Posts Tagged ‘Arts on Adrian’

Winter Saturday and Tuesday Watercolour Classes – Brass!

03/03/2017

img_2231

Here are two views of our still-life from the Saturday and Tuesday watercolour classes at Arts on Adrian in Toronto.

img_2238

Saturday class is an all day affair and I suggested that the students take the time to do a small warmup painting. I used a flat angled brush for my demonstration and worked very quickly. As I painted, I discussed various aspects of the still-life. Fast and messy, this painting is not an end in itself but part of a process. A warmup painting can help the student identify potential problems and challenges before tackling a sustained piece.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

Several of the students followed my lead before settling into a more sustained painting.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

Tuesday classes are three hours in duration. I decided to discuss the drapery behind the objects. My demonstrations simplify the folds as much as possible.

That’s it for Winter term at Arts on Adrian. I’ll be posting my Spring calendar soon!

Watercolour demonstrations by Barry Coombs

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

 

Winter Saturday and Tuesday Watercolour Classes – Rust and Dust!

08/02/2017

img_5703

These old cans and containers have a lot of character and are always a popular subject with the watercolour students. On Saturday, I focused my demonstration primarily on colour and texture.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

A Sustained Saturday class is six hours long and it allows the students lots of time to complete thumbnail sketches and small studies before starting a more ambitious piece. This extra effort always pays off!

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

Tuesday was quite a challenge and I’m not talking about the watercolour painting! Our region experienced an ice storm. I followed the weather report every half hour and decided to run the classes. Amazingly, eleven determined students showed up for the afternoon class. Unfortunately, conditions worsened but four undaunted (maybe crazy) artists turned up for the evening session.

I concentrated on simplification and colour with my demonstration. The small study on the right was done in the evening. I’ve drawn attention to the foregound object by eliminating all paper white in the background with a cool grey wash. When that wash dried, I added shadow shapes of the other objects in a single value. Suggestion versus depiction.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

A potentially disastrous day turned into a success!

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Winter Saturday and Tuesday Watercolour Classes!

18/01/2017

img_5361

Winter term is underway at the Arts on Adrian studio in the west end of Toronto. I set up a still life of citrus and mostly blue objects and the complementary colours were quite striking. My demonstrations on Saturday and for the two Tuesday classes dealt with the same painting issues; colour and also a discussion of a few principles and techniques for painting reflections.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

It was good to see everyone after the holiday season. Several hadn’t painted for a while but I don’t think there was too much evidence of rust. Here are three ‘exhibitions’ of their work for your enjoyment and edification.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

 

Saturday and Tuesday Watercolour Classes – The Colour Challenge!

09/11/2016

img_0476

Colour challenge? I’d say! I set up this monochromatic still-life for the watercolour classes this week. Eyebrows were definitely raised as the students entered the Arts on Adrian studio. No colour in the still-life and no demonstration either but I was prepared with a presentation about colour systems.

untitled

Image courtesy of internet

We discussed some basic colour theory; primaries, secondaries, complementaries and cool/warm colours. Following that, we looked at split complementaries, triads and analogous systems. I also talked about greys and their role in painting.

The students were asked to decide upon a colour system to use in their painting. Most created a thumbnail sketch in their sketchbooks and either added colour to it or used colour swatches on the side to sort out their palettes. It was certainly a challenge but they rose to the occasion. We had a lot of fun and the lesson will be applied to all future work.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Fall Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class – Apples!

19/09/2016

img_2076

It was ‘back to school’ on Saturday at the Arts on Adrian studio in Toronto. I was pleased to see the students, new and old. Some had painted a fair bit over the summer months and others….

I decided to start off the fall term with some review. We discussed light and shadow and, always important, simplification of form. I used the sepia study on the left to show both of these principles and also to present my quite traditional approach to drawing. Next up was relative value. A green apple is generally much lighter in value than a dark green pitcher although both receive light and have areas of core shadow.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

Saturdays are a full day. Each student approaches the day in their own way but I always encourage time spent on a sound process. This usually includes thumbnail sketches, studies and colour testing. Any summertime rust came off gradually as the day progressed and we enjoyed some lovely work for our critique at the end of the day.

Our next Sustained Saturday takes place on October 15. There are still a few spots available! See the details at https://barrycoombs.wordpress.com/fall-studio-calendar-2016/.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

Fall Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class

04/10/2015

IMG_0350

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins and gourds are a popular subject and they’re not hard to find right now. Most grocery stores have a display, some things edible and others decorative, as we anticipate Canadian Thanksgiving next weekend.

I approached the studies on my demonstration sheet in two different ways. First of all, I’ll talk about the one on the upper left. I drew the gourd with pencil. Next, I painted it with clear water and touched in a grey while wet. The grey serves as the core shadow of the object. When the grey dried, the whole thing was painted light yellow. Can you see the shadow coming through the pale yellow? The dark green was added once the yellow had dried. The partially painted pumpkin (say that fast three times) below was done in the same manner.

The other three studies were created with a ‘light to dark’ and ‘big to small’ process. Let’s discuss the one on the upper right. I painted the whole thing yellow and touched in a darker value, while wet, to indicate the core shadow. Allowing it to dry between washes, I added the orange stripes and then the dark green broken stripes.

The use of light and shadow is a traditional way to give an object a three-dimensional quality. We learned yesterday that the stripes, following the contours of the objects, are also a very effective way to achieve the same goal.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

Most of the students followed my lead and warmed up with a sheet of studies. Others completed sketches and thumbnail compositional studies before starting a sustained watercolour. The studio at Arts on Adrian had a great energy and we enjoyed viewing our efforts at critique time.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

Fall Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class

13/09/2015

IMG_8182

A funny thing happened on the way to teaching this fall. Last June, I gave up my studio in Toronto. Yesterday, I taught in the same studio.

Here’s what happened: Eight of my students collectively took over the lease on my former studio and formed Arts on Adrian. I’m now a tenant. As far as my classes go, it’s business as usual. Anyone is welcome to sign up for a class. We had a small group yesterday but, overall, enrollment is very good and the transition has been smooth. I’ve loaned all of my studio furniture and basic equipment to Arts on Adrian. I’ll tell you more about the group and their activities in a future post. I’m very grateful to them and to all of my students who continue to support me.

Watercolour demonstration by Barry Coombs

What is the goal of a demonstration? Usually, a demonstration shows a process or a specific technique. I often use a demo to illustrate a concept. Yesterday, I discussed several aspects of colour and composition with the students and I painted as I talked. Everyone in the class has a good watercolour skill set so demonstrating a technique or approach didn’t seem necessary. Also, it was the first class of the Fall term and ideas about colour and composition can always be refreshed.

Keep scrolling to see the lovely watercolours they created. Before you get to them I’d like to thank all of you followers as this blog received it’s 150,000th view a few days ago. Stay tuned for a busy term. Not only do I have a Fall Studio Calendar at Arts on Adrian but, in a month, I’ll be off to Sicily to lead a two-week watercolour workshop!

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique