore SM de Allende. Don’t touch that dial! We’ll be back with more of our creative adventures in sunny Mexico soon.

Winter Tuesday Watercolour Class – February 23!

25/02/2016

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The teddy bears were back on Tuesday and eager to pose for the afternoon and evening classes. My demonstration for the Sustained Saturday class last weekend seemed to hit the mark so I presented the same basic thoughts on Tuesday. I used ‘soft-edge’ techniques within the component shapes of the bears (and monkey). In each shape, I started with a light wash before touching in a darker value while still wet.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

The Tuesday students enjoyed painting our furry friends. Many would have liked a bit more time to work on their watercolours. I’m impressed with some of the colourful and effective backgrounds conceived by some of them.

My winter classes are over at the Arts on Adrian studio in Toronto. I’ll be back in April. Next week, I’m off to San Migeul de Allende, Mexico with a lucky group of watercolour painters. Stay tuned for our creative adventures in the sunshine.

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique


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