Spring Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class – April 16


On Saturday, I wanted to demonstrate with a flat angled brush and discuss the relationship between drawing and painting. I also wanted to encourage the students to get a little bit out of their comfort zone. With that in mind, I suggested they stand up to paint (most of them sit, as a rule) and try to work more quickly even if meant taking a few risks.

What better still-life than my collection of fishing floats! These floats have seen it all. They’re rough and weather-beaten. The forms are fairly simple; cylinders and cones and spheres. At a glance, the still-life probably looks challenging but these factors actually make them somewhat forgiving.


I don’t usually do a whole painting for a demonstration. This demo is on an 11 x 15″ (quarter sheet) of Curry’s 200 lb., cold press paper. It’s an absorbent paper. I used my pencil to ‘place’ the basic shapes rather than draw them carefully. I didn’t want to use my brush to just fill in between the pencil lines. This approach allowed my brush to have a strong impact on the look of the painting.

I painted for just under 30 minutes and discussed the steps and my thoughts as I worked. As mentioned, I used a 1″ flat angled brush and I stood while I painted. It’s not a major work of art but it got some ideas across and the students responded with enthusiasm.

The watercolour painters completed at least two pieces on Saturday. Everyone followed my lead and, at the end of the day, felt that they’d benefited from the experience. The look and feel of your watercolour paintings will never change if you always follow the exact same process and use the same tools in the same way. Once in a while, it’s important to leave your comfort zone if you want to develop your work in a new direction or even add new elements to your painting.


Sustained Saturday Critique

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