Earthbound Artist

Articles tagged as Painting Classes (view all)

Meet My Spring Grads

21 June, 2018 0 comments Leave a comment

This spring, during watercolour workshops at my Lindsay studio, I had the pleasure of painting with 25 students.

Half of them were in my Pebbles 1-2-3 one-day workshops. Here are the graduation photos from those beginner level sessions. Notice all the smiles! In the first photo, you can see my demonstration painting in the foreground.

Pebbles 123 Beginner Watercolour Class by Karen Richardson

Pebbles 123 Beginner Watercolour Class by Karen Richardson

Pebbles 123 Beginner Watercolour Class by Karen Richardson

Another popular subject was Weathered Wood and Stones, a 2-day workshop that ran twice. I included some 'action' shots below.

Weathered Wood and Stones watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Weathered Wood and Stones watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Isn't it remarkable how different each painting is, even though we used the same reference photo? We used actual stones for individual inspiration. The photos below are from the second version of the class.

Weathered Wood and Stones watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Weathered Wood and Stones watercolour class by Karen Richardson

I taught a three-day Sea Shells on Sand workshop for intermediate/advanced students, that produced amazing results. Rather than a reference photo, we used actual shells (donated by one of the students), as well as sea glass and bits of driftwood, to make unique creations. Pictured below are me and my students with our paintings well underway.

Sea Shells on Sand advanced watercolour class with Karen Richardson

Pictured below is a finished painting by one of my students:

Student work from Sea Shells on Sand workshop with Karen Richardson 

And here is my finished demonstration painting Seaside Treasures, including a few detail shots:

Seaside Treasures, watercolour by Karen Richardson

Seaside Treasures (detail), watercolour by Karen Richardson

Seaside Treasures (detail), watercolour by Karen Richardson

Click here for more details about Seaside Treasures.

Thank you to all my students, who made a watercolour journey with me this spring. Together, we learned a lot!

My Fall 2018 Workshops (1-day, 2-day, or 3-day) will run within the mid October to end of November time frame and will feature some of the same popular subjects that I taught in the spring. Click here to see the workshop schedule.

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting tips, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

Fitting In a Winner

15 April, 2018 1 comment Leave a comment

Fitting In, watercolour by Karen Richardson    

Last fall, I created this watercolour painting from a photo taken in Nova Scotia during our 2017 Maritime trip.

I love the apparent simplicity of this composition, with three smooth pebbles sitting in a cleft of weathered driftwood. But the image implies a more complex meaning to me; one of shelter, security, togetherness, and family.

When the painting was completed, I posted a picture of it on Facebook, to ask my online friends for suggestions for a title. The image got a strong response, with about 50 title ideas coming forward. The one I selected was 'Fitting In', but I made note of all the suggestions, to use on future paintings I am creating in a series about cracks and crevices. An artist friend also suggested I add a living creature to the driftwood cleft, peeking over the stones. Hmmm... food for thought.

Karen Richardson with her painting 'Fitting In' at the 2017 PineRidge Juried Art Exhibition.

Then I entered 'Fitting In' in the This Is Home painting competition, sponsored by Artwork Archive. My artwork took first place with over 800 votes on Facebook, winning the Voter's Choice award of US$300. A few weeks later, two of my paintings, including 'Fitting In', were accepted into the PineRidge Arts Council 18th Annual Juried Art Exhibition (shown above). This competition had 190 pieces submitted by 103 artists, with only 65 paintings being accepted into the show by the juror.

During this time, I recognized that this image would be an excellent subject for a watercolour class, allowing me to teach several key aspects, such as choosing a focal point, contrasting light and dark, depicting smooth and rough textures, and mixing subdued colours, to name a few.

So this spring, I taught this subject twice in classes held in my Lindsay studio, and my instincts were correct; my students LOVED painting this scene and learning all I could impart along the way. They used actual stones from my rock collection as reference, to make their creations unique.

Here are photos of my students with their finished pieces:

Weathered Wood and Stones, 2-day watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Weathered Wood and Stones, 2-day watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Several of the students made comments after class:

"I learn so much when I take workshops with you. You have such a fantastic knowledge base. You explain the why as well as the how! Painting in your studio, surrounded by your incredible paintings, is such an inspiration. And you are a joy as a teacher! Thanks a million for an incredible time!" ~Diane S.

"We had such a wonderful time. I learned SO much about handling watercolour and how to achieve different textures. The "ah ha" moment for me was learning how to mix all those subtle colours from just three primaries. Karen is an awesome teacher who is able to convey so much of her knowledge and experience to her students." ~Jan Z.

