My aim is to introduce you to the beauty of watercolour and enable you to enjoy painting for many years to come. I have quite a lot of experience in sketching and painting – particularly in watercolour - and hope to take this opportunity to pass some of it on to you as simply as possible.
You won't become an expert in a month but you will be armed with the the knowledge to start your journey with confidence.
You don't need talent for painting or sketching and anyone can learn at any point in life. And, although I took up sketching early on, I didnt start to appreciate the uniqueness of watercolour till I reached my 30s. Up to that point I’d concentrated on sketching, usually in pen and ink.
But, one day on the way home from work I passed a gallery and was immediately stopped in my tracks by a couple of beautiful watercolour paintings in the window - just simple compositions of boats on water and the light gleaming through clouds and mist. What caught my eye was the way the sky tones merged into each other as though the painting was done on blotting paper and the way some carefully saved white areas seemed to shine out in contrast. The effect seemed magical and very different to my own attempts at watercolour.
After discovering that gallery I stopped there every day for weeks just to study the technique, while I practiced at home with no sign of improvement. I remember feeling very frustrated, at least until I found out what I didnt know.
You had to use the right paper and learn to control various degrees of wetness, learn particular techniques like “wet-on-wet” and “drybrush”. I also had to almost relearn how to use a brush, i.e. to stop dabbing aimlessly and start to pre- plan so each stroke served a purpose.
Of course in those days there was no Youtube so I would learn from library books mainly and I soon found “favourite” painters to learn from - these were: Edward Wesson, James Fletcher Watson and the American John Pike. They could broadly be called “Impressionists. This style aims at depicting the essence or atmosphere of the scene or subject rather than striving for a photographic likeness.
So if you're new to watercolour please dont be frightened or intimidated, you dont need to go to my lengths to get good results. I remember what it felt like at the beginning but I hope to make learning the basics a lot easier and quicker for you. And if you get smitten by the medium as I did you can always experiment with more advanced techniques which you will find online.
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