Grand Manan Island 2016 – Wednesday and Thursday!

We started at the studio again last Wednesday morning. I had prepared a demonstration on Tuesday at Woodward’s Cove and photographed the first three steps, which I showed on my computer screen.

Step One

Step One

You can probably see the faint pencil lines under the washes in Step One. The washes have been applied in two ways. In some, such as the boat hull, I painted the shape with water and added the colour to the upper area while wet. In the roof, I painted a light grey wash and added the darker grey while wet.

Step Two

Step Two

I continued with the same process and added more shapes. Washes were allowed to dry before adding new ones.

Step Three

Step Three

All of the big shapes are in place. I’ve left the white of the paper in a few areas because I’m about to add flowers in Step Four.

Step Four

Step Four

Overall, I’ve used a ‘light to dark’ and ‘big to small’ approach. As mentioned, I wanted to paint the flowers over clean white paper. The yellows and pinks would lose their intensity if there was a grey or greenish wash underneath. This painting isn’t finished but it’s as far as I took it on Wednesday morning. It was time to hit the road for Seal Cove!



The old herring smokesheds and piers of Seal Cove provide endless subject matter for our artists. It’s a magical place. Everyone settled in. It was another sunny day so shady spots were sought out.


Britta at work




It’s always nice to wind up the day at our studio. We’d all had enough sun and, of course, it’s easy to tape the work up on the wall. Here they are; the sketches and paintings from Seal Cove.

Wednesday Critique a

Wednesday Critique a

Wednesday Critique b

Wednesday Critique b

You guessed it! We met at our studio again on Thursday morning. A few days earlier, I’d made a small watercolour study in North Head Harbour. I wanted to add pen to it and this was my opportunity.

Step One

Step One

I discussed the basic pen techniques; hatching, cross-hatching, stippling and line variety. I love working with pen and wash and I try to present my thoughts at least once during all of the ‘en plein air’ workshops I teach.

Step Two of pen and watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

Step Two

Our painting spot for Thursday was Dark Harbour, surrounded by towering cliffs, on the west side of the island. The small harbour is used mostly by those who collect dulse, an edible seaweed, and dories are their workhorses.








The critique is a very important part of the painting day. I make my comments and I try to be positive and encouraging. The students get my feedback and also learn a lot from each other. It’s an enjoyable and educational aspect of the workshop.

One more day to go! As always, thanks for following, liking and commenting. While I prepared this post, my blog received it’s 171,000th view and I appreciate them all.

Thursday Critique a

Thursday Critique a

Thursday Critique b

Thursday Critique b


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15 Responses to “Grand Manan Island 2016 – Wednesday and Thursday!”

  1. Heather F. Clarke PhD (Nursing) Says:

    watching with interest Barry – as I want to go with you one of the GM workshops – my friends live at 1122 Route 776 – so many of the scenes familiar….looks like fab weather

  2. grandidea Says:

    Happy Birthday Barry! Looks like a great workshop!

    On Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 6:04 PM Barry Coombs Art Workshops wrote:

    > Barry Coombs posted: “We started at the studio again last Wednesday > morning. I had prepared a demonstration on Tuesday at Woodward’s Cove and > photographed the first three steps, which I showed on my computer screen. > You can probably see the faint pencil lines under the ” >

  3. Pat Siller Says:

    Thank you for sharing this Barry. I’m watching, and learning…..and wishing …… I should be there!! Pat

  4. Carolyn Doyle Says:

    really enjoying the pictures and the paintings.
    Wish I could be there…..
    Enjoy the rest of the week.

  5. Joan Wolfe Says:

    “Ditto” to the comments above. Love the intensity and focus of the artists at work. So enjoy your photos. Love to see the progression in the quality of the paintings as the week progresses and the application of the lessons you demonstrate. Congratulations on another very successful excursion. Would love to be there with the group. Some day!

  6. Lois Says:

    I love seeing the Students, art, so nice.
    And I learned a lot from you step by step, demos.
    Such Beautiful area to Paint and Draw from. Wish i was there!!
    Thanks, always for sharing.
    it’s very encouraging to try, when in a lull.
    Thanks again,

  7. Lois Says:

    Oh, Happy Birthday!!
    this may be late or early?
    Have a good one.tho…

  8. William Brisland Says:

    Barry and the crew.
    Glad to hear all is well on Grand Manan. I am on Cape Cod trying to do the same, with less variety than there is your end. Hoping to add some other attempts at being Van Gogh to my website on my return to Toronto.
    Enjoy yourselves everyone!

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