Gibsons School of the Arts – Day One!

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I boarded a ferry in Horseshoe Bay last Sunday, setting out on a new teaching adventure. I arrived 45 minutes later at Gibsons, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. I’m teaching all week at the Gibsons School of the Arts, leading a workshop called ‘Creative Watercolor: Imagination, Colour and Composition’.

On Sunday night, I met the students at a ‘meet and greet’ in a lovely local home. Monday morning, we convened at the Arts Building in the bright and spacious studio.

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This is a watercolour workshop and is comprised of a series of exercises, each with it’s own goal. My first demonstration dealt with a basic ‘soft edge’ technique that will become the ‘building block’ of all our paintings. Following that, I discussed drawing and presented our first exercise which was based on an inukshuk. The inukshuk originated with the Inuit and was a pile of stones in a human shape. Here in BC, people love to make their own versions on the rocky beaches although they don’t necessarily resemble a human being.

Preliminary drawing for watercolour exercise by Barry Coombs

Our exercise took a ‘step by step’ approach. The drawing is very important and I darkened my pencil lines to stress the need to create clearly defined shapes. Think of a stained glass window or even a colouring book!

The students chose their own colours and tried to apply the ‘soft edge’ technique to every shape in the painting. I worked on my demonstration throughout the day and called the group over from time to time to discuss various ideas about brush-handling and technique.

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Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

It was a full day! Some of the students are primarily acrylic painters and the techniques were a new challenge. The process was new for most of the  watercolour painters, as well. Everyone followed the steps of the exercise and we wrapped up with a look at the results.

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Monday Critique

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4 Responses to “Gibsons School of the Arts – Day One!”

  1. weisserwatercolours Says:

    ….they more than achieved success, IMO, Barry. Limiting an exercise to achievable, and teachable goals cuts through that awful watercolour frustration, when things just ‘won’t cooperate’. These results are superb. I cooked at a summer camp not far from there, on the way to Sechelt, Camp Douglas. It is such an inspiring location.

  2. William Brisland Says:

    How wonderful to see the courage of acrylic painters taking on the challenges of watercolour AND to have the guidance of such a master. I look forward to seeing the daily progress

  3. Mary M. Hughes Says:

    Wish was there…………………ry Date: Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:16:25 +0000 To: amhugs@sympatico.ca

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