An ordinary life....

By Damnonii

The Teacher's Table...


Day two of the watercolour course was even more enjoyable as we were all much more relaxed well till it came to painting.

More sketching in the morning.  I sketched a peony and some stocks and was pleased with both.  

After some more demos from Clare and another lovely lunch it was time to put paint to paper.  I decided to stick with the peony as it was beautiful shade of pink.  Perfect for fine art floral watercolour painting.

I made a light under-sketch based on my study from earlier then gritted my teeth and applied the first wash of colour, moving the paint and water around the paper as Clare had demonstrated.  I stopped after a few minutes, delighted with the result.

After a few minutes studying the peony I went in with my second wash, being careful to work out where the highlights were and where I'd want to come back and darken in a later wash.  Again, after the second wash I was happy with the emerging flower.  And that's when the fear set in.  

I could feel it creeping up my legs and into my body, down my arm and into my hand.  The angel on my shoulder is telling me it looks lovely and a few more carefully planned brush strokes will see it happily completed.  The devil on my other shoulder is saying you're going to ruin it, you haven't a clue what you're doing, next brush stroke and the game's a bogey.*

I tried to ignore the devil, but as soon as I laid the next wash, the soft dreamy petals I'd managed to create were gone and a flat, dull flower head remained and my heart sank.

Not having a clue how to fix it and with only ten minutes left I decided to do an exercise Clare had talked about yesterday, where you make a loose study of your subject on the paper just using your brush and paint, no drawing beforehand.  

The rule is to be fast and loose and the purpose is to create an impressionistic version of your subject in no more than five minutes.  I chose the stem of stocks to try this with and just have fun.  No expectations.  

Of course after the five minutes was up I decided it was the best thing I'd done all weekend.  There's a lesson there (and a photo in extras.) 

Once we were cleared up and just getting ready to say our goodbyes, I took a quick photo of Clare's work area for my blip.  

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and wish it had gone on for longer, but as I headed home I could feel a little disappointment creeping in.  I couldn't work out why at first as I have come away enthusiastic and with lots of plans and exercises to work on to help me improve.  It was only when I woke up this morning and realised that after two days instruction, I am not able to produce watercolours at the same level as Clare, that I understood the root cause of the disappontement. 

It's a totally unrealistic expectation of course, but I think at a subconscious level it's what I expected from the course...and I'm the one who shakes my head at David when after two golf lessons, he's annoyed that he's not reach the playing level of Tiger Woods.

I shall have more sympathy with him in future :-)))

*The game's a bogey is a Scottish phrase meaning it's all over :-))

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