The photo reference of a stone house in the Yorkshire Dales 
A thumbnail sketch helps us plan the value relationships and decide what to leave in and what to take out.

It is difficult to see, but I use a very light 4H pencil to sketch out my design on 140lb Arches watercolor paper.

As the painting begins I use loose wet-into-wet washes to form the basic shapes. It is important to let pigments mingle on the paper rather than do all the mixing on the palette.

The finished painting completed in class

The focus of our recent workshop was a popular one: Painting English Cottages and Gardens in watercolor. We used reference photos and sketches that I made on several trips to Great Britain along with photos from recent trips from the other artists as well. Starting with a lesson on what to put in and what to leave out, we discussed ways to work from a photo without being tied to it. Most photos don’t provide the information we need, so as artists we should be free to change whatever is necessary to add drama and clarity to our compositions. I was able to complete two demonstration paintings during the class, both of which were purchased by Connie Madsen. Future workshops for Spring 2013 are listed on my website.

Both demonstration paintings were purchased by Connie Madsen

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