Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two – Pears

Still Life - SpringTuesWk2/2013

The Saturday class ate the last still life so I had to pick up a new batch of pears for Tuesday. Well, the Saturday pears wouldn’t have lasted. Pears are a classic painting subject but they do tend to ripen quickly.

I decided to review a few thoughts about thumbnail sketches. I like to start with a drawing in my sketchbook. I didn’t draw the entire still life but focused on an area that interested me.

Step One of Demonstration by Barry Coombs - SpringTuesWk2/2013

The next step was to consider my composition and for that I needed a frame of reference. I keep some black paper corners in the studio and played with them until I found a vertical composition.

Step Two of Demonstration by Barry Coombs - SpringTuesWk2/2013

This composition is roughly 4 x 3 in proportion. Many of the pads and blocks we use are in the same proportion; 9 x 12, 12 x 16, 18 x 24. At this stage, I like to do a bit of shading with my pencil. It helps me to understand how light is falling on the forms and to create an interesting pattern. Obviously, I haven’t shaded this yet. I wanted to show you the light, planning lines of my pencil drawing. More about light and shadow next time!

Step Three of Demonstration by Barry Coombs - SpringTuesWk2/2013

Browse through art books and magazines and it doesn’t take long to discover that most artists stress the importance of strong composition and recommend thumbnail studies as a key element of the painting process.

So why do so many art students (and artists) resist making thumbnail sketches? Many feel that they take too much time or drain some of their creative energy prior to painting. With practice, however, an artist will develop their own personal ‘shorthand’, a way of doing thumbnails that works for them and, ultimately, leads to stronger and more expressive compositions.

It’s time to showcase the work of the Tuesday students. What do you think?

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique


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5 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two – Pears”

  1. Ruth Bailey Says:

    You must be a good teacher, as all your students have very nice color choices and a have expressed intriguing forms and shapes.

  2. Linda Halcomb Says:

    Alive with color! I’m glad you’ve started a new class. maybe I can keep up this time…Thank for everything you share.

  3. Lois Says:

    The Students did,good!! And I love the Vibrant colors.
    I tend not to do thumbnails;, that could be One of my Problems?
    Anyhow, great tutorial, thanks for sharing.. so appreciate it.

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