Keep those darks in reserve until the lights are in
Today was the Beginning Watercolor Session of sunflowers. Here are few progression shots of today’s class painting. As you can see things always look flat and almost cartoonish until quite a way through the painting. Then the darks go in and everything comes together. It’s one of the most difficult things to do in watercolor – holding back with the detail and getting the basic shapes and values right. It takes faith and a bit of experience but always reaps rewards.
New Direction for Watercolor Classes
Today was the last zoom class in my Beginning Watercolor Workshop for the Newton NewArts center. It’s been a fun 6 weeks and I always enjoy these classes. It’s good to get back to basics and go slowly through mixing colors, values, washes. However, I’ve decided to rethink this set of lessons. There’s a lot to get through in 6 weeks. I’m going to break it down into shorter 1 or two hour sessions based around techniques. These are going to be available in the next few weeks via YouTube and facebook livestreams. People will be able to buy them one by one depending on what they’re interested in.
I still love doing the whole painting demos and I will be offering these in parallel. This way you can take a technique class or two followed by a painting class or vice versa. I’m hoping this will work well and we had a great discussion in class today. We talked about what works when you’re starting out with watercolor that reflects these decisions.
As this was a private group class I don’t have video of this painting. If you’re thinking of taking classes (or just want to see how I go about things) please have a look at my youtube channel. Alternatively you can have a look at my video page on this site. I don’t have any sunflower painting currently. Howeve, there are a couple of other flower videos that may be of interest.
Original Sunflower Painting for Sale
A final note. After having this up in the studio for a while I decided I iiked a previous version of this enough to put it up for sale.
Kathy Speranza roses are spectacular and I was watching her online rose course yesterday and thought I’d have a go. She makes it look so easy! And boy can she paint. I’ve done a number of flower paintings with Paul Foxton but it’s always good to see how others approach things.
Pass 1 on Kathy Speranza Roses
Above is the result of the first pass. It’s oil on a 9″x12″ canvas board. I have to admit that I’m not doing her exact method. She does an underpainting first and a number of preliminary drawings but I thought I’d have a go at the block in to see what happened. Pretty happy so far.
Pass 2 – Refining the Color and Form
Pass 2 on the Kathy Speranza rose workshop. This is lesson 6 and the second pass putting on color. I’m finding this tricky but slowly getting into the slow pace of things. Usually I would be finishing up by now but I think there are a few more steps to go. Each with a week’s drying in between so we’re in for the long haul. This one was refining the background, values and edges. I also introduced some more chroma into the centers. A very little paint goes a long way with this method and I’m starting to enjoy it very much.
Next Steps – Pass Three on Kathy Speranza Roses
I still need to finish this painting. I’m a bit nervous – don’t want to ruin it. I’ve watched her final video and it gets pretty philosophical. Interesting though and makes a change from more practical approaches. Both are needed of course and it’s been really worthwhile looking at flowers from a different perspective.
The final (ish) session on the summer roses with Paul Foxton. Hard to say how I feel about this right now. There are a few things I’d like to work on still but it’s very close to being done. Highly recommend Paul’s workshops. I learn a lot, the people are great and it’s enormous fun.