My Watercolor Painting at the End of Class
Yesterday I took my first watercolor class --- and I was lucky to be able to take it at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center in Buffalo (New York).
I received the class as a gift from my family for Christmas, so I was there to cash it in.
I chose Watercolor 101 because I want to do a better job on my make-up paintings and thought that learning how beginners apply watercolor would help me.
WOW! I was so surprised to learn how watercolors are supposed to be done. You use LOTS of water and very little paint. The water is the vehicle for getting the paint to move. Jeff Watkins, our instructor, says that it is 90% water, 10% paint ---or even less paint.
For example, we drew a pear, then painted the inside of the pear with water only to get it wet, then applied a wash of paint. The paint stayed inside the outline of the pear and did not migrate to where the paper was dry.
We learned how to blend (soft), to draw (smooth), to use the paper for texture(rough) and how to use gravity to help move the paint, and how to remove the color completely by using our brushes as erasers. We learned to splatter. And how to work the surface when it is still wet and when to let it dry completely before proceeding. And how to make straight lines by dipping the edge of a card in the paint and stamping.
I learned that watercolorists draw their subject first with pencil and then erase their marks if needed. And that they do lots of planning before they begin, especially planning where the highlights and white areas should be protected, i.e., the paper is left white.
Jeff Watkins led the workshop and this is his painting
Then, we took a break and came back to make a floral painting, following along as he demonstrated.
All in only 4 hours!
I thought it was an excellent class, and the facility is new, very well appointed and the staff was enthusiastic and friendly. There were 20 in the class and it was fully booked.
I can see why their courses are popular.
A Museum dedicated to the art and artists of Western New York
and specifically, the work of Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967)
Now I want to go back and spend some time in the museum. They just opened 4 new exhibitions on Feb 14.