Watercolour Lessons - Simplicity
'Simplicity is another fundamental tool within watercolour lessons.
It seems so obvious but it is overlooked by much of modern art education.
An art student came to see me once to get advice on her portfolio of life drawings. She had never done any life drawing before and she was being made to draw a model in a very complicated pose.
Not only this but the model was holding a parasol over her head.
The spines of the parasol were broken and there was tangle of wires.
In addition, there was a complicated arrangement of screens leading off into the distance.
It made me want to scream.
This was nothing compared to what the student had to do later on. She was taken on a field trip and made to stay up all night drawing a village in complete darkness!
You don't run before you can walk. There might be lots of fun ways of turning crawlers into walkers and walkers into runners but the sequence remains.
If you haven't done any painting before, start with simple things.
Make drawings of pebbles and paint fruit and flowers. Even if you feel that this is not really your sort of thing, you will find it rewarding
No portraits and no photographs.
Don't attempt portraits and don't work from photographs.
It’s much better to work from nature. It is better because you have more feeling for real objects than for two dimensional images.
I use photographs like the majority of landscape painters today but there is a lot to be learned about how to use them and if you are a beginner it is best to stay with nature.
Lots of people try to make drawings of their family and then get frustrated because they can't get a good likeness. To get a good likeness there has to be great deal of accuracy.
But if you are drawing an apple, it doesn't matter so much if you are a bit out. It is the same with flowers - and clouds.
It's not that accuracy isn't important, but I find increasingly with painting that what you leave out is as important as what you put in.
The art of editing is something which builds up gradually with time.
One of the most important of watercolour lessons is to:-
Keep It Simple.
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