"Thank you so much for the whole experience. It was such an inspiring and educational two days. I know that is due to your organization, presentation and overall thoughtfulness of your students. I did not really believe I could leave that workshop with a piece of art that resembled what Jan had shown me after she attended the 'Pebbles' workshop. What an amazing feeling that was... Thank you again for sharing your expertise and delighting in the pleasure that your 'gift' brings others." ~Roz G.

I made a new demonstration painting during each session, to show the students various painting techniques, and I decided to add a living creature to each one, to make paintings that were different from my first version. Here are the three paintings shown as a series:

Fitting In, watercolour by Karen Richardson   Curiosity, watercolour by Karen Richardson   A Moment's Rest, watercolour by Karen Richardson

In considering appropriate titles, I first came up with 'Fitting In', 'Sitting In', and 'Flitting In' for the series. Then I thought, since possibly these three paintings will end up in the hands of separate collectors, the humour might be lost. I decided a more appropriate title for the version with the squirrel would be 'Curiosity', and for the version with the butterfly, 'A Moment's Rest'. I would love to hear your thoughts on titles.

These three paintings, part of a group of almost 40 pieces, will be on display at my Spring Open Studio (weekend of April 28 and 29, 1 to 5 pm) in Lindsay. I hope you can meet the trio in person. One can't help but smile when seeing them.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please let Karen know by clicking on the 'Leave a Comment' button at the top of this post.

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more of her painting stories, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

The Artist's Studio

05 February, 2018 9 comments Leave a comment

Karen Richardson's Studio

At the end of last year, I took some time to catch up on paperwork in my studio office, finish some framing, and do a general studio tidy-up. Once that was done, everything looked so uncluttered and clean I took some photos to show you what a working artist's studio looks like. I also want to share with you some key features that make my creative space both comfortable and efficient. Welcome to your personal virtual studio tour!

When you come down the stairs to enter my studio, you see the panorama shown above. It is an L-shaped space, with my creative area on the left and my gallery and teaching space on the right.

Our home is a bungalow with 8' ceilings on both levels. In the lower level, large above-ground windows face west and north, to fill the space with light so it doesn't feel like a basement. We added four 2' x 4' LED ceiling light fixtures that greatly enhance the natural illumination.

Karen Richardson's Studio

The photo above shows my studio office. The desk and black file cabinet on the right house my computer and day-to-day office files and reference binders. On top are white photo storage boxes containing reference photos I have taken, sorted by subject matter and season. I take thousands of photos but just print the ones I think I may use as painting reference some day.

The white bookcase on the left mainly holds my collection of painting technique reference books, plus office stationary. The glass doors keep the dust out and make it easy to find what I'm looking for. The window in the middle is the one on which my wild turkey visitor knocked last month.

Karen Richardson's Studio

The photo above shows my office and creative space. On the left is my trusty collapsible print rack that I take to art shows as well as use in the studio, to display my giclee prints and matted paintings. The small bookshelf in front displays Watercolour Toolbox, the art instruction book I wrote. On top of the desk hutch is the satellite radio receiver that supplies whatever genre of music I choose, to keep me company as I work. Mostly I listen to soft rock or quiet jazz.

On the back wall is the tiny gas fireplace we added to this space, to make it cosy in cooler weather. I have it on all day, every day in winter. To the right of that, under the north window, is the drafting table where I do most of my painting. The working surface is 3' x 4', large enough for a full sheet of watercolour paper plus reference photos displayed to the sides.

In front of that is a desk credenza just over 5' long, that is very handy for assembling frames or doing any job needing a large horizontal surface. When one of my painting buddies comes here, she works at this desk while I paint at the drafting table.

Karen Richardson's Studio

To the right of my drafting table is an Ikea cabinet I bought over 30 years ago. It primarily stores unused framing materials, painting supports, paint palettes, paint tubes, and rags. The photo above shows it with the doors open. The adjustable shelves are 24" x 30", so this cabinet stores a lot of stuff.

Karen Richardson's Studio

Continuing around my creative space to the right, I have a black flat file cabinet that holds an astounding amount of watercolour paper, paintings in progress, brushes and other art supplies, office supplies, giclee prints, art card supplies, and archival bags. I bought this used metal cabinet from one of my framing suppliers when they no longer needed it, and I had it repainted at an automotive paint shop. Each of the ten drawers is 2' x 3' inside, so that is 60 square feet of horizontal storage in total. I love the efficiency of this cabinet! 

