The Watercolour Teaching Project

I have been painting since my early twenties and have always used watercolour as my chosen medium. I chose watercolour for several reasons, the most important one being that I love it! I much prefer them to most oils or acrylics. I also knew that it was a very difficult medium to master – and I love challenges. It was also clear that watercolours are eminently portable and I needed something that travelled well.

I taught myself to paint (my degree was in Philosophy and Psychology!) and over the last 40 or so years have accumulated hundreds of books on watercolour and drawing techniques as well as the Artists that I’m interested in. My intension for this project is to reverse the flow, as it were, and try and condense the best of the knowledge I have gained from all of these books and my own years of experience and put it into this blog, where anybody who would like to learn about the art of watercolour painting can find everything they need.

Because I started from scratch, I know intimately the frustrations the complete beginner is likely to face. I hope this blog is helpful to them. However, because I have been using watercolours for so long and I have no intention of ‘dumbing down’, so it may well be that experienced painters might find it useful too.

I intend to structure the blog in a careful sequence, starting with the foundation basics and then building on them with discreet blocks of advice, information and workshop ideas. For decades I have demonstrated and run workshops in the South-West and abroad and countless times after seeing students work I have thought ‘If only you had been shown ‘X’ earlier on, you might not have been so disappointed with your painting’. This blog is about all those ‘X’s

I make no apology for being direct and having definite views on how things might be done. This is partly in response to some modern books which suggest you ‘just splash colour around and have lots of fun’ which is a bit like a guide book to a fabulous country that says ‘get off the plane and head for the first bar and then get back on the plane and leave’ with no other suggestions on places worth visiting, maps, history, or any other guidance. The point being that although you might have enjoyed yourself for a while, you will have missed an awful lot the country has to offer to the more adventurous traveller.

My next entry will be about what kind of paints to choose (or to add to what you already have), the advantages and disadvantages of using blocks of paint rather that tubes and why the kind of palette you mix your paints in has such a huge influence on the colours you end up with! See you then.