Saturday, 26 July 2008

My very first watercolour

I have been a little longer posting here than is usual due to problems with my PC. Everything seems to be back to normal now and so I thought I would just make a very quick post so that you all know that I am still alive.

I tried for years to learn to paint from books and suchlike, it wasn't until I actually attended a class that I found the spark that set me off on a path to becoming an artist, if I may call myself that. I have just recounted this story to a friend who is running her attempts at painting down because they are not as good as she would like them to be. So I thought this would make a very nice quick post since I have already done most of the typing.

Here is my story:-
When I went to my first art class (happened to be watercolour) I very nearly gave it all up and called it a day. I'll tell you what happened.

The class watched the tutor demonstrating a painting, and we went back to our desks to try it for ourselves. Oh what a mess I was making of my first painting! I was very nearly ready to throw my paints into the bin with frustration when the tutor came round to see how we were doing. He picked up my wet and I thought messy attempt and must have seen something in it. He washed out the shape of a small yacht in the distance (it was supposed to be a seascape) and wow, the whole thing gelled on that small focal point.

He held up the painting to the class and everybody exclaimed how good it was. Well. maybe, but from that day to this I never look down at a painting because its author hasn't seen the good things in their work. OK it may not be a masterpiece everytime but, it takes practice, and lots of it to use any art medium to its full advantage.

If you have the ability to make art with anything then the same principals for a great image apply no matter what medium you use. It is just a matter of time and practice until the things you are attempting start to come out as you want them to.

Here is the picture:-

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The left hand yacht was his, the right hand one mine. I think mine looks stilted and wooden next to his but hey! it was my first real painting. Of course the sky should have been blue NOT green. I had not allowed the yellow undercoat to dry sufficiently before adding a wash of blue over the top. The top of the hills on the other side of the bay are a little "iffy" and the beach on the RHS is almost invisible but from a distance, which is how the class saw it, it looks quite passsable. I had this up on my living room wall for years, until my wife got tired of it, but I always come back to this when I have not painted for a while and remember the lesson that it taught me.

Always look at your paintings to discover what is good about them NOT what is bad. Use the good bits again! You will soon find that all the bits are coming out good............. if you are lucky!


Nicks said...

what a thought provoking post, thanks for sharing youe experience xx

Mam said...

It's a great post, John! I really appreciate your words and the concept you are sharing.
There is a fine line between "art" and "a mess" sometimes. I have several of each on my worktable as we speak. Your atc from me will go out tomorrow. An event in my life put everything else on hold for a few days. Back on track now.

Sherry said...

Great story John, very inspirational. I like the green sky by the way!

CafeArtiste said...

That's your first watercolor? Holy moley, it's gorgeous!

I can't wait to go check out your ATCs for trade.


Artyfax said...

thanks to you all for your comments, It was certainly an inspiring message for me from someone who was a wonderful teacher. - John

WendyK said...

It's a lovely painting John. Love the story and the sentiment behind it

Hels said...

I meant to say that the watercolour is really atmospheric too....I love art!