I joined a Sustained Saturday watercolour class taught by my partner Barry Coombs for the afternoon, after a space opened up at the last minute. These studio days run from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. several times each term. The still life subject was predominantly brass and we were encouraged to compose our image by employing a very tight crop. I admire people who work in watercolour, and even though I’ve been working at it for about 18 months, my results are very unpredictable. That’s partly what makes it fun – and terrifying!
My original idea was to spend the afternoon drawing in black and white with pen and ink. Working on hot press paper, I sketched the subject lightly with pencil. Then, inspired by the work being done by others around me, I changed my mind and used watercolour to block in the key shapes, adding some secondary washes to form the shine and shadows. Next, returning to my comfort zone, I added value, structure and depth with charcoal pencil. (So much for planning!) I was surprised by how the charcoal seemed to melt when it touched the still-wet paper as I worked. I liked the effect, and for a while worked back and forth between the dry and wet mediums. If you want to see more about the class, see Barry’s blog post about the day.