14 January 2017

Watercolour

Please don't snigger. On Thursday evening I attended my first art class for many's the long year. I sat in a room with fifteen other adult Sheffielders and produced what I think is a passable watercolour picture.

The teacher, John, was encouraging - not dictatorial. He insisted that we would find our own tricks, our own methods of painting. He wasn't about to say. "This is how I do it and you must do exactly the same!"

He began by talking about different qualities of paper and the great usefulness of stretching paper before applying water or paint. He said we would understand what he meant when working upon unstretched paper during our first two hour session.
And if you look at my first attempt you will see that the paper appears somewhat dappled as it has reacted to water and the painting process. I hope that next week I can go along with my own stretched paper as this will make the process easier and more fulfilling.

We were working from photographs that John had distributed. As you can see there is a man at the water's edge. Perhaps he has something on his mind or maybe he just needs an influx of healing solitude.

Anyway, I enjoyed the first class. There are five more to attend. I chose to do it as a spark - to ignite more artwork. I know I can do it if I only try. Long ago when I was eighteen I gained an A grade at A level in Art and also won the school's art prize. I have neglected this talent for far too long. There must be an end to procrastination.

43 comments:

  1. Yes, by all means get in thee and dabble. I'm impressed with your first effort.

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    1. I shall dabble and dribble and wish and wash. Thanks QUINACRIDONE RED!

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  2. Watercolor is a fabulous medium - my favorite! It's what I started painting with. You just have to work with the watercolor and not try to be in absolute control of it. Let it do it's thing and work with it. Wonderful things can happen. You already know how to work with light (your photographs) - let the watercolor take you in a new direction. I hope you love it as much as I do.

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    1. I appreciate your encouragement Mary... working WITH the watercolour... yes!

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  3. I am very impressed. Lovely colours and you clearly have had some previous experience. I hope you'll show us more as you go on with your course.

    An end to procrastination, though - that's just heresy.

    Signed
    Procrastinating Donkey

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    1. I was thinking of you when I chose that word. I am glad you reacted to it! Heh-heh-heh!

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  4. I like it!
    It's such a great feeling, to explore a talent. I hope you have fun.

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    1. Thanks for your support Kylie.

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  5. Well done, Yorkie. That's a great effort. I think after this one class you're going to be hooked.

    I've not done any painting for a while...I was doing water-colours, graphite drawings and acrylics. I've still got all my brushes, paints, pencils, a couple of blank canvases, paper, easel etc., etc., out in the back now gathering dust and cobwebs.

    I ran out of room to hang my finished paintings and drawings, making that one excuse for hanging up the tools!

    I should pick it up again one of these days. It's a wonderful pastime...but it's too damn hot here at present to do anything other than sit under a cold shower 24/7!

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    1. You could paint at night in the nude! But remember to draw the curtains...or blinds!

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    2. I don't have to draw curtains or blinds because I have real ones; fabric curtains and cane blinds. Not that the real ones are ever drawn, anyway. I have no neighbours nearby, which is one of the joy of living here in this little cabin in which I dwell.

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  6. I was disappointed when my art tutor told us to experiment and find our own tricks. I'm too impatient and wanted someone to show me their tricks before I wasted too much paint. I hope you will show us your future paintings, you clearly have talent.

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    1. It was very interesting to see the other course members' paintings. They were all so different. I know I shall pick up some tips but I must find my own way.

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  7. Fantastic! Why anyone should snigger at you going to an art class is beyond me. Good info reg. the stretching of paper, that never occurred to me.
    When at school, I soon found out that my strength lies in drawing - be it with a pencil or with ink. I am not very good at handling oil or water colours, As far as neglecting goes, I guess I am the master of that. I have been neglecting several things I used to be good at for decades: playing the piano and the guitar, speaking French and drawing.

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    1. I have wasted so much time. Let's see if the art hobby is not just a flash in the pan. Maybe it will encourage you to pick up on one of your own interests.

