Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Watercolour Progression Workshop

On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, BWS member Ben Lee led the first in a series of afternoon workshops for BWS members and guests.

The workshop was held at the newly expanded Framing Depot facility, 1335 Lawrence Avenue East, in Toronto. The company is kindly making its large meeting room available for this series of workshops.

Ben demonstrated three approaches to the use of watercolour on varied surfaces. His demos lasted a little less than an hour, after which the group got to work painting with Ben offering individual assistance.

First, he painted a floral arrangement on 140# watercolour paper. He pointed out how to properly render petals with the brush following the direction of the petal growth, instead of simply creating a dense wash, leaving small areas of white paper and darker areas for cast shadows.

 Next, he used a Chinese brush to paint onto regular canvas. The support had first been washed; no additional gesso was applied. He pointed out that very soft brushes, such as the Chinese brush, were best as they are soft and will not lift paint, which can easily happen with synthetic brushes. Ben achieved a remarkably soft, painterly effect.

Finally, he surprised the group by painting on particle board, the material more commonly used in construction. One side of the board is smoother than the other, but Ben had also sanded the smooth side. The board tends to adsorb paint readily and so requires a heavier application. The overall effect is one of obvious texture.

Another workshop is scheduled for April 29, 2014, at which President Shirley Scoble will lead a group in discovering the secrets of painting shadows.

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