West Dean – winter under wrap.

West Dean is having the roof fixed. The flint walls peek out from benieth massive scaffolding structure and layers of tarpaulins.

Cristo would have liked to have a go at this one…

Once inside the building there is very little difference – a few areas blocked off. ( health and safety) but it is business as usual. A slight inconvenience in that the back door was out of action, so we had to walk right round the building to get to the orangery, (healthy activity) . And there is no access to the internal courtyard for fresh air with a coffee at break time.

No one on my beginner watercolour course complained and they were, men and women, a really charming group of people.

We worked through the basic techniques of watercolour. First evening, with a gentle introduction to glazes.

And colour tones.

I did a demo of Stretching paper and everyone then did their own. It went well with just a couple of cockled capers. Paper has such strength – bending boards and ripping the tape willy nilly as it drys.

A patchwork of techniques.
And another.

The practice of flat washes, graduated washes, lifting off, wet in wet, wax resist and dry brush, all on one page. With layering, lifting off and some salt intervention.

Colour theory, more mixing of colours and painting.

The warm colour wheel and complimentary colours to mix neutrals.
And then… Outside…

To cap it all we had half an hour outside sketching in the winter sunshine. A thoroughly productive and enjoyable time. Only one painter was lost in the rough sea of watercolour – this time.

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