« Creative Arts/Drawing & painting

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If you have worked with watercolours and enjoy the challenge of producing loose, bold and free watercolours, then this is for you. Learn how to create depth, incorporate figures, connect shapes, and control edges as you discover how to exploit the medium to create wonderful atmospheric effects such as mists, rain and fog.

Course outline

These workshops will suit students who have been exposed to the medium of watercolour and want to extend their knowledge to the next level.  If you enjoy the challenge of producing loose, bold and free watercolours, then this is for you. Each week we will complete a painting from start to finish. The course will begin with simple subjects and proceed to more challenging subjects. Each week students will be taken through the stages of design, drawing and painting in an easy follow step-by-step process. We will be tackling a wide variety of subjects from rural landscapes, urban cityscapes to coastal seascapes.

Chan will dispel myths in watercolour and share his valuable insights and experiences. Each student will receive personal attention and encouragement.

Topic covered may include: 

  • Topic 1: Beach Scene. Paint a simple beach scene, exploiting the medium of watercolour using wet-into-wet technique using a limited palette.  We’ll incorporate a few figures to this subject to add vitality and energy.
  • Topic 2: Panoramic Landscape. Tackle the challenge of painting a panoramic Australian landscape.  The success of this painting will be based on the most important technique in watercolour, the graded wash. The controlling the consistency of water to paint and gravity washes will be discussed and demonstrated in detail.
  • Topic 3: Snow Scene. Paint a snow scene, by using the technique of negative painting, leaving the white of the paper and painting around to create the mid and dark tones.
  • Topic 4:  Boat Scene. Boats and water are excellent subjects for portraying the subtleties in watercolour. We will discuss how to create depth in water and techniques in anchoring boats to water surfaces. The demonstration will also cover how to create reflections in water.
  • Topic 5: Misty Gum Trees. Watercolour is best exploited in creating atmospheric effects. We will paint a misty landscape with gum trees using the wet-into-wet technique using a paper that is pre-wetted with water. As the paper dries we will work from the background to the foreground by exploiting various edge controls from soft uncontrolled, soft controlled to hard edges.
  • Topic 6: Streetscape. We’ll tackle an urban streetscape with a single point perspective incorporating cars and figures. We’ll learn how to observe proportions by using constructive lines and gestured mark makings to suggest moving cars and figures.
  • Topic 7: Waterlilies. We will learn how to paint a scene containing waterlilies on still water. A full demonstration will include how to simplify a complex scene and achieve a fresh spontaneous looking painting using two washes.
  • Topic 8: Sky and Cloud Scene. Painting clouds in watercolour can be most enjoyable and rewarding.  We will learn how to paint various types of clouds using all the techniques learnt so far. The translucency of the clouds can be best expressed in subtle washes using the damp paper.
  • Topic 9: Rainy Scene A wet rainy scene can provide the watercolour artist with excellent subject matter.  Heavy atmospheric scenes such as rain suppress colour and introduce subtle tonal ranges. We will tackle the challenge of painting a rainy scene using the various stages of wetness of the paper from wet, moist, damp to dry.
  • Topic 10: Render the Human figure in watercolour. The final week we will paint a nude study in watercolour. We’ll discuss various colour mixes for producing different types of skin complexions. How to use alternating grades of warm and cool colours in revealing the human figure in watercolour. A photo reference will be provided.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you should walk away with a sound understanding of the medium of watercolour and gain practical insights into the intuitive use of watercolour to express yourself.

Who should enrol

This course is best suited to intermediate to advanced students.

Course materials

Please bring the following materials with you to your first class:

Paper: Saunders Waterford 300gsm rough surface or Arches 300gsm rough or medium texture.

Brushes: Medium size squirrel mop brush with a sharp point (Size 8 to 12). A good quality brush will hold lot of pigment and present a sharp point when fully loaded. Artist quality brushes will make a significant difference to your work

  • Essential brushes
    • Medium Size squirrel hair or natural hair Mop brush ( Size 8 to 12)
    • Size 12 round Brush with sharp point (Synthetic or Natural hair)
    • Size 8 Round with sharp point (Synthetic or Natural hair)
    • Size 0 or 1 Rigger (Synthetic)
  • Extra brushes (optional)
    • Size 6 Dagger, also known as a "sword brush" (natural hair)
    • 1" inch flat brush (synthetic)
    • 2" inch hake (natural hair)