Experimental Watercolour Workshop

I just taught a Experimental Watercolour Workshop in Kenora.  This was a special experience for me because of my connection with Kenora.  About 20 years ago I taught for 2 years for Shoal Lake Band 40 just about 50 km west of Kenora.  My wife Susan also lived in Kenora for about 10 years.  We have also had a cabin on Lake of the Woods near Kenora for many years.  Our cabin just sold so we have no idea when we will be back in this beautiful area.  There was in a real sense saying goodbye to the region.

Anyway, back to experimental watercolour.

The experimental approach is about playing with water and applying paint in a ways other than the traditional use of the brush.  It’s particularly useful for capturing a sense of very complicated, intricate subjects that would require a very time consuming  photorealistic approach.

The medium of water is so much more crucial to watercolourists than the relationship between oil and acrylic painters and their particular mediums.  For this reason I believe  very strongly that all watercolourists should explore some of the tools and techniques used in an experimental approach.

I’m offering this workshop again in October at the Leighton Centre in Calgary so I’ll be posting more detail later.

Anyway, here is the first demo I did.  I’m also putting the painting as it was at the end of the workshop at the bottom of the post so you can see the final touches I added.  I have done this painting before but this was the first time I had actually gone back to the original photo so it is quite different in feel from my previous version

Rex Beanland, Cameron Pond 2, watercolour 20 x 15

Cameron Pond














This is the second demo I did.  It’s a view I had from my motel in Nelson this spring.  I happened to be up at 3 am and this is what I saw.  Lovely light and strong value contrast.

Rex Beanland, Night Light, watercolour, 12 x 16

Night Light











Finally here are the 2 painting as they were at the end of the workshop.

Rex Beanland, Cameron Pond After Workshop, watercolour, 20 x 15

Cameron Pond After Workshop














Rex Beanland, Night Light After Workshop, watercolour, 12 x 16

Night Light After Workshop









It was a really enjoyable workshop and a fine farewell to Kenora (at least for the present).  And many thanks to Irene McCuaig at Inglenook Art Studio for allowing me to see another side of Kenora – the artistic side.

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