Friday, 14 August 2015

Third workshop and finally.....Colour!!!!

An entire week has sped by and I realised I'm only halfway through my workshops. For those of you following my blog closely sorry for the delay! And for those just stepping in here are my previous posts on the symposium:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

The first day's workshops had been entirely pen and ink work. The next morning I was doing this workshop with Nina Johansson. Given that ink outlines with a watercolour wash is my favourite medium, I was really looking forward to this workshop. Nina's work is terrific.

The workshop was talking about two things - the first was how light gets eaten up as it comes down into the city, into the urban scene that you are trying to capture. We all know and feel it instinctively but the best way to capture this is by doing tonal studies. So our first exercise was a pencil sketch focussing on which surfaces get light, how the shadows are cast and how gradations happen. Part of it was trying to understand more consciously why one wall is darker at the top and another is darker at the bottom and so on. A good tip at this point was to squint and look at the subject so you see tones and shapes rather than colours and outlines.

The second focus of the workshop was how to paint with bright colours, how to mix darker shades and get gradations within a colour without making it muddy. This part was all about colour mixing. Using the complementary to get a darker shade and not adding black (or white) to change tone. The second exercise was to choose a very simple small subject so that we could focus on pigment mixing, and we were all asked to focus on one building The Selegie Arts Centre. It's a peculiar building with a striking form and the colour of the ground floor walls is different to that of the upper floors. So while trying to capture that I didnt quite get any sort of gradation at all!

And finally we got to do our own watercolour sketch in the last half hour. Subject of our choice but keep in mind the tones and gradations and the nature of light from the first exercise but remember our colour mixing too.
Choosing my own subject freed me up and I guess I fell back to my usual style but I did try to keep a few points in mind. These 3.5 hour workshops have all been super intense. You are assimilating on the go. I'm hoping a lot of great things I learnt will start showing slowly in my sketches to come but all in all I really liked the structure of this workshop and the two previous exercises came together to make perfect sense in the third.


  1. Two months is too long to wait for posts from you. I am sure you must have learnt a lot from Nina Johansson's workshop and I'm dying to see them reflected in your posts (and sketches).
    I love the tone study sketch in this post.

  2. And now it's 3 months!!! Hope to get back to blogging very soon. Until then thanks for the comments and the much needed push!

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