Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two

Bagels were our subject. I didn’t want anything that demanded too much drawing. I presented an idea that is familiar to many of my regular students. It starts with a preliminary wash over the whole sheet.

Bagel - Step One

Step One – I wet the sheet evenly with clean water. I then randomly added yellows, oranges and reds to create a warm, atmospheric quality.

Bagel - Step Two

Step Two – I lie. There are actually two steps shown here. After allowing the preliminary wash to dry, I painted the entire bagel. I started out with a light value and touched in some dark to read as core shadow. While doing so, I ‘hatched’ my brush back and forth, leaving small areas of the first wash untouched. These negative areas are intended to appear as light seed-like shapes. They also permit the preliminary wash to penetrate the bagel.

I waited for the bagel to dry before adding some darker seed-like shapes. My bagel nows seems to be flying through space.

Bagel - Step Three

Step Three – Just to the left of the bagel I started to paint with clean water and gradually added darker red as I moved to the right. Then, just below the ‘table edge’ created by the reddish wash, I painted a band of clean water and added green as I moved down to the front edge of the fabric.

Bagel - Step Four

Step Four – I’ve added a cast shadow with a darker ‘point of contact’ under the bagel and at the bottom edge of the fabric. I used clean water and a touch of green to suggest a hem on the fabric, as well.

I often use a preliminary wash in my watercolours. They add a luminous quality that can be quite magical. It’s fun to try different colour combinations. Try to leave some areas that are almost paper-white and be careful of going too dark.


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2 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Hey Barry – you certainly have captured a luminous painting and I like your subject matter – we really can turn anything into a painting can’t we. Thanks for the demo – Cheers – Stephen

  2. Barry Coombs Says:

    Thanks for your feedback. It’s an enjoyable process to demonstrate. I sometimes present it as a theme for one-day workshops. It has much potential beyond my rather existential solitary bagel.

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