SM de Allende, Mexico – Thursday and Friday!


This may seem like a rather humble portal. It’s the entrance to the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. Let’s take a look inside!

IMG_5442  IMG_5438


Td  Te



Serene, shady and beautiful; the Instituto is a wonderful place to paint. I’d made arrangements for us a few days prior and on Thursday we invaded.

Anticipating a lot of arches, I did a demonstration in our studio at the hotel before we left for the Instituto. I discussed drawing and perspective; most of my planning lines are still visible. The washes were developed with a ‘big to small’ process. My first wash covered the whole sheet. My second wash covered everything except the light exterior wall. I darkened the architecture a step at a time. Then, I painted the door and planter right over the shadows.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

Once at the Instituto, it wasn’t difficult to find comfortable painting spots and lots of attractive subjects. We settled in for the morning.

Fiona at work  Paula at work

Barb at work  Joan at work

Paula at work

Karen at work

In addition to all of the other perks of this excellent painting site, a fabulous lunch spot was steps away; just across the street in it’s own shady courtyard. We all enjoyed the delicious food, great service and ambience of Cafe Contento.


It was a downhill walk to our hotel for our tired painters at the end of the day. As usual, we convened in the Salon Aldama for our critique.



Friday was our last day of painting as a group. I arranged to do the demonstration in a spacious, sunny upper room at our hotel. The huge windows offer a great view of the town. I wanted to wrap up with something a bit different so I chose a flat angled brush and did very little preparatory drawing; basic shapes only. I talked about my process and decisions as I worked. This watercolour involves a degree of artistic licence and a lot of simplification.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

Our venue was a small, peaceful park, Parque Guadiana, not far from the hotel. It was a productive day. I’ll leave you with the critique and I think you’ll see that the students worked very hard and improved during our time here. One more post to come, though! Stay tuned for our Final Critique.










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3 Responses to “SM de Allende, Mexico – Thursday and Friday!”

  1. Karen Waite Says:

    Barry’s San Miguel Allende 2015 painting holiday was an exceptional opportunity to learn from a talented (and very well organized) artist and to enjoy exploring an absolutely gorgeous destination. Everything from the travel planning, the accommodations, Barry’s attention to detail in organizing our day’s events, instructive and relevant demonstrations, thoughtful tutelage and recommendations for ‘off hours’ enjoyment were first rate. Thank you, Barry, for a delightful and most enjoyable painting holiday!! I’d recommend this to anyone thinking of diving into an extended watercolour experience!

  2. melisnorth Says:

    I adore all these colours in Mexico, really gives the palette a workout 😉 I particularly love last painting you did out the window, it so fresh and simple, but seems to capture the essence of place. Something I really aspire to do one day.

  3. Lois Says:

    All so lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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