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LESSON PLANS SUMMER 2022 (1st half) Lesson 4, Loose and lovely watercolour.

The irony of this lesson is that one needs almost not to care about the result, but to love the process. We're going to be looking at a jam jar with simple flowers and stems. We're going to work with both wet-into-wet and directly onto dry paper. We'll do a lot of 'revealing' of light places.

Summer term, 1st half 2022. Lesson 4 – Flowers in a jam jar.

Loose and lovely watercolour.

· Set a clean label-free jam jar in front of you, just half full with water and with a few simple stems of flowers and foliage in front of you.

· Wet the top half of your page with your biggest brush. Borrow one of my big brushes if you only have small brushes. This wet area needs to remain wet as you paint into it.

· Before you paint into the wet area, with a neutral mix of colour paint on the lower half of your page…you’re looking to paint something about your jam jar… but this may include ‘revealing’ areas and shapes i.e. painting around them (revealing light places).

· Look carefully at the surface of the water, where the stems pass through. Look for distortion of the stems and refraction of light causing the distortion. It may sound complex but you can work loosely at this point and refine your details later.

· Now move up to the still wet area in the top half of your page. Like a happy 5yr old, paint stems, flowers, leaves, colours etc. into the wet and let the colours run. If they’re not running, your page wasn’t wet enough. You’re creating an effect and an illusion of abundance.

· Once the jam jar in the lower half of your page has dried, paint some shapes over what you already have. Look for in-between shapes and unexpected shapes. Don’t let your hand run away with you until you’ve seen a shape.

· Add more to the wet area as it dries. Notice in my example that I have ‘revealed’ lighter shapes by painting around them. Let your painting remain undercooked rather than overcooked!

Next lesson (the last of this block of sessions): Free choice lesson. Either try today’s exercise again as you did today with pure watercolour OR try it again but mix your media in the way we did with the still life lesson 2 OR bring something you want to try again from a previous lesson.


About this site...
I am an art teacher living and working in Dorset.  I have taught for the Adult Education Service and the University of Bath, plus some supply teaching in my local schools but now I run all my classes and courses privately. This site is intended as an addition to my teaching, primarily for any student who in the week misses a class and wants to catch up.
The lessons are also available for any one anywhere who would like some ideas on what to teach, what to learn or is just interested in seeing what we do.
I'm afraid I won't be able to answer emails asking for comments on anyone's work (other than for currently enrolled students).
I teach three weekly art classes in halls in and around Blandford in Dorset and every six weeks or so I run a Sunday workshop in a village hall on the outskirts of Blandford. I also run a vibrant five-day summer school.. Other than that I spend every available moment in my studio or drawing and painting elsewhere.
I studied for four years at The Slade School of Fine Art where I was awarded The Slade Prize on graduation. I went on to travel and study further finally doing a P.G.C.E at Exeter University with Ted Wragg as my mentor. It was a wonderful year of education which set me in good stead for my years of teaching since then.



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