Posts Tagged ‘pumpkins’

Fall Tuesday Watercolour Class – More Gourds!



***Sometime yesterday, this blog received it’s 175,000th view. Thank you all for following, commenting and liking!

I couldn’t deny the Tuesday watercolour students an opportunity to paint the gourds and the straw bale. The Saturday class had enjoyed it and created some very nice work. On Saturday, I had painted a fairly rapid watercolour sketch as my demonstration and I did the same for the Tuesday afternoon and evening groups. As I paint, I discuss various elements of the still-life and the decisions I’m making. Generally, a quick watercolour sketch is more about suggestion than depiction. Simplification, editing and creative licence are all key factors.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

On Saturday, I’d also devoted some time to a completely different process; starting with values in grey and glazing on local colour once the grey washes are dry. Some of the less-experienced students found this to be a very useful way to develop their understanding of value and light and shadow. Yesterday, I worked with some of them one on one. My demo from Saturday (below) should give you an idea of the approach.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

Several of the students embraced the quick sketch idea and some did more than one piece during the class. It was a good challenge. Many of these students have very good skill sets but would like to add more spontaneity to their work overall. Taking a few risks and working fast can be a positive step in that direction!

IMPORTANT NOTE!!! Many long-time followers may remember when it was possible to click on an image here and see a larger version. It was particularly useful with the images of the critiques because we all like to see the works closer up. For some mysterious reason, a while back, this feature ceased to function and I couldn’t figure out how to restore it. Recently, I’ve had some feedback from a WordPress ‘Happiness Engineer’. I think the proposed solution may work. Click on one of the critique images and let me know if you’re able to view the larger version. I hope so!

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique


Fall Sustained Saturday Watercolour Class – Gourds and Pumpkins!



Every fall, I like to set up a seasonal still-life for the classes. Saturday was no exception and, for the first time, I included a straw bale as the ‘platform’. I was very keen to see what the group would do with the straw.

My demonstration was done in two parts. First of all, I did a small watercolour sketch and invited all of the students to watch. I used flat angled brushes and worked very quickly. Many of the experienced students have very good skill sets but would like to introduce more spontaneity and risk-taking into their work. As I painted, I tried to give them a few ideas to consider.

Secondly, I invited the newer students to watch as I switched gears to a very traditional approach to watercolour painting. With the grey studies, I painted the values first and later glazed the local colour over the grey. This approach can really help those who are working on ‘soft-edge’ skill development as well as their understanding of light and shadow and value.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

Some of the more experienced students enjoy this process, as well. Rather than show you the final step of my studies in grey, I’d like to present the work of one of those students. Have a look at the watercolour below by Jane D. Now, take a look at the work from the critique and see if you can find the finished work.

While you’re at it, check out the watercolour on the extreme right in the second row. George H. was certainly not intimidated by the straw!

Study in greys by Jane D.

Study in greys
by Jane D.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique


Happy Thanksgiving, Neighbours!

HARVEST by Barry Coombs

by Barry Coombs

We celebrated Thanksgiving in Canada over a month ago. I’d made a few sketches around that time for HARVEST, acrylic on canvas; 18 x 24″. I finished it last week and thought I’d post it to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US of A. Enjoy your day tomorrow!