Around the corner to the right is my painting display space. I have professional grade wall hooks spaced 24" apart horizontally, with a second row 20" below the top row. This layout fits most sizes of finished paintings, without having to move hooks, although some of the larger pieces may cover two hooks.

Karen Richardson's Studio

My display space shown above consists of three walls, one 10 feet wide, one 12 feet wide, and one 8 feet wide. There is a short hallway to the right with display walls 2 feet and 6 feet wide. This gives me a total of 38 linear feet of gallery space. This is also the room I use for teaching my watercolour workshops. I teach up to five students at a time, and we each work on a 2' x 4' portable table. The photo below shows a typical class (and a different display of paintings).

Watercolour workshop in Karen Richardson studio 

No art studio or teaching space would be complete without a bathroom. In the photo below, you can see the bathroom we added on this level when we renovated. I also display a couple of finished paintings in there.

Karen Richardson's Studio

This completes the tour of the public area of my studio practice. The photos below show more studio storage and equipment that is in our furnace room and not accessible to the public (except on this virtual visit).

Karen Richardson studio

Shown above is my wonderful automotive storage rack. Each shelf is capable of supporting up to 500 lbs. This rack stores my painting transport boxes, shipping materials, business records, bulk storage of Watercolour Toolbox books, art show lighting equipment, framing materials, as well as some household items. Those 13 binders on the right are scrapbooks that document my entire art career to date (paintings, awards, shows, etc.). All this on a bit of floor measuring 2' x 6'.

Below, also in the furnace room, is my mat- and cardboard-cutting table. The slots underneath store mat board, and painting transport boxes, bags, and portfolios. The drawers hold my framing hardware, tools, and equipment.

Karen Richardson studio

I hope you have enjoyed your personal virtual art studio tour. I hope to see you in person in my studio at some point in the future.Visitors are welcome by appointment, or during an Open Studio event.

If you have any ideas, questions, or comments to share, please do so using the 'Leave a Comment' button at the top of this post.

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to learn more about the life of a professional artist, travel tales, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions. 

100 Smiles from a Year of Watercolour Workshops

26 December, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Karen Richardson teaching watercolour students in her Lindsay, Ontario studio

This year, during watercolour workshops at my Lindsay studio, and weekly classes at Meta4 Gallery in Port Perry, I had the pleasure of painting with almost 100 students.

Over one third of them were in my Pebbles 1-2-3 one-day workshops, held in my Lindsay studio in spring and fall. Here are photos from those beginner level workshops. Notice all the smiles:

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour workshop at Karen Richardson studio

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class in Karen Richardson studio

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour workshop grads in Karen Richardson studio

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour workshop grads in Karen Richardson studio

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class at Karen Richardson studio

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class at Karen Richardson studio

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour students in Karen Richardson studio

In this final Pebbles 1-2-3 grad photo below, you can see my demonstration painting (Time to Head South) in the foreground:

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class at Karen Richardson studio

These students below were in my 2-day beginner Tulips class:

Tulips watercolour class at Karen Richardson studio

I taught a Muskoka Lily 2-day intermediate level class twice. My finished demonstration painting is titled Stillwater Lily (click here to view).

Muskoka Lily watercolour class grads Karen Richardson studio

Muskoka Lily watercolour class at Karen Richardson studio

Here are me and my students in a 3-day advanced level Lake Superior Bay class:

Lake Superior Bay watercolour class grads in Karen Richardson studio

These students below are working on their Hollyhocks and Stone paintings in my 3-day advanced level class. My finished demonstration painting is titled Hollyhock and Stone (click here to view).

Hollyhocks and Stone watercolour class in Karen Richardson studio

Below are me and my students in a 3-day intermediate level Flag Iris class:

Flag Iris watercolour class in Karen Richardson studio

The photos below are graduation photos from my 6-week class sessions at Meta4 Gallery in Port Perry.

Northern Reflections: (Click here to view my finished demonstration painting)

Karen Richardson with her students in a Northern Reflections watercolour class

White Breasted Nuthatch: (Click here to view my finished demonstration painting.)

White Breasted Nuthatch watercolour class with Karen Richardson

Snow and Stone: (Click here to view my finished demonstration painting.)

Snow and Stone watercolour class with Karen Richardson

Blue Jay:

Blue Jay watercolour class with Karen Richardson

Thank you to all my students, who made a watercolour journey with me in the last year. Together, we learned a lot!

