Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class – February 7


It’s white and gray outside. We’ve had a lot of snow recently and there’s more on the way. Fortunately, our still life was bright and colourful, albeit a bit different. These may not be snow boots but the shapes and colours gave the students lots to think about.

Saturday classes are full days and I suggested taking the time to do some ‘warmup’ painting. The boots on the left of my demonstration sheet were painted without any preliminary pencil drawing. I painted the overall shape of the yellow boot and let it dry before I added the black tread. Simplification. Never a bad thing.

The other boot was painted as a yellow shape, as well. When I added the other shapes, I was curious to see how the colours would look over the underlying yellow wash. All of them, of course, have been influenced by the yellow. I painted a cool pink over the handles, for instance. When the pink dried, it had mixed optically with the yellow and now looks orange.

Every approach has it’s pros and cons. If I really wanted the handle to be pink, I’d have to paint it over white paper and not a yellow wash. However, the yellow wash does help to harmonize all of the other colours.

A sheet of studies in the morning is great preparation for a sustained work in the afternoon. The artist is more likely to experiment on a study sheet and, sometimes, an unplanned or unexpected result can be a very positive lesson.


These boots were made for painting! Everyone seemed to enjoy the variety of shapes and colours. Most of the students spent time on studies and the thought and extra effort really paid off.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique


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