For the next three weeks I shall be attending an on line watercolour painting course on Zoom. It’s always interesting to see how other artists tackle a subject and I wanted to get to know the teacher, or at least learn something about his methods, since I will be attending one of his courses in person soon. That will be about “painting outside”, something I have very little experience of, as circumstances have dictated that I work mainly from my own photographs. It turns out that he paints very like I do, which means I only have to cope with “outside”!
Teaching via Zoom requires a different approach to face to face lessons. For one thing, he had 100 students from all over the world, some painting after a day’s work, and others up before breakfast. Some were absolute beginners while the rest had varying painting skills. With this set up, the usual demo followed by personal advice as class members work at their own paintings would be impossible. In the event, he painted a passage, then the students essayed the same (we were all working from the same photo). Then we proceeded to the next passage.
As you can see, it is a fairly simple image of three figures on a beach, backlit and with reflections on the watery shore. We started with the sky and the distant hills, working through the sea onto the wet sand in the foreground strengthening the tones at the second pass. The figures are virtually silhouettes, the light catching the shoulders thrown up by the darker background and the silhouetted shapes. the reflections were placed on a damp surface.
The inevitable start-stop nature of the lesson took some getting used to both for him and for me. Working to someone else’s brief was a useful experience. Next week we are painting a waterfall.