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  8. Well done YP - keep it up.

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    1. As the kids in Wolverhampton used to say, "Thanks Miss!"

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  9. Looks pretty good to me. I love water colours but I hear it is not an easy medium . Keep up the good work.

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    1. In fact the teacher began by saying there are easier mediums. With watercolour we have to work WITH the paint and the water.

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  10. Bravo, YP! Here's a tip for you: leave those brushes and paper at the ready (along with a little spray bottle for a burst of water when you need it.) Leave them out so they call and inveigle till you give in to them. Then see how good you are at procrastination.
    No need to tell you to have fun - you have entirely too much fun with images already! Take care, McGregor

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    1. Thank you for your nicely idiosyncratic support Mac!

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  11. You are a natural talent, I'm very impressed!

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  12. Are you sure you even need classes? What you've done is nothing short of...beautiful. Keep feeding that talent.

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    1. I need the boost and the presence of other "students" adds a nice social element to the process. I will see where I go from there.

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  13. Beautiful, Mr. Pudding. You are far better than I and I started teaching myself five months ago! They don't have any art classes in the deep woods although I could surely benefit from a few....hundred! So, I have signed up for six months of Art Tutor online. We shall see what happens. You put down lovely washes for the sky and sea. Bravo!

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    1. Dear Sister,
      As JanB says below, there are YouTube videos that can help us/educate us to improve our skills...
      YP x

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  14. Notwithstanding the unstretched paper, that is amazing, YP. You certainly should not let that talent go to waste any longer.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement... oh, and "notwithstanding" is one of my favourite word!

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  15. You definitely have an eye for value and drawing skills too. There are so many interesting "how to " videos on youtube for all kinds of mediums! Pre-stretched papers save a lot of time, but I guess it's best to learn the basics! You have so many excellent photos of your own to keep you busy....try the heron!!

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    1. Thank you for the YouTube idea Jan... at the moment the heron would be a step too far for me.

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  16. You should be proud of that! Very nice, especially for the first class.

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    1. You can buy it from me for $750. And that includes postage! What a bargain!

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  17. Addendum: There are some other choices besides stretching your paper. Did your teacher have you stretch them on stretcher-bars? You can also stretch previously soaked paper by stapling it on a piece of plywood.

    Or, you can buy paper in a watercolor block. A set of papers are gummed on all four sides to keep the paper from rippling. Blocks come in various sizes and various numbers of sheets.

    Or you can buy heavier paper. 90lb paper will always ripple. You can paint on 140lb paper without too much trouble, unless you're using very wet methods. On you can pay bigger bucks and buy 300lb paper which doesn't ripple under any circumstances.

    Or you can paint on Yupo - a plastic "paper", which is a whole other experience.

    Have fun exploring!

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    1. Hell! It's all so complicated Mary! John, the tutor, always soaks his paper in the bath for ten minutes before taping it to a board. Perhaps I should just go for drawing with a pencil instead!

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  18. You won't be getting any advice from me - I'm lucky of I can draw a breath. Yes, I know, tired old joke.
    I love watercolors and have a couple from local artists hanging on my walls.
    The foreground in your first getting-back-to-it effort is wonderful.


    Alphie

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    1. Have you ever given it a try Alphie?

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  19. Good first attempt, but a serious question: how do you stretch paper?

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    1. You soak it in water then tape it to a board.

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  20. Go you! well done YP.

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  21. That could have been an ordinary layeronlayer painting if it wasn't for that wonderful character walking the waterline and that blurred light in it!! Nice, really, I'd hang it on the wall if I could get it to straighten up a bit. The colours, the light, yes, it's a good, fresh start. It can be good to procrastinate if it leads to this. Keep up that spirit, mr Pudding!!

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    1. Thank you for your well-considered encouragement Fairtrader. I feel I have got it in me to do much, much better than that first effort. We will see.

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