It has been many years since I had the pleasure of painting in Lian Quan Zhen’s workshop so today was very exciting as I started day 1 of a 4 day program. He is as gracious and talented as I remember him to be and with a packed classroom he started his first of many demos. He has a great video system that not only allows everyone to clearly see him paint but he reruns the taped demo while we paint. How wonderful to have this learning tool during the class. Many times when the teacher is done and you sit down to get started on your own piece you no longer have the image of exactly how the painting was started. Now I can look up at the monitor and watch him recreate his art.
He briefly went over what makes a good composition, the supplies that we would be using and how to mix watercolor pigments for pouring. Pouring is a fun technique to add excitement and drama to your paintings. There are 4 ways to move the paint once it has been poured onto the paper.
Spray with water – fingers – paint brush – blowing
Here you can see Lian using his fingers to move the paint.
This is the start of my practice painting or what I like to call my warm up painting. Dropping & pouring yellow & red paint I use my fingers to pull out lines or petal shapes making sure to leave plenty of white paper.
Next I add more yellow & blue to create some green areas. By dropping blue & red paint I bring some darks to the painting. Mixing red & blue on my palette and NOT adding water I make an extreme dark color (almost black)which allows me to add a rich dark value to the painting. This entire warm up piece took about 15/20 minutes and gave us the chance to use our creativity and play with our paints.
Using Lian’s reference photo we sketched the sunflowers which will be tomorrow’s painting. We applied mask to save our whites and first thing in the morning we will start pouring paint.
When people ask me what I’m doing on vacation this summer I’m excited to say I’ll be in a workshop playing with my watercolor paints.
Paint with Me