This August I was given the tremendous opportunity of teaching a workshop in beautiful Whistler, BC. It was Susan and my first time there.
The workshop took place in a building that is devoted to art. It is surely one of the most beautiful locations I’ve ever been to, right on Alta Lake. Here is the scene from the deck.
I’ve learned that there is a tremendous benefit to taking time to play and practice the basics of watercolour before we jump into the ‘big’ painting. I’ve also designed a number of little exercises that introduce the elements of the urban landscape in a fun and stress free way. So now in my workshops we take the first day to do do these activities. Stress free, lots of fun but full of learning. When we start the actual demo everyone is already familiar with everything they are going to paint. One of the things we practice is how to draw and paint cars. Here are the student samples as well as my own.
It was a really neat experience because some of the participants were very new to watercolour. I have found that with new comers when they master the little things in these practice exercises they can progress tremendously quickly.
The main demo I did was a scene of Jasper Ave in Edmonton. It uses the elements of the actual scene but takes them in a completely different direction. Here is the original photo.
Because none of us got the painting finished I said I would illustrate the steps I took to complete my painting.
First, here is my painting at the end of the workshop.
When I looked at it back in my studio I felt that it needed more strength (more value). So here is the second stage.
If I had accomplished this value with my first wash it would have had greater luminance but for all that it’s not bad and I feel that the value is much more what I wanted.
Then here is the finished painting.
I’m very happy with this. I’m also very happy with the student examples. Even though they really just got started you can see how vibrant and colourful they are. This strength is something that most beginning watercolourists really struggle to achieve.
One student did finish her painting and sent me a copy.
I was more than pleased with how much everyone learned. It was a wonderful group, enthusiastic, generous and friendly.
I was so pleased to be invited to teach in Whistler and so pleased to meet everyone. I’m finding that the most satisfying part of the workshop is the connection that is made with the participants.
Happy painting in the future to all.