What a brilliant demonstration we had this Wednesday evening by Joe Dowden.
With howling winds and lashing rain outside, we were all oblivious of the dreadful weather while we watched intently as Joe set about his watercolour picture.
Using Arches Paper with 140lb weight that had been stretched and then stapled to a board, he drew very little detail, just the horizon line and a few leaves really. With a fine brush, Joe then started to mask out some of the lightest leaves in the picture and he then put a yellowish green wash onto the paper.
Joe had plenty of tips on painting such as once a green has turned too green and you have lost the yellowness, you will never be able to retrieve it back again so give up and start again! Apparently sable brushes are by far the best as the colour will wash out of the brush in the first dip of the water as against synthetic brushes where the bristles hold onto the colour. Joe also recommended Rosemary brushes for applying masking fluid as they are cheap and would need replacing often if used in masking fluid.
Adding more masking fluid, Joe then added another wash but this time in a slightly grey colour – this was made with ultramarine and burnt sienna. After a few more layers of masking fluid and a bluish wash for the water (made with Windsor blue, magenta and a touch of brown) he then started to build up the sides of the stream and the underwater stones.
To check the tone that you need in the picture I.e. how dark the blue for the water and the lightness of the grasses Joe made a small hole in a piece of paper, this showed just the right level of light needed when put against the painting.
Using technics like feathering Joe finished his painting by 9.30pm and was ready to take any questions.
A very entertaining and informative demonstration.
Thanks for the Report by Cathy Newton and Photos by Vicky Coppard