Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Ten

Winter has term has come to an end at my studio. It’s snowing heavily at the moment in downtown Toronto but at least my Spring Studio Calendar is ready. Hopefully, it will be a lot warmer and greener on April 5, when my spring term begins.

Yesterday, I re-arranged the still-life from the Saturday class. The quarter sections of melon are always a drawing challenge. I compare them to boats. I started with an atmospheric preliminary wash, an approach we’ve been using for several weeks. Note the lightest areas such as the rind of the watermelon and the seeds on the canteloupe. That’s the preliminary wash showing.

Our morning group has been smaller for a few weeks. Some of the group are ‘snowbirding’, taking winter breaks in Florida and Mexico. We thought of them as we celebrated the last class with a delicious lunch at Piri Piri, our local Portugese restaurant. In the evening, I broke out some wine  and a generous student brought a fruit plate with a chocolate dipping sauce. Yum.

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique



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5 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Ten”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    The colors in this set up lift my spirits. They are full of cheer, springtime warmth and the paintings look juicy…or maybe I’m just craving melon!

  2. Carol King Says:

    Beautiful colors and shapes make these paintings particularly interesting to me. I like how you use the preliminary wash. I’ve tried that a few times, with less success than your students.

    • Barry Coombs Says:

      Hi Carol. It can take a few tries to get used to it. Many of the students don’t trust the randomness of it but that’s it’s special quality.
      Here are my steps. Put a roll of masking tape or a book under the top of your board or block so that your w/c sheet is at a slight angle. Wet your sheet with a big flat brush. Make sure your sheet is wet with an even sheen but no puddles or pooling on edges. Using a big round brush (#12 or 14), add your lightest colour, usually yellow, first. Then orange and red for a warm wash. For a glowing ‘white’ wash start with a very diluted yellow, then a cool red, then blue (I use Cobalt for this).
      Five main problems:
      1) It’s too dark or much too light – Dilute or augment the colour a bit more before adding to wash.
      2) Not evenly wet or not wet enough – I wet it from top to bottom but I often re-wet the top before adding colour. Bend over and look at the sheet at a different angle. You’ll find any dry spots.
      3) Impatience – Wait for the wash to dry completely before continuing.
      4) Fear – Try smaller ones such as 1/8 sheets (approx. 7 x 10″ after taping edges). Do studies of single or small groups of objects and enjoy the process without worrying about the product. No expectation, no risk.
      5) Personal Temperament – See 4). The randomness of the wash can terrify some people. Ultimately, it can add a lot to your work so keep trying.

  3. Carol King Says:

    Thanks for the step by step info. I sort of get stuck on #4. Will give this a try again. And I appreciate your time in explaining your technique. Carol

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