I thought you would like to know about a typical day painting with me in Lucca on my painting holiday workshop. The day starts with a traditional Italian colazione of coffee and pastries along with with the lovely breakfast at your luxury B&B - Yum!!
We meet at our painting spot for the day at 9am and start with some observation time getting to know the area, understanding the light and dark, shapes and colours. We'll work up some quick thumbnail sketch designs and then I will demonstrate a painting from start to finish (or nearly finished!). My demonstrations include discussions of a new theory and as I paint, I explain what I am doing and why I am doing it at that time. For example, why I am working on wet paper instead of dry, why I am using the colours and values in the order that I am laying them down etc. I will discuss and demonstrate everything from composition, saving white paper, building darker values, various brush techniques, design elements, negative painting, edge variety, charging color, and much more.
I love questions while I'm demonstrating - there is no such thing as a dumb question! When I was studying watercolour I found it extremely helpful when my tutor allowed me to take photographs of the demonstration paintings as they evolve - I'm happy for my students to do the same as long as it is understand that I DO NOT allow filming of any kind, including with cell phone or tablets.
By this time you will be ready for a quick lunch and when you return you will start on your own painting, I will assist you discussing or demonstrating as you need. The afternoon is yours and I am happy for you to paint from the resources you create or from my demonstration. It is totally up to you to paint something of your choice in any size or style that you wish. I find students are more productive when they are painting something that they are passionate about.
The only thing I ask of my students is that you go outside of your comfort zone and find ways to incorporate some of the techniques and theories from the morning demo into your own painting. This can be a little daunting as you will undoubtedly make some mistakes when trying something new; we all do. That is the one thing that levels the playing field between the new student to watercolors and the experienced painter; learning something new often requires a lot of trial and error; making mistakes is just part of the learning process. I always like to remind everyone that you don't go to a workshop to paint a masterpiece; you go to a workshop to learn how to paint a masterpiece or learn a new style. During the afternoon painting sessions I will attend to each student in turn where I might make a suggestion or two about your painting to help you along. I prefer not to touch your painting so, If you want to see something demonstrated, I will ask you for a piece of scrap watercolour paper on which I can show you a specific technique.
There is so much to show and demonstrate about watercolor that it is impossible to cover everything in a one, two or five day workshop. To make sure that I cover as much as I possibly can, with some workshops, I will usually do a small quick demonstration later in the afternoon. These little demos are usually exercise pieces that show specific ways to paint something such as shadows, window reflections, people, trees and many more. It's always optional if students want to watch the demo or continue to work on their painting.
My workshops are designed to be very informative and fun. The only requirement that I put on those who attend is a willingness to learn and the courage to try new things.
Depending on the time, availability and weather, we'll explore one of the amazing historical sights of Lucca. Then it's time to dress for Italian Aperitivi and on to one of my favourite ristorante in Lucca for a traditional Lucchese cena!! An evening walk around the sights of Lucca and a gelato or a trip to the Opera will finish the day!!
ciao ciao cari amici!!