The Water Colour Club: Practice Makes Perfect!
On Tuesday afternoon, with excitement, but also a little trepidation, I went along to the second WSA Water colour Club run by Andrew Carnie and Linda Newington. A bit of a different experience from the normal every day for me – working in the library- but I wanted to ‘give it a go’! I have owned a set of water colour brushes and a colour palette for some time now, the intention being, when inspired whilst on my holidays, I would do some painting. It has never really happened so here was my chance to experiment with my paints in a workshop setting.
We gathered together on a central table in the café and this attracted interest by passers-by which was good. I observed at least one student who decided to stay! In all, there were twelve of us, some had to leave early for classes, others joined us later, but it didn’t matter as it was all about joining in and having an engagement with the medium of water colour.
At the beginning of the workshop Linda talked about the different types of water colour paper and handed out a helpful information sheet, also showing us samples of different papers. We then talked briefly about the different paints: pans or tubes, student or artist quality and there were some differences of opinion observed here, but then it was agreed that it’s all about personal preference and what works for you.
Each person had a different approach to the medium. One student had grown up with a mother passionate about her own water colour painting, so on holidays in the Lake District he was encouraged to do the same – paint! Others said they painted in water colour for the pure pleasure of the experience and other new comers just welcomed the opportunity to ‘give it a go’ as they hadn’t tried it before. What became evident during the session was the varied approaches; different styles and experimentation with technique. Some liked using vibrant colours, others more subtle shades and hues. One student just liked to work with the two colours she was instinctively drawn to, whilst others used just about every colour in the palette! Wet washes were discussed, flushing, stippling, layering and blending and some of these were new techniques for me personally, so I was learning as well as having fun!
We were lucky to be given a glimpse of Linda’s ‘very favourite’ blue paint book: gorgeous blue paper with lovely creations inside, these often in shades of different blue. Linda said she was naturally drawn to this colour, though she used other rich colours too. It certainly gave me ideas to develop at a later stage myself. Andrew had to skip off to a class, but his work back at his studio which had been visited by some of the students, was discussed with great enthusiasm. With this in mind I think it worth keeping a look out for the next workshop, as I think, what with Andrew and Linda’s wise council and armed with ‘your kit’ and an enthusiasm to go ‘give it a bash’, you could come away feeling really happy about the experience. Go for it!
Judy Russell, Oct 2014.