Tag Archives: architectural

Gibsons Landing Workshop

I had the pleasure of offering my first in-person workshop in 16 months.  It was for the Gibsons School of the Arts.  They do a fabulous job of presenting quality art workshops every summer.  They are a very vibrant and friendly group.

The participants in the workshop were also an especially great group to work with.  

Rex Beaanland, Class photo, Gibsons
A great group of enthusiastic watercolourists

The Paintings
 Piazza del Popolo

The first demo was of the Piazza del Popolo. It’s a great subject that teaches so many useful watercolour skills. We took a lot of time learning how to create a mass of background figures.

I’m including a detail of these figures. They tend to look unfinished when you look at them up close but from a distance they magically become figures.

Another thing that I use frequently in urban landscape painting is what I call ‘ghost figures’. They are figures in the foreground that are there to draw you in to the painting. I particularly like the way that their lower half sort of disappears.

Ghost Figure

The participants’ examples.

Granville St

The last demo we did  was a scene from Granville St in Vancouver.  We didn’t have time to finish it but you can see that everyone is well on their way.

Boats At Gibsons

We also did a painting of boats at Gibsons.  This was a challenging painting but as you can see from our Wall Of Fame  it was also well done.

Rex Beaanland, wall of fame, Gibsons
The Wall Of Fame

The workshops are now being held in the High Beam Dreams which I believe was originally a church.  A great space.

Rex Beanland, high beam dreams, Gibsons

My demos

Here are the paintings I did.  I finished them off at home.

Rex Beanland, Piazza del Popolo Gibsons
Piazza del Popolo
Rex Beanland, Boats at Gibsons, watercolour, 20 x 15
All Quiet In Gibsons
Rex Beanland, Granville St, watercolour, 15 x 20, Gibsons
Granville St


I just love teaching art so it was a wonderful experience being in Gibsons.  Many thanks to everyone who participated for making it such a great experience.  Thanks also to Dee for being my excellent assistant!

Rex Beanland, Dee paints, Gibsons

Plein Air Painting

After the workshop Susan and I spent a week meandering to the end of the Coastal Highway (about 150 km).  I did a few plein air paintings which I super enjoyed.  I remember so much more of a location when I paint it then I ever do from a photograph.  It’s the greatest way to visit new locations.

Rex Beanland, Lang Bay, watercolour, 9 x 12
Lang Bay
Rex Beanland, Saltry Bay, watercolour 9 x 12
Saltery Bay
Rex Beanland, Historic Town Site, Powell River, watercolour, 15 x 11
Historic Town Site – Powell River
Rex Beanland, Pender Harbour, watercolour, 11 x 15
Pender Harbour

It was truly a great experience!

Rex Beanland, class photo 2, Gibsons

Graffiti Backyard

Rex Beanland, Graffiti Backyard, watercolour, 16 x 12

Graffiti Backyard
16 x 12











This is another scene from our recent trip to Toronto.  The Kensington Market area.

An interesting challenge in this painting was to paint the graffiti.  It was a little complicated but it was also a wonderful opportunity to play with colour.


Calgary, Plein Air

Rex Beanland, Snowy Day In Elbow Park, watercolour, 9 x 12

Snowy Day In Elbow Park
9 x 12













Rex Beanland, 11 Ave SE, watercolour, 12 X 9

11 Ave SE
9 x 12








Rex Beanland, Downtown, watercolour, 9 x 12

Downtown, Another View
9 x 12













3 recent plein air paintings.  The bottom 2 paintings were done in exactly the same spot on 11 Ave SE.  There are a few smaller, older houses that have somehow survived the expansion of the Stampede.  One way sees these little houses dwarfed by the encroaching office towers.  Turn the other direction and get a nice view of the back end of downtown.



Christmas On 8th Pt2


Rex Beanland, Christmas On 8th, watercolour, 20 x 15











Rex Beanland, photo of 8th Ave, Calgary









This is the painting that I just demoed today at Paintworks Art Studio in Okotoks. It was a great workshop and it was very enjoyable meeting new people.

After I got the painting home I added a number of finishing touches.  It’s a little wild and wooly but I quite like it.  It certainly was a great experience trying to turn this scene, which is in reality a fairly simple one point perspective exercise into a watercolour lesson and teach it.   The most significant element I added was the people  and the car and trying to use them to create a story.

The bright red banners are visually a neat element.  I used cad red light gouache to paint them opaquely on top of all the other paint.

Christmas On 8th Pt2
20 x 15

Kensington Plein Air

Rex Beanland, Destination 19th St, watercolour, 9 x 12Rex Beanland, Kensington, watercolour, 9 x 12Rex Beanland, Cafe, watercolour, 16 x 12





















I’ve found my new plein air paradise, namely Kensington a very varied and interesting neighbourhood in Calgary.  Lots of street life.  I spent yesterday and today doing some plein air painting there.  I’m very pleased with the process I used.  Get a good composition and then work out a value pattern.  I’m also happy with the actual paintings I did.  I find it best for me at this point to thing of plein air painting as a time to gather information.  If the painting works out that’s always a bonus.

So I definitely got lots of ideas and had a fun and satisfying experience.