Saturday, April 17, 2010

* Watercolours with Life * Spring Workshop in the UK

I'm sure a lot of you are eagerly awaiting my report back on Jean Haines workshop Watercolours With Life Spring 2010.

In this post I'm going to focus generally on my experience of my trip to the UK as well as a brief account of Jean's Spring workshop.

Firstly I booked three workshops with Jean, the first two being 'Watercolours with Life' and the third being 'Spring Flowers'. In these workshops Jean focused on negative painting, initial washes to a painting, the importance of colours and how backgrounds can make a painting sing.

DAY 1
Jean did a demo of a simple Snowdrop. I must add at this point....if you have never seen a Snowdrop in real life, it makes it a little more complex to catch the true feel of a subject. But I plodded along with the rest of the group after a warm up of painting an 'egg'! Jean explained that most subjects are painted with the same technique, just a different shape. At this point I was wondering how a Buffalo was going to be painted in the same way as a Snowdrop!!!!! But after a practice session of snowdrops I attempted a Buffalo and ... yes, low and behold, it was the same technique. Just with different blobs of colour!

 My attempt at Snowdrops

This next photo is of Jean demonstrating Snowdrops......
 Jean in Action


Daffodils were next in the line of  practising flowers and negative background painting.....

Jean weaving her magic across the paper!


My feeble attempt at Dafs!

We then went on to watch Jean quietly demo her famous 'Beardie' paintings. She has two adorable Bearded Collies who own her and she lovingly puts them in her paintings with such adoration.....and it shows! This was to demonstrate to us how you can incorporate the background in a negative wash once the subject was established.
Here is Jean painting  her group of Beardie's....
Jean explained how we have to find a 'starting point' of a subject. In this one, it was the Beardie's nose, but it could also be an eye, whichever is the focal point (as you notice... Beardies have no eyes) I'm having a quite giggle to myself at this statement which has just dawned on me as to why Jean chose the nose.

My Buffalo followed shortly after Jean's demo of Beardies with the negative painting as demonstrated to us. Not all that happy with the outcome, I lost it a bit in the face, but a wonderful exercise of using the same technique as for the snowdrops, dafs, Beardies and egg.

My Buffalo


This was the end to a wonderful day as we cleaned up our tables ready for the next day, exhausted but exhilarated. 

A few things I learned was that Jean has a few interesting ideas in her way of  working.....1:  White Paper- is deliberately left in her paintings, this helps lift the painting. 2: Jean never holds a pencil in her hand.... all her paintings are done without a preliminary sketch, instead she works mainly with a big brush and a rigger. 3: For simplicity Jean also paints half a face which creates interest for the viewer and gives the viewer the pleasure of completing the painting in there own way! Quite interesting, as depending on one's mood or surroundings it could take on different results every time one looks at the piece......

Bye, till next time......








12 comments:

Sandra said...

Debbie, I just LOVE your daffodils! They are so beautiful and vibrant! This style of painting is something that I would like so much to try. ALL of these paintings are fantastic! I would love to go to one of Jeans workshops. Where can I find out when they are held here in the UK?
You obviously found this workshop a valuable experience and learnt lots from it. It's great to have you back to your blog though - I do look forward to your new posts!

Debbie said...

Hey Sandra, thank you. Yes, Jean has a wonderful way of painting, something I've aspired to for some time now! You can find her website here http://www.jeanhaines.com/ or follow 'Watercolours with Life' on my blog.

Sandra said...

Thanks Debbie - I just checked out her web-site. All fully booked! But I will keep my eye on it!

Debbie said...

You have to be quick Sandra.... she's a popular lady!!!!!!! good luck!

Crystal Cook said...

All of them look very beautiful! I don't think your daffodils are feeble at all silly!! I bet that was an amazing experience, Jean is just awesome!

So glad you shared this :)

martinealison said...

Beautiful work and i think with a lot of good instants among this lesson...
Best regards.
Thank you for your last comment let on my blog.

Melissa Fischer said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time, Debbie, as I knew you would. I think your buffalo is very nice!

Debbie said...

Martine-Alison, Jean taught me so much, I'll add more on the workshop later!

Debbie said...

I'll work on my Buffalo Melissa! Yes I had a great time! Thank you!

jane minter said...

debbie wish i'd seen you paint the snow drops won't forget your delight in just finding snow drops :) the next day...your buffalo looks excellent !

Cathy Gatland said...

Hi Debbie - I thought I'd left a comment here... very interesting to hear about these workshops - so hot on the heels of Hazel's ones - you must have oceans of energy! I love the effects Jean creates - your 'feeble' (not at all) daffs glow with light! Makes me want to pull out my watercolours again that I've hardly touched since I saw you last!

Debbie said...

Hi Cathy, Yes it was a bit of brain overload, but it's kept me inspired and wetting my brushes, specially that I did a bit of touring after he workshop. I now have so many resources and references to keep me busy for ages. Thanks for posting here and get those brushes wet!!!!