Last weekend I spent 2 days in Tyler, Texas teaching a group of artists how to utilize a sketchbook in and out of the studio. The workshop took place in the studio of watercolor artist and teacher, Wincie Caskey. Wincie’s studio & home is located on a beautiful wooded acreage just outside Tyler, Texas. In addition to being an accomplished artist, she is also a Master Gardener! Since this workshop included some “on location” lessons, the property surrounding the studio had excellent subject matter; flowers, trees, a garden, flagstone walk to a wonderful “quiet shady place” with a place to sit & just relax.
Over the 2 day period the artists learned how a sketchbook can be valuable to an artist for notes, and for developing ideas in the studio as well as for recording information while on location. I demonstrated various techniques in watercolor using water soluble graphite pencils and “sharpie” markers. I showed them how to paint “doodle” trees, and people. The surface and texture of the paper in a sketchbook will vary greatly between brands, so in the process we also explored some quick brush exercises with various amounts of water in relation to pigment - an important step when using a sketchbook for the first time.
After lunch, the group gathered up brushes, paint & sketchbooks and moved outside and painted trees, flower pots, bird houses & rocks. Starting out with a sketchbook and watercolor is a good way to begin painting from life outside the studio.
This was a new experience for the group in that no one had worked “en plein air” prior to this workshop…and I must say that everyone produced at least one good watercolor sketch that afternoon…a couple of them painted 2 or 3!
Judy won my demo on the 2nd morning! This demo took only took about an hour to paint….but the lively interaction and questions from the group inserted between brush strokes expanded the demo time to about 2 hours!