Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Three

Still Life - FallTuesWk3

Is there a limit to my cruelty? Unsuspecting watercolourists eagerly sign up for a ten-week class. The first two weeks, pears and apples as subject matter, lull them into a reasonably comfortable state of mind. Everyone has done well. Things are looking good. Then, on Tuesday, the eighth of October, they receive a terrible shock. A pile of cardboard boxes adorns the table in the centre of the studio. Is this some kind of sick joke?

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs - FallTuesWk3

It wasn’t a joke, of course, but it certainly was a workout. For one thing, perspective had to be considered. We discussed the use of a measuring stick to help solve all of the angles. I’ve been stressing value and light and shadow since week one and it was a key consideration yesterday.

Composition is very important. I always recommend that the students start with a thumbnail study. I suggested that they crop the image on all four sides. This made the paintings seem more abstract and allowed the students to concentrate on the shapes and values rather than worry about the actuality of the boxes. Observe well, execute thoughtfully and the boxes will emerge.

Thumbnail Study by Elizabeth Harvey

Thumbnail Study
by Elizabeth Harvey

Here’s a thumbnail study by Elizabeth Harvey. She made this in a 5 x 7″ sketchbook so it’s not very big but that’s why we call them thumbnails. Elizabeth started with a sketch. She then used two L-shaped pieces of black paper to focus on the area that interested her most. The next step was to draw a rectangle around that area. The rectangle is close to a 3 x 4 proportion, the same as the sheet of watercolour she would be working on. Values were developed with her pencil and then a bit of colour was added. Well done! It’s a great example of the thumbnail process. See if you can find her painting below in the AM group.

So, how did the classes go? Despite the natural trepidation, the challenge was met by all and it was an excellent learning experience. Was it fun? One of the morning students asked it we could paint the boxes again. In ten years.

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique

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8 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Three”

  1. Jacques Descoteaux Says:

    Awesome still life. Beautiful student paintings.

  2. northpenninegallery Says:

    Nice idea Barry.

  3. Scott Cooper Says:

    You Cubist, you…

  4. Carol King Says:

    I read this post with a huge smile on my face. I love the still life of cardboard boxes. Pears and apples? Meh! Cardboard boxes? yay!

  5. Lois Says:

    Very mean of you!! all kidding aside; the Students, did well.
    Very nice..
    Lois

  6. Barry Coombs Says:

    Thanks for all of the comments! I hope you all get a chance to paint cardboard boxes in the near future.

  7. Lois Says:

    I definately, will give it a try.
    Thanks always for sharing.
    Lois

  8. Mary M. Hughes Says:

    Date: Wed, 9 Oct 2013 16:24:12 +0000 To: amhugs@sympatico.ca

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