Watercolour Workshop

Today Marianne held a workshop for experimentation with watercolour painting, which I went along to. I thought it was a really good opportunity, and I would love to have another session as I didn’t get the chance to try a lot of techniques and materials.

I practiced creating washes, but I still find this very difficult; I can’t manage to get a good mix of paint and water. It’s either too little paint, or it paints on too dry. I find doing one stroke across the paper rather difficult, too. This first picture is unfinished but upon reflection, I suppose it isn’t too bad – because I think it almost fluently communicates that it is of a tree silhouetted against a colourful sky, with the reflection of this on a body of water. However, the colours aren’t mirrored precisely which I think lets it down the most. I am more pleased with the sky than the water – which I suppose is somewhat ironic!

My second test however I feel is a lot more successful: I tried to paint a tree’s branches using just water, but think I was a little over-cautious about not using too much water, as when I went to apply paint by gently dabbing it on to the water marks, it did not run. I tilted the paper and this helped, and I added a bit of water to the dribbling paint, to help guide it somewhat. This did work okay, and after it had dried I added another light layer, which created some darker areas of tone.
However, I decided that I quite liked the effect that I had created – only having a few branches showing. So I then diluted some red with water to create a pink, and used a natural sponge to add cherry blossoms to my tree. I also used the edges of the sponge on some darker areas of the paint, to create a bit of tone in this. From this experiment I have found that even simple lines and shapes created in this way can be very effective!

I also learnt that I should aim to never use black nor white to darker/lighten a colour, and instead to simply add water to lighten a pigment.

The choice of techniques to try, and the amount of time needed to get each somewhat ‘right’ and therefore successful, was somewhat overwhelming, hence why I would love to try more experiments at college with the equipment there, as I was impressed at the range of tools to use!
I will also try to use what I have at home to experiment further!

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