So, did you do the Artist Network TV free 4-day weekend? I did. And even though I felt that there was too much basic stuff and not enough good watercolor videos, it was nice. I "discovered" Stephen Quiller. That is, I've definitely heard the name before and saw some works, but last weekend, I discovered the way he paints. Fantastic. If I ever have a chance to take his workshop, I will.
Charles Reid turned out to be very boring, imho. Maybe he should stick to books :)
I enjoyed Mark Mehaffey's watercolor on Yupo workshop, even though most of the techniques and tricks he showed I already learned by myself and with the help of my online artist buddies. It was still fun.
A couple of things I learned from around 10 workshops that I watched:
- When working from a photo, put it away as soon as you can. Copy machines do the copying, you do art. When you don't have the photo to imitate, you have to refer to your own mind which is a good way to bring a bit of you into the painting. When doing portraits, of course, I tend to hold on to the photos longer, but I still like to finish the painting without looking at the photo. It's not a "find 20 differences" game, it's a work of art.
- Stephen Quiller, for example, along with many others, works from a black and white sketch (instead of a color photograph). It gives you the values, but also the freedom to make stuff up :)
- I knew that most American watercolorists prefer flat brushes to round ones, but now I saw the flat brushes in action. I still like the round-ness of the round brush, and its ability to pick up the paint from my St Petersburg 24 pan set (a good size flat brush is too big for it). I still think that a round is better for some things - but I will be experimenting with flats, too.
- A masking liquid tip that I already tested and determined that it's great: When masking, dip your brush (that you dedicated to masking for life) into water, then watered-down dish soap, then water. Repeat as needed. This keeps your brush clean!
- It's better to under-do a painting than to over-do. Everybody knows it but we still need to be reminded now and then. Quiller actually said something along the lines of "When you're beginning to have a really great time doing something (like splashing paint or placing your trees in a landscape) - STOP!"
And that's a nice end of a blog post, don't you think? ;)