Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Return To Watercolour

I used to be a watercolour painter when I first began painting. I started with flora then moved onto fauna before the price of framing my work became too exorbitant which is when I shifted to acrylics and the ubiquitous gallery wrapped canvas. But in my honour's year with The Learning Connexion I am lucky enough to have a tutor who specializes in watercolour so I am not going to waste the opportunity to learn some new techniques.
In the portrait group I attend each Friday in Otane we're lucky enough to have an excellent watercolourist who agreed to teach a workshop in early December 2012. Heather Dennison also works in oils but we had more interest in the watercolours and ended up with eight people wanting to attend. Heather's style is reminiscent of Nancy Tichbourne and in many cases this meant a step out of our comfort zones- especially those of us who try to avoid putting in backgrounds!
We all worked from the same photo Heather had taken of an iris in her garden. We learned how to mask the edge of the flower so we could put in the background before floating in the petals and it seemed no time at all until the six hours were over. A few had completed their paintings but as usual I only touched the surface of mine.
For me the highlight of the workshop was discovering that you can work from dark to light with watercolours as well as finding new colours to use: Indigo, New Gamboge (yellow), Winsor Violet and Winsor Blue. Will I finish the painting? Who knows. But I know I have been inspired to look at different styles of watercolour art and in some cases, to try them myself.