Last week, from Monday to Friday, I led an outdoor watercolour painting workshop in the parks, gardens and historic sites of Toronto, Ontario. I’m posting late due to some internet trouble but I hope you’ll still enjoy our adventures.
We met on Monday morning in my west-end studio. I often start an outdoor week with a general demonstration intended to cover several of the common elements encountered by artists working outdoors.
After the demo, we headed down to the lakeshore and painted near the restored, though currently unused, Joy gas station. Everyone settled in to paint and draw. We had a large picnic shelter handy in case of rain but the weather cooperated.
It was a great start to the week and we wrapped up with our critique.
Monday Critique A
Monday Critique B
Thunderstorms threatened on Tuesday so we met at St. Mike’s College on the beautiful downtown University of Toronto campus. There’s a lot of overhead protection on the site but, good fortune prevailed, and we had another sunny day with no rain.
You can say that again! St. Mike’s College is in the middle of urban Toronto but a pair of Red-winged Blackbirds were nesting and the male attacked artists and other passersby all day long when they got too close. No damage done, though.
This American Robin was also on her nest. She was very well behaved.
I discussed pen combined with watercolour and used a ‘show and tell’ approach. We looked at some past demonstrations and discussed the techniques before getting to work.
It was a productive day and we had a lot to look at when the the time came for our critique.
Tuesday Critique A
Tuesday Critique B
Tuesday Critique C
Spadina House was our site for Wednesday but it doesn’t open until noon. We set up for the first two hours in the parkette between Spadina House and Casa Loma. I took the opportunity to use one tower of Casa Loma as my subject. I discussed the underlying volumes in architecture and even foliage. Cubes, cones, cylinders and spheres. My proportions aren’t all accurate and I omitted the chimney but the point of the demo was well received.
At noon, we entered the gardens surrounding Spadina House. It’s a lovely spot with plenty of shade and a great variety of subject matter.
Unfortunately, my camera battery died before critique. I took our photo with my iPad and it’s a bit dark. Still, the quality of the work is evident. Stay tuned for more watercolours and drawings from Toronto. I’ll be posting Thursday and Friday soon.