Posts Tagged ‘fishing floats’

Wednesday Watercolour at DVSA – Week Four!


If you’ve ever spent time around a coastal fishing community, you’ll likely know what these things are. They’re floats that are used on nets and lobster pots. I’ve beachcombed quite a collection over the years and put together this selection for the Wednesday night watercolour students at the Dundas Valley School of Art.

Last week, our subject was hats and I demonstrated an approach to developing values with cool grey washes. Do you remember my demonstration?

The floats in the demonstration from yesterday evening were first painted in the same way as the hats. Once the washes were dry, I took it a step further. Using thin washes of local colour, I gently ‘glazed’ the objects. This is a very traditional approach to watercolour painting. I brought in a book and showed them a Gainsborough landscape that was completed with the same process.

All approaches/processes/styles have their pros and cons. The ‘value plus glazing’ process is great for establishing light and shadow and establishing a strong pattern in the painting. It’s not always the best approach for bright, vivid colour. All of the students felt that they could benefit from the experience and gave it a shot. They did well. As always, clicking on a critique image will bring up a larger version. See you next week!

Wednesday Critique a

Wednesday Critique b


Spring Tuesday Watercolour Class – April 19



The Tuesday students work from the same still-life as the Saturday group. Here’s another view of the pile of fishing floats. On Saturday, I used a flat angled brush for the demonstration and I used it again yesterday. Also, my preliminary pencil drawing was limited to broad strokes which established the most basic shapes of the objects. A viewer could not recognize an object from the pencil drawing as it was not carefully refined or descriptive. It was just a few strokes to give a starting point to the brush and the brush did the rest. I focused on individual objects on Tuesday for the demonstration.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

The three-hour Tuesday classes are half the length of those on Saturday. In spite of that, the students created some strong work and several completed sheets of studies in addition to a sustained piece. During a class, I hear a lot of deep sighs and muttering. You’d think the paintings were all disasters but, as you can see, the results are quite impressive.

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique