Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two!

Tuesday Still Life

“There isn’t a single person or landscape or subject which doesn’t possess some interest, although it may not be immediately apparent.”  – Renoir

Thank you, Monsieur Renoir. The visual interest of these cardboard boxes may not have been immediately apparent to the students on Tuesday but that didn’t stop them from making some very interesting watercolour studies.

Last week, we concentrated on value and finding the most important light in our subject. We continued in that vein with the boxes. I added a few new thoughts to the mix and here’s a study in four steps.

Step one of watercolour study by Barry Coombs  Step two of watercolour study by Barry Coombs

Step One) I zoomed in tightly on a small area of the still life and drew it with pencil. Next, I applied some wax from a white candle to the lightest areas I could see. The wash went over the entire surface and was mostly Raw Sienna. Before it dried, I randomly touched in a darker value of Raw Sienna and Cobalt Blue.

Step Two) I let the study dry thoroughly before applying a bit more wax. Then, a wash of Raw Sienna and Cobalt Blue, but mostly blue, went over everything. I now have a very dark painting! It was deliberate. Will I be able to pull a few cardboard boxes out of the shadows?

Step three of watercolour study by Barry Coombs  Step four of watercolour study by Barry Coombs

Step Three) I squinted at my subject and searched for the next darkest shapes and painted them with a darker middle value of the same two colours. I varied some of the shapes with water or a very dark blue/black. Cardboard boxes are emerging from the dark.

Step Four) Further development of the darks which provide definition in shadow areas and are also used for some of the details such as the corrugation.

Here’s my demo from the evening class. The same steps were used although I started a little bit lighter and used slightly more wax.

Watercolour demo by Barry Coombs

It wasn’t an easy task. The students did their best to follow the process and, sure enough, cardboard boxes appeared on their sheets. Thus ends our mini-boot camp. Concentrating on light and shadow with our exercises has everyone thinking good thoughts with lots more watercolour painting ahead of us this fall.

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday AM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique

Tuesday PM Critique


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2 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two!”

  1. Marilyn Brewer Says:

    How nice to have your blog on my iPad via your app. Thank you so much! Really enjoy studying your lessons. Marilyn Brewer in Montfort, WI, USA

    Sent from my iPad

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