…to cut up a perfectly good watercolor skyscape and refracturing it into something more. This one is going to really hurt.
Over the winter I have been teaching an intermediate watercolor class at a gated community in La Quinta. I’ve done a number of exercises that have produced multiple paintings in a category that I don’t usually sell work in. Now that the classes are coming to an end, I have a set of perfectly good paintings in a box kicking around the bottom of the studio. So, Etsy time! Here are three paintings I put up this morning, ready to go to a new home for a reasonable price. $80!
My intermediate watercolor class at Trilogy gated community is dwindling as many snowbirds fly north. Nevertheless there were a few for this Monday’s class and we painted a nursery scene, based on a couple of stuffed animals that hide in my cupboard on a little rocking chair that was once the subject of a commission.
The class all did a great job, though I think they perhaps started to understand the benefits of working in a larger format – some of their paintings had some really tricky tiny details to achieve.
One of my students who enjoyed my watercolor collage workshop also mentioned that she has a Sizzix machine. This is a hand-run press with embossing templates. Immediately we both saw the possibility of adding this texture to my refractured watercolor work. Last week I created a new painting for a refracture:
… and yesterday when she was at sm’Art studio for a follow-on lesson to my Absolute Beginner’s class. she loaned it to me again to emboss the pieces I had cut. This is what they look like so far!
I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out when I assemble them. Watch this space!
Many years ago I went through a bird-painting phase. A couple of these have made great subjects for my Monday afternoon class. This Monday just past, I guided the group through creating a flamingo that had folded its long neck up so it could hide its beak in its wings. Here’s the group having completed their versions of Folded Flamingo.
About 15 months ago, ‘Jo’ took my absolute beginner’s class. Earlier in the month, she took the class again, not having painted very much in between. One of the things that I ask at the beginning of the class is what the student hopes to get out of it. It can help me tailor the class a little to hopefully cover any specific items. In this class Jo was lucky in that she was the only one, so we got to discuss her progress a little more.
She had indeed painted the day before, using watercolor crayons. The papers were tiny piece of printer or drawing paper – not the best surface. Jo expressed that she had had difficulty making out what she had painted afterwards and had ended up using ink to define the items painted. Towards the end of the afternoon, after the standard Shadows exercise, we looked at Jo’s paintings and I thought we could tackle one of them as a larger watercolor and make a more realistic painting.
Working a little larger does help. This time we used watercolor paper (Canson 140lb cold press) – about 12×9″. I drew a quick value sketch first on a scrap to outline some of the changes that we would make to make the little barrel cacti look more round, and the rocks “rocky”. The main adjustments were addition of shadows/shading to bring out the shapes of the cacti and rocks. I suggested a simple blue sky/purple hills/sandy mid-ground behind the cacti in order to make them stand out from it, rather than a green one of a similar tone. The cacti flowers didn’t come out as well as hoped – I’m not by nature a floral painter and they were a little on the small side to do much more with than a bit of impressionism.
Jo said her husband thought everything she painted was wonderful, but when he came to pick her up after the class and we showed him the before and after, there was no faking those eyebrows shooting skyward. Here’s the before (on the right! 🙂 ) and the after.
Trilogy in La Quinta is a gated community with an active creative club. A couple months ago I got the opportunity to become one of the watercolor class instructors there, and teach about twice a month on a Monday afternoon. It’s a guided-tuition class, a little like the paint-n-wine format in that all students complete the same painting, but with much more of a learning opportunity focus.
I get so wrapped up in demoing and guiding, that I usually forget to take photos of the class in action. But this time, I persuaded the ladies to let me take a pic of their completed exercises to put on the blog.
They sure do make me work too! Not only do I need to prepare the exercises, but I get requests of trying subjects that I don’t usually do, so my skills get stretched as a result. Seems like we’re all having fun, though!