Brant Visual Artists Guild – Pen and Watercolour


I lead a one-day workshop for the Brant Visual Artists Group about every second year. Since my last visit, they’ve moved from downtown St. George to the Langford Schoolhouse. It’s a lovely rural setting between Ancaster and Brantford, Ontario.

Our theme was ‘Everyday Objects’ and our medium was pen with watercolour. I picked a few things out of my art bag and started a sheet of monochromatic studies. The paint tube and the pencil sharpener were painted with a single value wash. I painted a light middle value of blue on the ink bottle and allowed it to dry before applying a darker middle value.

Step one of watercolour and pen demo by Barry Coombs - BVAG2013

The pen came next, after the washes were dry. We talked about the basic pen techniques of hatching, cross-hatching, stippling and line weight. I used pigment ink or pigment liner disposable sketching pens from Pilot and Staedtler. A fairly fine #3 was used on the tube and sharpener and a thicker #8 on the ink bottle.

Step two of watercolour and pen demo by Barry Coombs - BVAG2013

After lunch, I selected some new objects and showed two different ideas about colour. Each study is painted with a cool and a warm colour. The container with pencils was done with a cool red wash (Rose Madder Quinacridone). I dropped in some Cobalt Blue while it was wet and allowed them to run together.

The bulldog clip was painted with yellow where the light hits the object and blue in the shadow areas.

Step one of watercolour and pen demo by Barry Coombs - BVAG2013

I wiggled the pen nib back and forth for the darks on the pencils. Also, I changed the stroke direction on the different walls of the container. The bulldog clip isn’t finished. The dark areas could be deepened with more cross-hatching.

Step two of watercolour and pen demo by Barry Coombs - BVAG2013

One of my blog friends is Erin Hill from Australia. She runs workshops and classes in pen and watercolour. Her students paint and draw all kinds of things, including pastries and various kinds of food. They draw them and, then, they eat them. I suggested the BVAG members take a peek at her blog.

We covered a lot of material. Not everyone finished all of their studies but everyone went home with some new sketching ideas.

Critique - BVAG2013

Here they are! The hard-working Brant Visual Artists Guild. Joanne Lloyd, next to me with her foot up on the chair, is the Workshop Co-ordinator.



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3 Responses to “Brant Visual Artists Guild – Pen and Watercolour”

  1. susan power Says:

    Nice work, each piece has definite personality!

  2. Lois Says:

    Wow, Beautiful Objects, the Group did!!!
    Love pen and ink, ….
    Loved the Little Church, looks like a really pretty area.
    was noticing the Barn, in the back…another nice thing to paint…
    I love Barns…

  3. Carol King Says:

    These everyday objects look quite special here!

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