My Spring 2018 classes will run from mid March to the end of April. Registration will open in February, and I will email you the schedule then if you are subscribed to my studio updates. (New subscribers may join using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting tips, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

The Superior Paintings Begin

20 November, 2017 2 comments Leave a comment

In my previous post, I told the story of our camping trip to Lake Superior this summer. Although I am in the midst of teaching watercolour techniques to over 50 students this fall, I have carved out some private painting time in my studio, inspired by my Lake Superior trip photos.

Clarity, watercolour 28 x 11" by Karen Richardson

The painting above, Clarity (watercolour, 28 x 11"), was the first major work inspired by this trip. I used several experimental techniques and am excited with the result. The scene depicts a view from the coastal trail near Rossport, on the north shore of Lake Superior. The water is so clear, it becomes almost impossible to tell if rocks are above or below the surface. I'll let you decide.

I made a short time lapse video, showing how this painting grew from start to finish. Click on the arrow below to view:

Click here to see more information about Clarity.

For my second Lake Superior painting, Time to Head South (watercolour 16 x 20") shown below, I was able to combine the activities of teaching and producing a major piece of artwork. I began by drawing the two Monarch butterflies and the autumn leaf in pencil on my watercolour paper. Then I drew in the stone shapes as a background.

Time to Head South, watercolour 16 x 20" by Karen Richardson

During three of my one-day Pebbles 1-2-3 beginner workshops, I used this composition as my demonstration painting. I shaded and coloured the stones, working around the butterfly and leaf shapes. I used my Lake Superior trip photos as inspiration for the specific stone markings.

As with all of my paintings, every colour in the painting was mixed from primary red, blue, and yellow paints. Once the background was finished, after the third workshop, I painted the Monarchs and leaf.

The title, Time to Head South, refers to the annual fall migration of Monarchs, to their winter habitat in the mountains of Mexico. I hope we see lots of their descendants here in Ontario next summer.

Click here to see more information about Time to Head South.

These paintings are just the beginning of my Superior collection. I look forward to sharing more of them with you.

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting stories, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSave

The Making of 'Hollyhock and Stone'

15 May, 2017 6 comments Leave a comment

Hollyhock and Stone, watercolour by Karen Richardson

This spring, I taught a 3-day Hollyhock and Stone watercolour class, for intermediate and advanced students. We each chose different reference photos and painted different blossom colours. I chose a pink and burgundy mix (shown above) for my demonstration painting, with a finished size of 16 x 12".

Hollyhock and Stone by Karen Richardson, step 1

We began by drawing our composition on layout paper (using proportional squares to enlarge the photo image), then tracing that drawing onto our 300 lb watercolour paper using graphite transfer paper. Then we masked out the fine veins inside the flowers with masking fluid to preserve the white paper.

For my paints, I wanted to evaluate a new (to me) brand of watercolour paint - Schmincke, which is made in Germany. I chose Helio Blue Reddish, Permanent Carmine, and Gamboge Gum Modern as my three primary colours, and mixed all of the painting colours from these three. I loved the smoothness of this brand, and look forward to doing more paintings with my Schmincke paints.

I find the most successful method for painting plant life is to work up the shadows in gradual layers, and adding a coat of brighter overall colour at the end. When the first shadow layer is dry, the next layer adds deeper colour, just in the darker shadow areas. The photo above shows the flowers after three layers and the green buds and stems after two layers.

Hollyhock and Stone by Karen Richardson, step 2

In the photo above, I have added one more shadow layer on the green buds and stems, followed by a bright green glaze over all the green parts. When this was dry, I painted the cement mortar of the stone wall with a two-tone tan.

Watercolour Workshop taught by Karen Richardson

In the photo above, my students are pictured in my studio, working on their hollyhock compositions. My demonstration painting is at the bottom, and you can see several of my favourite #12 round sable/synthetic brushes beside my painting.

Hollyhock and Stone by Karen Richardson, step 3

Once the mortar sections had dried, I wet each building stone, dropped in two paint colours, and then sprinkled on salt to produce a mineral effect. I used a cool neutral mix (blue-gray), and a warm neutral mix (brown-gray). Once this was fully dry, I brushed off the salt. Then, using a dark gray mixture, I added some shadowy cracks between the mortar sections, and some subtle shadows to make the mortar look less flat.

Hollyhock and Stone by Karen Richardson, step 4

In the photo above, I have added shadows across the faces of the stones, using a charcoal gray-black (mixed from the primaries), and added more shadow details to the mortar. I removed the masking fluid from the petals and washed over them with a pale watery pink to change the veins from white to pale pink.

