Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class

Yesterday was our final Sustained Saturday until next autumn. The still-life had a classical look to it. Simple, full volumes and warm, analogous colours. I discussed a few things at the outset. Everyone worked on a thumbnail sketch, in order to plan their composition, and we reviewed those together.


The thumbnail on the left is by Pamela Mitchell. She has zoomed right in to the still-life with a tight crop on three sides. Karen Waite drew the one on the right. She has zoomed in, as well, but allowed more of the tabletop at the bottom. Both artists used a grid to help them transfer their thumbnail to the larger watercolour sheet and maintain the same proportions of the composition. See if you can find their finished paintings in the critique photo at the end of this post.

I talked about two things in particular. First of all, I stressed the importance of keeping the light areas of the objects very light with lots of water in the washes. I also discussed warm colours, such as yellows and oranges, and how to make them darker. I suggested mixing them with their complements so I added violet to my yellow and blue to my orange. For the darkest areas of the yellow objects, the violet was very cool and almost blue.

It was a cold and windy day outside but the warmth of the still-life inspired some terrific results.

Sustained Saturday Critique

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One Response to “Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Thank you for sharing all of this. I think I found Pamela’s ( bottom row second from left?) and possibly Karen’s (bottom row third from left). Less sure of Karen’s than Pamela’s. Really lovely work. I always like the color in the set-ups.

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