Monday, February 15, 2016

Douglas Kirsop painting workshop

I was both excited and nervous to take Douglas' workshop at the Port Hedland Courthouse Galley on the 6th and 7th of Feb, having never had success with water colour paints, it was daunting, but I am very keen to learn new skills and further my abilities in all areas. So along I went and loved it!
We spent quite a bit of time watching, listening, and observing the techniques used. We played with colours, colour mixing, and the power of white gouache to stabilise and solidify a colour when the painting is too wet and the colours keep bleeding. 
Our first afternoon we had an attempt at copying what we could see in Douglas' paintings, something that took a lot more skill than expected, the base colours are used as a wash, then the light colours need to be laid down first, with increasing layers of darker and stronger pigment. I was fortunate enough to have quite a bit of help with the composition, after a bit of a shaky start... I learnt the importance of sketching, it's a map that holds the composition where it needs to be. 
West further work can be done once I have purchased my own water colours, this is the piece I ended up with...

Early morning outing on Sunday to sketch and watch Douglas paint what he could see, in the same way he would as a 'sketch' for an oil painting of a landscape, it allows colour, shadow, light, and tone to be captured as a reminder for when you aren't in front of the subject. We got some great photos, but the experience of being there was really beneficial. 

So the painting I came up with....

I'm pretty happy with it, I wasn't overly happy at the time, but as it dried, and I took some time, I am now quite happy, I really am looking forward to forming a habit of making a water colour sketch before painting, I'm sure it will increase my technical ability and make for more beautiful and exciting paintings. 

I am also looking into the possibility of studying under one of the artists I truly admire the work of, Sarah Nightingale. I would really like to have my art space set up properly first, as Skype lessons will require lots of effort on my part, and her teaching deserves me to be the best I can be. 

I am really excited about all 2016 will hold, it has already been pretty incredible.