Hollyhock and Stone, watercolour by Karen Richardson

We're on the home stretch now. I deepened the burgundy colours around the centre of the main flower and added some soft shadows to the upper petals. I added a soft blue wash over some of the stones to create a greater variety of stone colours. I added a very watery blue glaze over the mortar to make it less dominant.

This completed painting Hollyhock and Stone, watercolour 16 x 12",  will be on display at my solo exhibition at The Shipyards in Gravenhurst from July 28 to August 11, 2017.

We

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting stories, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

Save

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Grad Photos from my Watercolour Workshops

19 February, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Last fall, I enjoyed six weeks of teaching watercolour to a total of 30 students, at my studio in Lindsay, and at Meta4 Gallery in Port Perry. Here are some graduation photos.

My 'Island in the Storm' (2-day beginner/novice) class ran twice and it was amazing to see such excellent and varied interpretations from our reference photos:

Island in the Storm watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Island in the Storm watercolour class by Karen Richardson

My 'Pebbles 1-2-3' (absolute beginner) class also ran twice, as shown in the two photos below.

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class by Karen Richardson

One of the students had this to say the next day: "Thanks very much Karen.  What a wonderful space you have to create!  I am so inspired and excited to see where this path takes us!!  I spent the evening in my studio last night and did a second copy of what we did yesterday and read half your book already lol.  I'm going to play this week in the evenings to just move paint around a little and get more comfortable.  I'm so inspired!  Thank you so very much for lighting this in me! ... Thanks so much for the wonderful introduction to watercolour.  I can't wait for the next Class!"

 Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Shown below are the grads from my 'Underwater Stones' 3-day intermediate level class, with their wonderful paintings well underway (to be completed at home):

Underwater Stones watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Here I am pictured below with some of the students in my 'Cedar Waxwing' intermediate level 6-week class:

Cedar Waxwing watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Last fall, I donated a free class for five students to Soroptimist International of Kawartha Lakes, for auction at their Snowflake Gala. Pictured below are the winning bidders, enjoying their class with me in my studio last month. We had a blast!

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class by Karen Richardson

One of the students wrote to me after class and confided: "The watercolour class was so much fun and hard, too.  I loved the challenge.  I never thought I could feel that successful on my first lesson."

Pebbles 1-2-3 watercolour class by Karen Richardson

Another student wrote: "I want to thank you again for a very inspiring, and exciting day!  We were all pleasantly surprised at how our artwork turned out, and you definitely made us feel comfortable so we all had fun. Thanks so much!"

Thank you to all my students, who made a watercolour journey with me in the last few months. Together, we learned a lot!

Click here to see Karen's class schedule.

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting tips, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Painting Seagulls and Sand

12 July, 2016 2 comments Leave a comment

For the first time, last fall I taught a watercolour class with birds as the subject. I discovered they are fairly easy to paint if one has a well-composed, sharply focused reference photo.

Here are the steps in the painting:

Step 1: (see photo below) I demonstrated the classical method of enlarging the image, using proportional grid lines. Looking at one square at a time on the reference photo, I drew the subject onto the layout paper in the corresponding square, drawing everything twice as wide and twice as tall as in the original photo.

Paintng Seagulls, step 1, by Karen Richardson

Step 2: (see photo below) Once the drawing looked correct, I traced it onto 300 lb cold press watercolour paper, using a graphite transfer sheet in between.

Using clear adhesive shelf paper and masking fluid, I protected the bird shapes. I also spattered masking fluid over the sand, using a tooth brush. The shelf paper and masking fluid keep the paper dry and clean while I paint the background, and will be removed prior to painting the bird and pebbles.

Once the masking fluid was dry, I mixed two neutral paint mixtures (one brownish and one grayish) using Indian Yellow, Prussian Blue, Cobalt Blue, and Permanent Alizarin Crimson. I wet the sand area, dropped in the two colours, and sprinkled on table salt.

The salt absorbs water and paint and is scraped off when dry, but it leaves behind an interesting 'starburst mineral' effect in the dried paint.

Painting Seagulls, step 2, by Karen Richardson

Step 3: For the background, I mixed a medium green and a very dark green using the four paints listed above. I moistened the paper with clear water, just in the areas that were to be lighter. Then I brushed the medium green mixture onto the wet areas, and the dark green mixture onto the dry areas.

