Thunder Bay – Final Two Days!

That’s Biljana Baker with me. Not everyone can combine artistic talent with good management skills but Biljana organizes successful workshops and is a very creative artist. Thursday’s class had a nautical theme. We can see the huge grain silos from our studio, as well as freighters waiting to load up with prairie wheat that feeds people all over the world. Our little plastic boats might not float but they were a good challenge for our brushes and pens.

My goal is to introduce different ideas about the pen in combination with watercolour. As you’ve seen, some of our drawings are done from  actual objects and others are developed from diagrams. The workshop allows the participants to try these ideas and approaches, following a structured process. Our next nautical subject was a dory, tied up at low tide. My diagram can be seen (below left). The watercolour step of my demo is next to it. I added pen later, when it was completely dry.

The group prepared the watercolour step of their dories before we finished up Thursday. After class, we visited Local Colour, a gallery featuring work from over sixty Thunder Bay area artists. Several of the workshop gang are represented by the gallery. That visit was followed by a group dinner at the Prince Arthur Hotel.

We added pen to our dories on Friday morning. Before moving on to our next project, I gave a short talk about some elements of perspective. Then, the bears joined us.

The bears were fairly complicated forms and I tried to simplify mine using light and shadow before glazing on local colour. I work very rapidly when I demonstrate with the pen. Although, I rarely finish these demos I can be prone to overworking them. I don’t mind. Those new to pen and ink can be very timid with it. It can be helpful to watch the pen work transform the piece even if the instructor overdoes it a bit.

We wrapped up with a critique of the dories and bears. It’s been an intensive but enjoyable four days and we had a lot of fun. I’ve been invited back so I guess I’ll have to haunt the dollar stores for some new subject matter.


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4 Responses to “Thunder Bay – Final Two Days!”

  1. Stephen Says:

    Hey Barry
    This looks like such fun. I love your idea of painting toys! The class seemed to have turned in some beautiful work too.
    Does this kind of work tire you out?

    • Barry Coombs Says:

      It’s been a busy week and I haven’t had a chance to thank you and Linda and Keith for the supportive comments you’ve made recently. Teaching can be tiring work but enthusiastic and talented students make it very rewarding.

  2. Keith Palmer Says:

    Barry, how did you manage to put the monochromatic wash on before the colour. I’ve recently tried applying my colour before the pen with mixed results. The line work on the bear is superb as are the plant pots.

  3. Barry Coombs Says:

    I just posted a demo from the Clarkson Society of Artists yesterday. If it doesn’t make sense, please fire away with any questions you have.

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