Watercolor Class: Reflections and Seascapes

???????????????????????????????This is definitely not one of my best paintings, but for the sake of what we did in class I expose myself to you.  We painted this in our penultimate class and below is the reference photo we worked from that was previously painted by our tutor.

???????????????????????????????In this lesson we also used black.  I was not keen on the black as I found it difficult to judge how much to use.  In class, we do not have a lot of time to draw out our picture and work on our painting and wait for paint to totally dry.  Even though the class is 2 hours, a lot of time is spent listening to and watching the tutor.  I know I could do better than I had done if left to my own devices.  I have too many hard edges where there should be none and I am really not happy with my silhouette, but that is the way it goes sometimes.

I had my last class this week and we were going to be working on seascapes.  I was imagining a beach with some waves and maybe a cliff, since we live on the coast.  Instead, we painted water with boats.  Although some of us were a little bit disappointed, learning how to paint boats is a necessary skill for the watercolorist.

???????????????????????????????There are some aspects of this painting I really like and others that I feel I could have done better if I took the time.  My perspective with the boats is totally wrong and they should be higher up the page.  I don’t know what had possessed me.  Here is the reference photo we worked from.

???????????????????????????????The reference painting has colors that are totally harmonious throughout the painting.  None of us in class had a picture with tonal harmony.  I can see that the yellow in the sky should be the same as in the sand and also added elsewhere. I find painting boats very challenging.  I lost the will to live with this painting when I messed up the mast and the rigging and when I realised my boat placement interfered with my reflection, for which I had used wax.  With any painting, especially watercolor painting, it is really important  to make sure your drawing is totally correct.

Having never taken a watercolor class before, I did learn quite a few techniques.  Would I take this class again as others seem to have done?  No, I wouldn’t.  Not because I don’t like the tutor, but I now feel that I have the basics. I think that taking a class is always a good start, but you are always going to learn the teacher’s methods. With the books I have and videos on youtube available, I just need to practice more and eventually find my own style of painting with watercolor.  In fact, I am painting a sunflower from a youtube tutorial.  I will let you know how it turns out.


2 thoughts on “Watercolor Class: Reflections and Seascapes

  1. I really like what you did with your boat on the water. That is outstanding to me! Both are very nice. Good job. And I hear you about the time not allowing for things to dry, etc. Did you stretch your paper first? What size paper did you use for these?

    1. Arlene

      My tutor, and most of the books I have, don’t bother about stretching paper if it is 140lb or 300gsm or over. 140 is average weight for most landscape painting. If you tape it down it doesn’t really buckle much and then there are ways of flattening it if there is a slight warp after . I used Bockingford 14×10″ sheets that I cut in half with my guillotine. In my very first watercolor class we stretched paper, what a waste of time when you can be painting! Also, the heavier weight paper has a nice sizing on it which you can lose by stretching. Hope that helps. 🙂

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