1 February 2017

Techniques

Last week, at my watercolour class, our tutor John showed us a watercolour portrait he has recently completed. It was brilliant - a picture of Harry his late father created with love but also with expert command of the medium. As I peered closely through the glass, the woollen cardigan that the old man was wearing looked so much like knitted wool, it was almost unbelievable.

For a moment, I felt like an ill-equipped walker looking up at the mountain top. To reach the standard that John has achieved in that portrait would surely take a lifetime of practice and dedication. Sadly, I haven't got a lifetime left.

The session on January 26th saw the assembled class members painting pictures of back street Italian doors. The plaster walls and doors we observed in photographs were rough and ancient and I am sure that is why John chose them - for their interesting textures. 

He showed us how to mask off the door area so that we could concentrate on the wall texture. This involved low adhesive decorators' "Frog" tape and amongst other things the gentle flicking of paint from a stiff brush.

I would have needed a couple of hours more to complete the exercise so I brought my board home and completed the door itself - still trying to concentrate on texture. Well, in the end, I was pretty happy with the wall but the door was very much experimental as I sought to learn what the paint could do and to be much bolder, less hesitant in my use of colour. Really, I ought to attempt that composition many more times - developing more effective techniques. I guess it's a never-ending learning process.

35 comments:

  1. It looks wonderful, very evocative. I am not an artist of any sort and even I can see your rapid development. way to go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your are so kind Kylie. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Delete
  2. Gosh! I could have sworn the picture of the old man in the cardigan was a photo - never a watercolour! It is truly brilliant, and I wonder why your teacher does what he does - teaching evening classes when instead he should be a world-famous artist, holding court at some vernissage or other.

    Your door and wall are pretty good in my eyes. I can almost smell the old wood and chipped-off bits of plaster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have introduced me to a new word - "vernissage". John has made money from commissions and private sales. As for my own painting - I agree that it is only pretty good. I have a long way to go.

      Delete
    2. That's not what I meant - the "only" has no place there. It IS pretty good.
      Here's another new word for you: finissage.

      Delete
  3. I think you have got yourself a brilliant tutor there. He is clearly a master of his craft and a good teacher to boot.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has spent his life steeped in art - both making it and teaching it.

      Delete
  4. The portrait is marvellous.

    You should be proud of yourself...for your own painting, too. Well done, Yorkie. It's wonderful.

    Dare I ask if you've visited that site yet, that I gave you? (Too late...I've asked you...again)! :)

    If you haven't yet done so...do try to put aside some time to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I have checked it out Lee and i have saved it in my favourites for future reference. Once again - thank you.

      Delete
  5. I have no interest in art, or skill at it, but your painting looks darned good to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am looking for male life models. Would you volunteer Derek? You just have to lie on chaise longue in your birthday suit. I will bring an electric fire along.

      Delete
  6. If I lived nearby YP, it wouldn't be a problem, I was a nudist for several years when I had a fit and lean body.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A nudist on The Isle of Sheppey? Sounds like the title of a racy novel.

      Delete
    2. At the time, you wouldn't of been far wrong.

      Delete
  7. Your painting is marvelous YP...well done.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Excellent job, YP. You're really doing well with the medium. When you work at home, try to work from YOUR photographs - you know what they looked like in "real life", and can see much more in the photos. Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Miss Mary. I will try one soon and show you it in this humble blog.

      Delete
  9. Your painting is only surpassed by your progress! Can't wait to see what you will produce in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I am trying Jan. My wife would say - very trying!

      Delete
  10. Your tutor's painting is amazing. And you've done quite a respectable job yourself, in this unknowledgeable donkey's eyes anyway. You have to compare yourself not just to the experts but to us who are farther down the scale from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You mean like hermit crabs?

      Delete
    2. Among others :)

      Delete
  11. I am much impressed with the way you are improving YP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mrs Weaver. Does that mean my breaktime detention is cancelled?

      Delete
  12. The portrait is amazing. I never knew watercolor could be like that.

    Your painting is nice, too. You're really coming along nicely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The ;portrait is even more amazing when you see it in real life. It is about four feet by three feet.

      Delete
  13. I actually like your painting! I can feel you entering the painting class in the flower show this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can enter the panting class as Mrs Trellis chases me round the tea tables with a prize marrow.

      Delete
    2. Ohhhh err missus

      Delete
  14. The portrait of the old man is wonderful. Just do what you can do in the time you have Pudding. It's too late to lament time lost.
    Sorry about the repetitive stuff. I have no idea how it happens......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no idea how it happens either Alphie.
      I have no idea how it happens either Alphie.

      Delete
  15. I'd say you've learned quite a bit as this picture has a lot going for it. Yes, your instructor's picture is a masterpiece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should see it in real life Red. Stunning.

      Delete
  16. Since there are no classes in the woods, I am trying to teach myself via the internet. Many of your countrymen and women are wonderful artists and teachers. I am mostly using arttutor.com. If I still wrote boring stuff on internet, I could show you my very imperfect attempts at watercolor. Sad.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.