Monday, 18 June 2012

TWSA Watercolor Celebration!

Over the weekend I attended the TWSA 36th Anniversary Celebration and the Celebrate watercolor dinner and awards presentation In Kenosha Wisconsin.

It was an amazing couple of days. To be able to see such magnificant paintings in person and be able talk to artists such as John Salminen, my fellow Canadian Harold Allanson, Robin Berry, Ken Call, Cheng-Khee Chee, Lennox Wallace, Debbie Rankin, Joe Garcia and Donna Jill Witty to name just a few was inspiring to put it mildly. Kelly Kane Editor of Watercolor Artist magazine was also there and came and chatted to me. To be presented with my award by Donna Jill Witty was pretty cool too

The awards dinner was in the evening but before this TWSA had organised two demo’s. The first was by Donna Jill Witty. She began by masking key areas of the painting to preserve the whites or lighter areas. It was so great to see another queen of masking

The next step however was so unlike my style. She mixed bold colour onto her palette and working wet into wet boldy and quickly covered the paper with it.

While still wet she added in a darker mix to begin to develop the values in the painting.

She would often use the spray bottle to keep areas wet and encourage paint flow by gently tipping the board in various directions.

Once this was dry (ok she put this first one aside and took out another very similar just dry and with the MF removed to work on next. ) A couple people asked about the brand of MF she uses and like me she uses Incredible white mask as it dries clear so doesn’t hinder your eye while working on colour and value in those early stages. I know too that it is the only MF that you can safely use a hair dryer with with no effect)

She then worked on softening the edges in some areas with a scrubbing brush and pulling some of the surrounding colour into the areas that were light but not white.

She then began adding in the details to the painting and strengthening the values in some areas.

She then discussed using ref photos not copying them. Looking for parts the interest and have meaning for what you want the painting to say and even using more than one ref to reach your finished painting.

This is her finished demo completed in about 50 minutes.

In the afternoon we had a demo by Joe Garcia, a very well known wildlife artist. He painted a sea scene with a sea bird in and demoed various techniques for lifting/preserving the whites. He used brushes, paper towels, palette knives, craft knives and even sand paper with very interesting effects. I have used all but the sandpaper and was initially shocked by how vigorously he attacked the paper with a medium grain piece of sandpaper but the finished effect really helped to create that feel of the spray created by waves as they crash against rocks. Below are a couple of photos showing his process of painting and then lifting. He used no masking fluid at all.

Both used Arches 140lb cold press paper.

Hope you enjoyed a taster of the day


No comments: