Rhythms and shapes in Landscapes, Janet Weight Reed workshop

23rd November,  2016
Janet had recently returned from Saorge, a lovely hill-top village in France an hour’s drive north from Nice,where she had been staying with some friends from Wales.She had some photo reference material for us of the village houses, perched high on the hill-side within the mountains.

The day started with an energising demo for warming up.

Janet took a very large round brush, then mixed up a lot of thick Prussian blue and burnt sienna into a deep black.  A careful long line was then painted across the watercolour paper, followed with a line of pure clean water, to catch the previous line in places, leaving some sharp edges and white paper.

A rigger was used to make contrasting fine lines. A knife pulled out paint and also scraped back lines to clear paper.

Next she took a paper which had previously been painted orange, in order to use opaque white gouash, dark paint and brush strokes of clean water. We watched how the paint was seeping into the water areas to create merging forms caught in the light.  This was the nature of watercolour, we were advised.  We were given interesting tips. We must let go of our inner critique, so that we would be able to immerse ourselves in the flow of the work.

We must paint the negative shapes. Always paint a bit of the colour that we have been using somewhere else as well, so that the eye of the viewer can be led around the picture.   A painting is a jigsaw of different shapes fitted together to make the whole. Experience and practice make technical prowess, which, when married with the in tangible within, makes the magic of an artist.

After doing our own experimental warm-ups, we each took a reference photo of a village view to paint from.

We had another demo after lunch and we then painted another view. Janet came round to help each of us with our individual problems, showing us how to punch out more in our paintings, demonstrating the watercolour techniques and colour.

There was a large turnout, as everyone looks forward to Janet’s enthusiastic experimental approach to working with paint and colour. Her tips and advice are also appreciated. Everyone stood up to paint energetically as they had let go of their inner critics!  Janet advises that creativity is the secret of health and wellbeing.


PS:  These brushes are @ £5 from WH Smith!
Report by Philippa Seebohm

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