295 Watercolour Classes

I recently taught a beginners watercolour course at a local arts centre and in doing some preparation, was attempting some loose still life paintings, in the style of the late, great Charles Reid. No one comes close to his style but I think these later ones are an improvement on my very early attempts at watercolour.

Have a look at my earliest watercolour on this blog, which incidentally I started way back in October 2011 merely to keep a record of my progress.

The composition was acceptable, a reasonable attempt at negative painting, but the rest was pretty bad. I’m glad I started this blog (which was purely for my own record) so I do have a record of paintings that have since long gone. This one to the rubbish bin.

The following are my most recent still life watercolours, both painted with my limited palette of Cotman colours on Bockingford paper with cheap Renoir brushes.

I chose these budget supplies because I was allocated a limited budget to supply paints, brushes and paper for each student. I am more than impressed with Cotman watercolours. Classified as a student range the tubes have the pigment code, permanence and lightfast rating listed which a lot of the cheaper brands don’t.

The Renoir brushes also perform extremely well for their price. At $4 and $6 (Australia) each I don’t mind replacing them more often but so far they are still working like new.

Bockingford paper is manufactured by St Cuthbert’S Mill makers of many of the top watercolour papers, and is very forgiving. It is heavily sized and takes a lot of punishment, can be wiped back or erased easily, but sometimes this can be problem as multiple layers can tend to lift if the paint is applied with too heavy a hand. I’ll continue to use it.

172 Mr. Z Workshop

Late last month I was fortunate to be able to take a 3 hour workshop with the amazing Joseph Zbukivic. It was a real treat just to be able to watch him work after having seen him in action on several videos and youtube. He is a true artist with incredible skill in watercolour. He paints landscapes with his eyes closed almost, but says after more than 40 years it becomes easy. I now realize I don’t have that much time left : ) Oh well, I had fun anyway. Heres my attempt on Saunders 300g paper image Actually  I’m fairly pleased overall considering we had only 45 minutes left after his demo to paint. I finished most of this in class. I fiddled around a bit today to finish it off, something I rarely do after a workshop. Maybe I should have left this one alone too.

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113 Watercolour Workshop

Taught my first watercolour workshop this week!  That was a whole new ball game for me. In the past I taught acrylic painting and was very familiar with the medium and it’s behaviour, but watercolour is quite a different thing. It went well, everybody seemed happy and we all learnt something new – me included : )

First we played with direct painting with water – or slightly coloured water. No drawing just wetting areas and dropping in colour – then watching the colours mingle. A great loosening up exercise.

workshop rose

After that we painted with water again – painting the little cat  I posted a few weeks back.

Then a landscape, trying to stick to the three wash method while keeping it loose.


It was a fun and relaxed workshop for me. I enjoyed it and hope the students did too.