Grand Detour Demonstration

April 12, 2013
Grand Detour Demo; Watercolor Canson Langton 12" x 16"

Grand Detour Demo; Watercolor Canson Langton 12″ x 16″

You may recognize the image shown above. It is a watercolor interpretation of an oil painting created last autumn. It started as a way to help my third level students and culminated with a really cool slide presentation compiled by one of my students. If you have Face Book account, you can watch the seven minute video by going to the March 30 post on my Fan Page “Tom Linden Fine Art”.

My third level class has a few students that have been through the class several times and are looking for new ideas to keep the painting fun or just improve their works. It also includes three students that are in this level three class for the first time. Following the first couple exercises, it was clear to me that I needed to do a demonstration about the painting process from start to finish. This would help the newer students understand how to build a painting and help other students alter any bad habits.

I created a line sketch as well as a four value drawing so that the students could see the basic patterns and shapes. I took an afternoon to create a “trial run” painting in my studio. I was using a different paper for the demo and decided to fight it at my studio without the pressure of on-lookers. It also helped the students see what the end product might look like.

I started by showing a photo I had from the scene (the plein air sketch was sold off of the easel, still wet. Yea!). I quickly produced and discussed the line sketch and four value drawing as well as the trial painting. The design was already drawn onto my watercolor paper, but before applying paint, I took time to discuss my plan.

Watercolor demands a certain amount of planning and forethought. I discussed my intended route of paint application. I also discussed the reasons and logics behind my plan. I revealed possible challenges which I might face, how I could avoid them and what I might do if the oops occur during the painting process.

After a few minutes of discussion and questions, it was off to the races. I had less than two hours to pull this painting together. Thank goodness for the two hair dryers and cooperative students that helped hold and place the dryers where and when I needed them. After getting the first stage, or as I call it, outline stage, completed, I took a couple moments for students to look at the work and understand that all of the paint applications performed to this point were all techniques which they were all capable of creating. That they could do it.

Not a bad painting for two hours. More important, the newer students got a feel for how to put a watercolor painting together. They had more confidence that they can do this. The next week for class I had them create the same work on their own paper. Although we had a few mishaps, the lesson went well.

For a better look at the presentation, please check out my Face Book fan page, “Tom Linden Fine Art”.

Grand Detour Line Sketch 5" x 7-1/2"

Grand Detour Line Sketch 5″ x 7-1/2″

Grand Detour Value Sketch 5" x 7-1/2"

Grand Detour Value Sketch 5″ x 7-1/2″

Grand Detour Trial 12" x 16"

Grand Detour Trial 12″ x 16″

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