Monday, January 13, 2014


Sketch: Isla Mujeres Waterfront
I'm working out a minimalist approach that will make it possible to use this image to teach an introductory watercolor course at the Memorial Art Gallery's Creative Arts School this spring and summer.  I'd like to have several images which look colorful and pleasing but that can be produced using a limited palette and basic techniques (e.g., no masking, no scraping, no complicated perspective). 

My introduction in class will stress four concepts:
  • We're not here to make a painting, we're here to learn how to paint.
  • Paint as though your materials are free.
  • Simplify.
  • Let the watercolor do the work.

This is my work area right after finishing this sketch.  A photograph, a sketchbook, a pencil and kneaded rubber eraser, three simple brushes, a plate, and the M. Graham & Co. Basic Paints set of five colors.  What else do we need?

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