Painting Seagulls, step 3, by Karen Richardson

Step 4: (see photo below) The background had gotten lighter and duller when dry, so I glazed over it with Sap Green and added more of the dark green mixture to the shadow areas.

Once the background was fully dry, I removed the shelf paper and masking fluid. Using various mixtures of the original four paints, and with careful observation of the reference photo, I painted the bird feathers. I started with the lightest blue shadows and gradually built up to the darks, layer by layer. The beaks, eyes, and legs were done with the same strategy.

To complete the sand pile, I used a dark neutral mixture to paint the shadows cast by pebbles and large sand grains, and I scumbled over the sandpile with the side of a brush dampened with the same dark mixture. I painted the details on the pebbles using a fine brush.

To see a larger photo of the framed seagull painting Defending High Ground, click here.

Painting Seagulls, final steps, by Karen Richardson

Here is a photo of my students with their paintings. Well done, ladies!

Painting Seagulls - student graduates

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting tips, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

Spring Class Graduating Students

02 May, 2016 5 comments Leave a comment

This spring, I had the pleasure of leading a total of 20 students on a painting journey, in my newly-renovated watercolour studio/gallery in Lindsay. We all worked hard and made some great art.

Shown below are the ladies of my three-day Autumn Bay class, starting to work on their paintings.

Autumn Bay class

The next photo is their graduation, with my demonstration painting shown at the bottom. Several of the students opted to paint larger formats and finish them after class.

Autumn Bay class graduation

 One of the Autumn Bay students sent me this comment after class:

"Thank you so much for a great painting session and the photos.  I am grateful that you included the steps of building up your painting as well.  It will be a great reference as I continue my homework. I really enjoyed the graduation photo. It is good to look at everyone’s work objectively when we have had some time to distance ourselves. Everyone did a fabulous job because of your excellent guidance. Thank you once again." ~Wendy M.

This photo below is from my two-day Canadian Road Trip class.

Canadian Road Trip class

You can see my demonstration painting in the bottom of this photo of the graduating students.

Canadian Road Trip class graduation

And here are some photos from my Pebbles 1-2-3 one-day classes.

 Pebbles 123 class

Although my Pebbles classes are usually for absolute beginners, I did teach one group at the advanced level. They started larger compositions in class so they could work on them at home. Here is how far they got in the one day class.

Pebbles class graduation

One student sent me this comment after class:

"Thank you Karen. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and really like PEBBLES!! Yeah! The way you explained colour mixing made so much more sense than the other classes I have taken. Thank you so much for our class yesterday." ~Maggie H.

Pebbles 123 class graduation

Another student sent this message:

"I want to thank you so much for welcoming us into your home, and for such an informative class.  You are very special because you make everyone feel comfortable, no matter their skill level. I look forward to taking another class." ~Marjorie B.

Pebbles 123 class graduation 

Two of the students who did additional work on their paintings at home after class sent these photos of their lovely work.

Painting by Ann Louise S.     Painting by Jane F.

Thank you to all my students, who made a watercolour journey with me this spring. Together, we learned a lot!

 Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting tips, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.

Painting Pebbles and an Autumn Leaf

01 May, 2016 0 comments Leave a comment

Autumn Memory, watercolour by Karen Richardson

Recently I worked on this painting as a demonstration at a one-day Pebbles 1-2-3 class. Here is how it started:

Step 1: After drawing a crinkled yellow leaf as the focal point, I penciled in the pebble shapes around it, loosely inspired by a photo reference. Using neutral mixtures created from primary colours, I painted interior shadows in the pebbles. This starts to build the 3-D effect. The leaf will be left unpainted until the pebbles are completely done.

Autumn Memory, step 1

Step 2: Using a dark neutral mixture, again from the primaries, I painted the negative spaces between the pebbles. In the larger spaces I used a graded wash, to give the impression of an underneath layer of pebbles.

Autumn Memory, Step 2

Step 3: Using various combinations of primary colours, I painted the coloured pebbles. Since watercolour is transparent, you can still see the shadow layer showing through the colour layer.

Autumn Memory, Step 3

 Step 4: Using more neutral darks, mixed from primaries, I added the shadows cast by the pebbles and intensified the interior shadows where needed. After that had dried, I painted the leaf, first with pale yellow and then with darker golds. Finally, I painted the shadow cast by the leaf to finish Autumn Memory, 4.5 x 7.5".

Autumn Memory, Step 4

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to see more painting tips, travel tales, studio news updates, or notices of upcoming painting classes and exhibitions.