Charles Reid Workshop – Day 5


Day 5 results.  Not one of my best admittedly but the drawing was good – especially the car.   Oh – and this marks a significant milestone too!

So sadly it was the last day and, due to the room being used to stage an exhibition, we were outside.   I thought this was a bit off.  What with this and the construction noise that was constant throughout the week I would have been a bit miffed if I were Mr Reid.  I can’t see him rushing back sadly.


Anyway – we all parked ourselves outside.  The subject was chosen more for location  – outside and in the shade with easy access to bathrooms.    He actually states those 2 things as being what he looks for when taking groups on location in his Watercolor Secrets book.   As an aside – trying to read borrowed art books while eating indian food shouldn’t be encouraged.  After Mr R had requested an interesting car Suzy (who organized the workshop) had brought in her original cinquecento.


The drawing begins – back to the Fabriano cold press today.  He started as usual with the contour drawing – I actually like watching him draw almost as much as his painting.  Very soothing.   He started with the car headlight and worked out from there.


We had breaks every 20 minutes as usual.  There was a distinct lack of energy today – last dayitis.



The drawing was finished in around 30 minutes as usual and he started in on the painting.  First the dark bushes went in to highlight the car.  Then a series of greys went in for the car.  Some tending blue, some warmer with added yellow ochre.     After another break the house wash went in – again the color was varied to give interest.     Mr R. emphasized that the wash should go in in one go and you can move the brush around and go over regions as long as you don’t lift the brush.   I tried this and it does work.  


Dona and Leigh discuss the finer points of brushwork.


After leaving the wash to dry he went back in and finished the painting.  A darker wash went in to represent the cast shadows and the windows and doors were put in.  Frankly I don’t think it’s one of his best but the subject matter wasn’t the most inspiring either.


Charles and Pat (who drives a convertible mustang) chat during a break.


Scott takes a photo of the finished product.    The umbrella is a huge sailing umbrella which casts a blue hue over his paper.  He wasn’t bothered by this – I know this would be a big no-no in some painters’ books.   He is generally dismissive of a lot of ‘rules’.  Composition,  fugitive (supposedly non lightfast) paints,  subject matter – all these are treated very matter of factly.  I appreciate that. 


The dinky cinquecento – the speedo goes up to 140km/h.   Maybe a tad optimistic.


More milling about – there was a lot of that today.


Our happy crew.


At the end he marked in the siding lines.  Not entirely successfully in my view.   Nice car though.


In the afternoon we got to work.    A few of us painted from photos but most of us hung out outside under the tree and painted the car.

The view from my easel position.


The drawing – this was great fun to do.   Never knew cars had so much little bits on them.  The complicated shapes actually make it easier to draw – lots of reference points and angles.   I screwed up the perspective annoyingly but no matter.

On with the painting.  This was hard – the paint kept drying too fast so my wet in wet washes didn’t work well.    While I was doing it I wasn’t particularly happy but it doesn’t look so bad now I look at it again this morning.


The final thing – I really had to speed up towards the end and the house wasn’t very inspired but not too bad overall.

And the milestone was – I sold it!!   Suzy (whose car it is) asked if I would sell it to her.  I said she could have it but we settled on a nominal sum of $50.   I was extremely pleased with myself.


The proceeds – I’ll keep this in my brush wallet for emergencies.