Friday, 15 December 2017

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Colour challenge? I’d say! I set up this monochromatic still-life for the watercolour classes this week. Eyebrows were definitely raised as the students entered the Arts on Adrian studio. No colour in the still-life and no demonstration either but I was prepared with a presentation about colour systems.

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Image courtesy of internet

We discussed some basic colour theory; primaries, secondaries, complementaries and cool/warm colours. Following that, we looked at split complementaries, triads and analogous systems. I also talked about greys and their role in painting.

The students were asked to decide upon a colour system to use in their painting. Most created a thumbnail sketch in their sketchbooks and either added colour to it or used colour swatches on the side to sort out their palettes. It was certainly a challenge but they rose to the occasion. We had a lot of fun and the lesson will be applied to all future work.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

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Read more https://barrycoombs.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/saturday-and-tuesday-watercolour-classes-the-colour-challenge/

I had an enthusiastic and hard-working group of students at the Dundas Valley School of Art yesterday. Our medium was pen and ink with wash and watercolour. Our theme was buildings and trees. In other words, architectural elements and foliage. To start the class off, I presented some basic perspective elements that are very helpful when drawing buildings. I worked on a large pad at an easel and the students made notes in their sketchbooks.

It was time to draw! We did three projects over the course of the day. Each was started from a very simple diagram and then the students followed my steps. Our first drawing was of a tree and was completed in three steps. The first image shows two steps; the pencil drawing and a ‘sepia’ wash (mixed with Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna). In the second step, we used the pen. To create a sense of foliage, looping strokes were employed as if we were repeating Ws and Ms. The bark of the tree shows long zigzag strokes.

Pen, Wash and Watercolour at DVSA – Buildings and Trees!   Pen, Wash and Watercolour at DVSA – Buildings and Trees!

Our goal was to ‘suggest’ the textures of foliage and bark. Ws and Ms and zigzags may not always work but can be quite effective in many cases. We tried something a bit different with our next drawing. Again, our first step was a light and basic pencil drawing but this time we did the ink before the watercolour. We more or less scribbled with our pens. However, an angular approach was used in the main tree while a looping motion was used in the background bushes. The grass was suggested with a spiky action. The ink step was completed and then watercolour was applied.

Pen, Wash and Watercolour at DVSA – Buildings and Trees!  Pen, Wash and Watercolour at DVSA – Buildings and Trees!

Here’s a look at what the students achieved with our first two exercises.

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We did one more drawing in four steps: pencil, monochromatic wash, pen and watercolour. The first image shows the pencil and monochromatic wash. The wash establishes the light and shadow. This time, we did the pen next. The pen added definition and detail and it was fun to create new shapes such as the cat in the window. Lastly, we glazed some thin washes of local colour over the relevant areas.

Pen, Wash and Watercolour at DVSA – Buildings and Trees!   Pen, Wash and Watercolour at DVSA – Buildings and Trees!

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It was a busy and enjoyable day. I’ll be back at DVSA on Thursday, November 24. We’ll be using pen and watercolour to draw people and it’s going to be fun. There are still a few spots left so why don’t you join us?

 

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Read more https://barrycoombs.wordpress.com/2016/11/04/pen-wash-and-watercolour-at-dvsa-buildings-and-trees/

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***Sometime yesterday, this blog received it’s 175,000th view. Thank you all for following, commenting and liking!

I couldn’t deny the Tuesday watercolour students an opportunity to paint the gourds and the straw bale. The Saturday class had enjoyed it and created some very nice work. On Saturday, I had painted a fairly rapid watercolour sketch as my demonstration and I did the same for the Tuesday afternoon and evening groups. As I paint, I discuss various elements of the still-life and the decisions I’m making. Generally, a quick watercolour sketch is more about suggestion than depiction. Simplification, editing and creative licence are all key factors.

Fall Tuesday Watercolour Class – More Gourds!

On Saturday, I’d also devoted some time to a completely different process; starting with values in grey and glazing on local colour once the grey washes are dry. Some of the less-experienced students found this to be a very useful way to develop their understanding of value and light and shadow. Yesterday, I worked with some of them one on one. My demo from Saturday (below) should give you an idea of the approach.

Fall Tuesday Watercolour Class – More Gourds! Fall Tuesday Watercolour Class – More Gourds!

Several of the students embraced the quick sketch idea and some did more than one piece during the class. It was a good challenge. Many of these students have very good skill sets but would like to add more spontaneity to their work overall. Taking a few risks and working fast can be a positive step in that direction!

IMPORTANT NOTE!!! Many long-time followers may remember when it was possible to click on an image here and see a larger version. It was particularly useful with the images of the critiques because we all like to see the works closer up. For some mysterious reason, a while back, this feature ceased to function and I couldn’t figure out how to restore it. Recently, I’ve had some feedback from a WordPress ‘Happiness Engineer’. I think the proposed solution may work. Click on one of the critique images and let me know if you’re able to view the larger version. I hope so!

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Afternoon Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

Tuesday Evening Critique

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Read more https://barrycoombs.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/fall-tuesday-watercolour-class-more-gourds/

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Every fall, I like to set up a seasonal still-life for the classes. Saturday was no exception and, for the first time, I included a straw bale as the ‘platform’. I was very keen to see what the group would do with the straw.

My demonstration was done in two parts. First of all, I did a small watercolour sketch and invited all of the students to watch. I used flat angled brushes and worked very quickly. Many of the experienced students have very good skill sets but would like to introduce more spontaneity and risk-taking into their work. As I painted, I tried to give them a few ideas to consider.

Secondly, I invited the newer students to watch as I switched gears to a very traditional approach to watercolour painting. With the grey studies, I painted the values first and later glazed the local colour over the grey. This approach can really help those who are working on ‘soft-edge’ skill development as well as their understanding of light and shadow and value.

Watercolour demonstration sheet by Barry Coombs

Some of the more experienced students enjoy this process, as well. Rather than show you the final step of my studies in grey, I’d like to present the work of one of those students. Have a look at the watercolour below by Jane D. Now, take a look at the work from the critique and see if you can find the finished work.

While you’re at it, check out the watercolour on the extreme right in the second row. George H. was certainly not intimidated by the straw!

Study in greys by Jane D.

Study in greys
by Jane D.

Sustained Saturday Critique

Sustained Saturday Critique

 

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Read more https://barrycoombs.wordpress.com/2016/10/17/fall-sustained-saturday-watercolour-class-gourds-and-pumpkins/

Faculty for Art 1 at DVSA

TREE SHADOW
by Barry Coombs

Faculty for Art 1 at DVSA

ORANGE HOUSE
by Barry Coombs

The Dundas Valley School of Art is currently hosting a faculty exhibition called Faculty for Art 1. The exhibition runs until October 30. I have two pieces in the exhibition, TREE SHADOW and ORANGE HOUSE. Both are acrylics on canvas and are 24 x 18″. Contact DVSA at 905-628-6357 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for information.

 

 

  

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Read more https://barrycoombs.wordpress.com/2016/10/07/faculty-for-art-1-at-dvsa/