My Art Blog
Taking My First Online Art Course is a Great Experience... So Far
I've been taking my first ever online art class at Digital Art Academy over the last couple of weeks.
It’s called Summer Open Studio and it's on painting watercolours of flowers. One of my favourite subjects!
A kind circumstance allows me to take this course, and I'd like to thank the person who made it possible.
The first week was really exciting. Downloading and using the PDF's and M4P's that make up the Lessons was easy enough, as was posting the first lesson's assignment.
Forgot to mention that Karen Bonaker is teaching this course. I have always admired Karen's friendly, straight forward and clear teaching style. She imparts a good balance of technical detail and principals of art in general.
Her focus on creativity and exploration for the individual artist comes through in every lesson. Supportive encouragement and enthusiasm for her subject is the hallmark of all Karen's interactions with other artists, whether it be in her DAA Classes, her Painter Talk Forum or the Painter Talk Blog.
She knows how to deliver what people struggling to learn new concepts need to move forward in their art.
Week One - Be Spontaneous
The primary focus of Week one was "being spontaneous and loosening up with the paint."
This ended up being just about impossible for me! I could do it to some extent, but I didn't really like how they ended up looking.
The learning from this week for me, is that I really do need to loosen up and get some movement and gesture into my strokes.
Now that we have brushes that will make a nice strokes and dabs that looks so wet and 'watercoloury' that you can hardly believe it!
Here is an example of a painting by a fellow student Kathy Pilgrim whose work I have long admired. She says she can't paint watercolours, but I disagree. I think she is off to a great start. She gave me permission to post it here. Her website is at Heart of An Artist.
Week Two - Negative Painting
The first watercolour book I ever bought was Linda Kemp's Painting Outside the Lines. I even tried it with traditional watercolours (it looked so easy the way she did it in her book, I thought in my ignorance and naivety) and was very frustrated!! I found Corel Painter 9 shortly after that (Feb 2005) and expected it would be even easier to do digitally… I couldn't do it very well. My 'underpaintings' just did not look like watercolours and pulling the washes to the edge of the painting for each layer seemed impossible in digital watercolours or wet watercolours. I think I was too new to art and looking at things in a way that I could really see the negative spaces (beyond the really obvious shapes anyway).
Since then I have looked at thousands and thousands of paintings, with an eye to figuring out why some paintings are … let's just say 'more successful' than others. My art has always been (too) influenced perhaps by other artists whose work I am drawn to. I knew when I first started looking for art that watercolour was my favourite medium, and flowers and still life my preferred subjects at first.
You can see my first attempt at using the method taught by Karen Bonaker in this course
In "Marie's Pansies" in the Recent Artwork Gallery.
I used the "Subtractive, Additive Method for Negative Painting" (my new term for it, hoping I'm not copying someone?)
It is rather busy in the background and the pansies are so vivid! Have to learn to be a little less literal with my colour choices! Lol!
I learned a lot about layers and the subtractive method doing this one. This is a great course!
Next post with show some screen shots of a new painting in progress using these methods. The painting is called "Midnight Garden."
Examples of Other Student's Paintings from Summer Open Studio:
Here are some links to pieces posted to the internet by some of the artists taking this course.
I particularly loved this one by Skip Allen. He has developed some new brushes that I'm sure he will release on Painter Talk Forum soon.
He calls it Floral Splash Skip Allen Paints
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