WORKSHOP REPORT

Jacky Pearson’s Watercolour for Beginners Workshop

by MARGARET TAYLOR

Watercolour is a challenging medium and in Jacky Pearson, Watercolour New Zealand has found the perfect beginners’ tutor. The barriers to learning were minimised with materials provided, careful step-by-step instruction, comprehensive notes and ample demonstrations.

Initially Jacky taught us how to use the brushes and mix the paint to make different washes. I had never achieved a successful graded wash before. However, doing this on small scale with very exact instructions on the ratio of water to paint saw me achieve an acceptable result within a short time.

We began a small landscape with a graded wash toward the horizon line, a few hills and fields in afternoon light. The key learning point was how to depict distance and depth in a painting through colour and scale. We took photos of Jacky’s technique posters and agreed that she should write a book!

On Sunday we completed our paintings with trees in the mid-ground complete with shadows and a foreground fenceline and large tree. I think the technique for shadows will require a lot more practice as this was designed as an introductory course.

Then we learned how to paint a boat in water using our stretched paper from Saturday with its sunset sky as the base.

I missed the critique as I had to leave early but the workshop is the best I have ever attended and I look forward to more.


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