I want to thank the Lakeland Art League in Minocqua, WI for the fantastic opportunity this past Wednesday, January 2. This is a large group of passionate artists in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
The watercolor workshop went very well, and the students were great! I was impressed with the enthusiasm and the final paintings. Oh, and the heartiness of these artists fighting the frigid temps and snow.
This eager group of artists wanted to focus on snow and pines. I demonstrated a snow scene in the morning working through the three phases of a transparent watercolor painting. Working light to dark, background to foreground and warm to cool.
After we broke for lunch, we started the second painting – a paint-along. I feel this is a great way to have the students learn watercolor in small doses. In my experience, the student retains the information they have learned.
We talked colors and which brushes to start with. This is a block-in stage, so a big brush is a key to your success. I painted the first phase, and then the students went back to their easels and recreate the first phase. I always walk around and give personal direction with every student.
I took the students through phase-two which takes twice as long as the first. I walked then through the difference of winter verses a spring or summer. The sky is different, bark on the trees and overall light.
Phase three you really slow down, and now they can go in and use smaller brushes. This is the final stage where you focus on the details. I always feel an accomplishment when I take the tape of the painting. This clean edge gives you a sneak peek of what a mat will look like on your painting
I raffled off my demonstrations at the end of the day. Here are the two winners.
I would like very much to be included in your schedule this spring/summer. Thank you.
I want to thank the Peninsula School of Art for the fantastic opportunity this earlier this month. The 2-day workshop went very well, and the students were great! Those of you that have never been to the school I want to let you know first hand the facility was beautiful and accommodating in every way to make the experience work for the teacher and student.
Considering how many miles I have clocked in traveling to Wisconsin this was the first time I experienced the quaint charm of Door County. Picturesque scenes were suitable for a postcard or better yet an afternoon of plein air painting.
In this hands-on workshop, my students gained a foundation and more in-depth understanding of the elements and techniques of transparent watercolor. They discover the unique properties of the medium, as well as how to control and use them to their advantage concerning landscape painting.
During the two-days, they learned how to use their materials effectively, interpret of color, create a working composition, and build a successful painting from start to finish through demonstrations and guided exercises. I supplied photo references for various types of landscapes.
I encourage my students to take photos and videos – as much as they want. The combination of taking notes, pictures, hands-on painting and the final critique produces a good learning experience that the student retains.
A simple landscape was demonstrated with a farmhouse and outbuildings. This introduced the student to necessary procedures of the ”block-in..” Also, I had a brief talk about simple perspective. This painting took about one hour.
The second demo of the morning was a snow scene (farm scene in the woods). I discussed the painting of white subject matter and how the temperature is perceived.
Hot press Arches
Finally, the paint-along with the students was a forest scene with a small creek and reflections. Big sweeping movement of color was demoed, paying attention to large shapes, not objects.
Water was the theme! Still water, moving water and water in a snow scene. Elements from day one we're employed.
This first demonstration I wanted to show how you can take 3-colors from a primary group: a red, a yellow, and a blue and give the impression of full color. I also wanted to demo how simply water can be executed by paying attention to the patterns of value. 45 minutes
The second demo was how to simply paint falling water with your brush. This demo took 45 minutes.
At the end of day two, a casual critique took place. I talked with them about what they did wrong and how to improve or correct it. Also wanted to let them know what they did right and encourage them and build on their successes.
I'm sorry we didn't have an extra day or two to continue – I felt like I was just getting to know you. What a talented group of artists.
Class was a lot of fun. I plan to rework the “paint-along” pictures done in class.
Thank you! I will try to practice what you showed us. I wish we had had more time too. I had a wonderful time in class. You had many life lessons along with watercolor techniques. Thank you. I look forward to staying in touch.
Dale L Popovich IWS
is an award-winning watercolorist and teacher who is passionate about capturing the raw beauty of the American landscape with the fluid stroke of a brush. As you will see the works selected in his portfolio represent the breath of his holistic approach to painting. You can also learn along with this talented and experienced teacher through his workshops,