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My Watercolour Course, Weeks 1 to 5

Click here for Weeks 6-10 onwards of my watercolour course. Weeks 11 to 15 here

I had never had any instruction in watercolour and so I took a course with Barry Coombs. His studio is near my home and my daughter had taken drawing with him and she enjoyed his way of teaching. The link connects to his website, in particular to the page where he has posted the combined paintings of his students. I am in the Tuesday Morning Group.

Since I had some skill in drawing and composition I felt I could join a class. Watercolor is a tricky and idiosyncratic medium. Its immediacy and freshness can't be beat but I've found it difficult to learn. I had had a couple of days when at school in the context of a media course and I had tried to learn using books but it's a a hard task learning on my own.

Week 1, I'm not quitting my day job and taking up watercolour as a career!

watercolour paintingwatercolour painting still life with lemon onrange and lime

Top were done in class. Bottom ones done at home during the following week.

watercolour painting still life with lemon orange and limeorange,lemon and orange

Week 2, Better paper and better success

pears are the watercolour challengepears watercolour painting

Two paintings above were done in class. Bottom ones done at home during the following week. Barry takes obvious care setting up the objects. He also insists we sit in different places every week. This weeks' exercise was about shape reading. Minimal under-drawing and using the paintbrush to define the shape and render it.

watercolour painting still life with lemon onrange and lime orange,lemon and orange

Some colours flow nicely in each other, others just sort of separate. This is a great mystery that will certainly eventually reveal itself.

Week 3, Little Glass Bottles are the Challenge

Glass BottlesColourful glass bottlesAt home bottles

2 Paintings of bottles were done in class.

Third painting is my homework. I did not have the lovely little jewel like bottles to draw. I improvised with some staging accessories.

It seems that the class paintings are nicer than the home paintings. This helps illustrate the influence of my teacher gently commenting as we paint. The home paintings are useful in cementing the knowledge.

Week 4, Pumpkins are on the Menu

Glass BottlesColourful glass bottles

When I went home after painting the top 2 pieces I was disappointed but looking back at them today I don't hate them anymore. The bottom were my home exercises.

At home bottles At home bottles At home bottles

One of the exercises with the squash and pumpkins was to make a grey under-painting and to over-glaze with a colour wash.

Week 5, Ceramic Pots

ceramic jugs Colourful ceramic pots At home ceramic jugs

The browner painting was done in class. The main focus was a soft edge technique of shading. I had just received bad news about my Mom and I was not worried about the painting. It's funny how just letting go sometimes really works.

Other 2 paintings were various experiments I made at home trying different colours and shading. I had much fun with this subject.

At home ceramic pots

One of my favourite paintings. I'm not sure why. The colours are nice but I like its personality.

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