Friday, April 23, 2010

'Simplify' Watercolours with Life Workshop



Colours, fusions and textures next. The day started off a little warmer than the previous morning, so I was feeling as though the UK spring had really paid me a special visit, just for a bit of sensory overload, and to get the watercolour juices flowing. On my short stroll to the hall where the workshop was being held, I caught the sight of a batch of Daffodils growing on the side of the road with the most wonderful backlit colour. This made my day and was rearing to go on day 2.
 










The word that stood out for me the whole day was 'SIMPLIFY'. From the word go Jean thrashed the word out and we started the day with a wonderful demonstration of some lovely Stocks she brought in. Colour is very evident in Jean's work and she showed us how to make a simple white flower sing by using complementary colours to bring out the whites. The colours she used were Turquoise and Winsor Violet, creating a basic outline with the Turqu and bleeding it away quickly as Turqu dries fast and is staining.
So after a morning warm up of splashing a bit of colour on paper we set about watching our first Demo 

Jean painting the first wash of the Stocks

Jean added Violet  into the wet Turqu for interest. By using some of the colours for your background that you will use in your main subject gives it life and helps tie it all up. Thinking about colour and softening the hard lines with a clean wet brush create highlights and blending into the subject giving it tone and form. For a detailed subject as these Stocks, only a simple background is needed.

 A completed painting of Stocks Jean 
painted some time back


The paintings are built up using 3 layers....
  • 1st - a whisper of the main subject.
  • 2nd - another layer as the first, adding other colours.
  • 3rd - detail

We then went on to painting Delphiniums, this time painting the subject and then creating a subtle background around it. This was so much fun....... Using French Ultra Marine Blue and W Violet and giving the shapes a good base for the first wash. Because of it's intracity, a simple background was painted. Again, painting blobs of paint not the actual shape.





Jean's first wash of 'Blobs'... Delphiniums,


Trying my hand at Stocks.....

  My Dephiniums and Stocks


A demo of a market scene for some of the class by Jean took place while others went back to their tables to paint flowers.  Her demo of how to start and work away from a point of interest keeping clean fresh colour was the main objective of this study as some of us wanted to gain insight as to where Jean starts her 'busy paintings.    

 Jean's demo of a French Market



A brief quick sketch on how to achieve different effects on other varieties of flowers  was done for us after a wonderful pub lunch at the Inn down the road...... I must say that a glass of red wine does help the brushes to flow more freely. In this exercise, were trying to establish the different choices we make with regard to colour, placement of pigment and brush strokes, while studying individual flowers and adding life to them.


Flowers of all types are demonstrated by Jean here...


The Dafs she showed us next were a wonderful wind-down for the day. A mix of varied brush strokes and the use of cool and warm colours and use of light, all in negative painting . Jean does an awful lot of splattering which gives the painting movement. This is very evident in her cockerel paintings we have seen. I was amazed when she splatted a blob of 'orange' in the side of her Daf... but it worked so well, just adding to the excitement of her work. And on that note, before we could even blink the painting session was done.... sad because two wonderfully inspiring days were over but happy in the fact that I was afforded this wonderful trip to come and witness, again, the inspirational wonders or 'magic' Jean weaves with her hand, and meet some of my lovely friends from last year's workshop.

Jean's Daffodils... with a bit of bubble wrap
for excitement.
But the day wasn't done yet... Some of us were treated to a visit and a glass of bubbly at a nearby gallery who was exhibiting Jean's work. This was a special outing as we got to see her work all framed and on display in abundance. I must say, it makes it all worthwhile, the effort we go through, just to achieve lovely sell-able paintings. One feels the reward by seeing them all hanging up together, what a pleasurable sight...... and that is something worth aspiring to! Thank you Jean!!!!!





17 comments:

Kaye Parmenter said...

Debbie, how wonderful. I love all the photo's and your description of the day just sums up how much you enjoyed it. Fantastic!

Crystal Cook said...

That just looks like so much fun! And I love your flowers, they look great. Jean is just amazing with what she does!

Maree said...

Wonderful post Debbie, and I just LOVE your Delphiniums & Stocks - absolutely great painting!

Sandra said...

I am really impressed with your painting - I would never have known that it wasn't Jeans. I absolutely LOVE this style of painting and having just started to get seriously more in to watercolours I hope I can loosen up enough to try it. Perhaps I should try the red wine tip! What a great excuse! I'm so glad the UK weather behaved itself for your visit. It's beautiful at the moment. 21 degrees here in the south-east today - and blossom everywhere!

Melissa Fischer said...

I love your Delphiniums and Stocks! They are beautifully done, Debbie! It's also really cool to see the photo of you painting.

Debbie said...

Hey Kaye.... thanks for your lovely reply, yes, it was lovely to be splashing colour with Jean again!

Debbie said...

I must say Crystal, the flowers were really fun to paint... lovely learning how Jean gets those lovely washes!!!!! Ta!

Debbie said...

Thank you Maree... my favourites too!!!

Debbie said...

Thank you Sandra.... you are too kind. Trust, I have a long, long way to go to have any likeness to Jeans work.... she is one of a kind. And just be reminded.....red wine stains the paper if you accidentally dip your brush into it!!! lol.

Debbie said...

Melissa... that's not the most elegant photo, I might add.. but thanks for the vote of confidence with regards my flowers!

Jean Haines ASWA said...

Hello Debbie, wish you were here for my new experimental work for the next group of workshops but by 2011 they will have evolved to a very new level so I can't wait. You were wonderful on the workshop and your work is evolving at such a fast rate! I am going to be watching you eagerly looking for every new painting from you as you absorbed this way of working so enthusiastically. Have a fantastic time painting and sharing your passion for the brush and colour!


Jean.

martinealison said...

Formidable de nous faire partager toutes vos émotions et l'ensemble des photos lors de votre cours.
C'est absolument intéressant. La passion qui vous anime est très forte, et moi qui n'est que partiellement peint à l'aquarelle vous me communiquez votre plaisir...
MERCI.
Amitiés

Debbie said...

Merci pour votre magnifique réponse à mon blog Martine-Alison. J'avais un temps grand et un apprentissage autant. Merci

jane minter said...

debbie your dephiniums stocks and anemones where all very very beautiful IRL....enjoyed reading your post

Debbie said...

Thanks a lot Jane..... more soon!

Cathy said...

You were very lucky to be able to attend such a workshop! It sounds fascinating!

Debbie said...

Jean... apologies for missing your post.... You wonderful positive input and outlook is so infectious. I'm humbled by your lovely comments. Thank you and can't wait for 2011.

Cathy, Jean is my mentor and wonderfully inspiring teacher and friend. Thanks!