Watercolour and Ink workshop… abstracting the landscape… student works

These are some of the works done at a one day workshop in Canberra today. The ladies had not done watercolour before and I was so impressed with what they achieved in this single session. We worked with a limited palette, primarily on Fabriano torchon extra rough paper so they could explore different textures. Some of the textures were created using a palette knife while othere were using traditional watercolour methods such as dry brush.
They responded well to the use of and appreciation of a variety of brush types …. one inch hake, goat hair
a small taklon rigger,
a number 3 squirrel teardrop wash








20140726_152300and a taklon or sablon half inch flat or angle shader


Forest Light, watercolour

Like many artists I love depicting light in my paintings. This work was started by flooding cool yellow on the paper from the top right then cyan, ultramarine and a little Maimeri permanent red light (not light red which is more opaque) in varying amounts from the left and base, weighting the base with darker hues. The yellow was to give a sense of light, although at this stage I did not know the resulting scene was to be a forest. My concern was purely to paint atmosphere… the sense of light. The depiction of a setting would come later. I was working with cling film technique with students, so while the work was still damp I covered it with cling film, pulling and manipulating it to create interesting shapes, bigger in some spots and smaller in others. At this stage I was thinking “underwater scene” with the patterning being refracted light within the water. On removing the cling wrap I saw a tree suggestion on the LHS and I started to ‘pull” that out from the background. A lighter patch suggested a waterfall so I lifted colour to re-inforce that…. made easier because of the extra soft Fabriano torchon paper. Gradually the forest evolved with some traditional brushwork, a little use of palette knife, scraping and calligraphic marks using sumi ink, watercolour and a little white gouache. The centre back was left to suggest the indistinct, hazy mystery of distant, vegetation.

Forest mystery

Forest mystery


This is my entry in the Meandering exhibition, landscape section…. an exhibition at Launceston Country Club of paintings of Meander Valley in Northern Tasmania. This view of Meander Falls with gushing water has the sense of energy for which I was aiming. It is essentially a traditional watercolour using a very wet technique on Fabriano Torchon extra rough paper. The paper is wonderful for creating interesting textural effects due to its unnusual rough surface. Being very soft it is a bit tricky to work on but well worth the effort. Beyond the pure representational in this watercolour, the rock wall symbolises the solid foundations needed to build a strong community while the flowing water represents the dynamicism of change

.  I will conduct a morning workshop on working with this paper on Thursday February 11th at my studio at Forth. Cost $20. Time 10a.m. to 12.30. ph 0419282673