Friday, 24 March 2017

Just One Step Ahead

It is not often that a student asks to learn something that I don't know how to do but Jeannie surprised me by wanting to try an abstract. Thankfully there is the internet with hundreds of photos to for viewing and learning.
#1017 - Blended Blooms - 5 x 7 watercolour
Not being sure what Jeannie was interested in, I did 'Blended Blooms' as a trial. I liked it but, when she came for her lesson, Jeannie felt that she wanted a more abstract look and less impressionism.
#1015 - Bold Burst - 5 x 7 watercolour
'Bold Burst' started as a demonstration of applying colour somewhat randomly. I finished this after the class by adding more colour and water and letting things flow together.
#1016 - Blended - 5 x 7 watercolour
'Blended' is the painting we did together and, of course, I forgot to take a photo of Jeannie's painting. Jeannie liked her painting in landscape format but I prefer portrait format for mine. It was fun doing this piece so I used the idea for a birthday card I made for a friend.
Card #87 - Birthday Balloons
For the lesson with Jeannie I was just one step ahead so I was happy to get back on track with this week's class with Heather and do something I was more familiar with - skies and mountains!

We used one of my older paintings as a guide for our first piece.
#967 - Clouds on the Mountain #2 - 5 x 16 watercolour
Heather wanted to learn how to achieve the tonal perspective needed for the mountains and she liked the clouds over the mountains. When I mentioned taking photos of her work she was reluctant so I didn't push. We left the foreground for homework because I wanted Heather to try a more dramatic sky.
#1019 - Sunset Storm - 5 x 7 watercolour
We stared out doing a bright sunset but ended up with a 'Sunset Storm'. Many beginners are afraid of using too much colour and I wanted to show her that adding the dark clouds over the sunset could make a more effective painting.

I hope to show my students that painting can be fun! I want them to loosen up and play a bit more; to let the brush dance over the paper and just see what happens. It will come with more practice and confidence and then they will have the skills to paint different styles, from abstract to realistic. Here's hoping!


  1. I love how you come up with techniques that fit what the student wants and needs. Your classes must be such fun!

    1. Thanks Joan. I am not sure about fun as these two students are very serious about learning. At least they leave feeling accomplished and informed. As for coming up with ways to teach what the want; all of it involves basic techniques so it is a win, win situation. Have a great weekend.

  2. Sounds like a great learning experience for you as well Val. Love them all Val, And I like how you took one idea and used it again for the card. :)

    1. Hi Sheila. I often find that I learn something every time I teach but this time it was more than usual. glad you like all of the paintings. Thanks for you lovely comment.

  3. Got to say that the more I read about abstract the more there is to know. It isn't just slapping paint on and saying done. I always like how you take something and then turn it into something else, you clever woman. Also like the more traditional results of your lesson as well. I think each gives something that you take to the other. good learning here.

    1. Thanks Nelvia, good learning for all of us - lol. It is a challenge to do abstracts because there doesn't seem to be rules as they are all so different from each other. As for turning something into something else, I figure it is always worth a try. Thanks again!