Painting Sand Dunes

I was full of hopeful expectation. This time I would create a painting I wouldn't be too ashamed to show in the art class exhibition in August.

I love wet-in-wet watercolour landscapes, so was pleased that was what we worked on in the "Watercolour Improvers" class this week.

I started with a photo like this, by Iain Macaulay taken in 2007 at St Fergus Links, Aberdeenshire. I assembled my watercolours for a wet-in-wet painting. I liberally soaked the paper in clean water as instructed by my tutor. I tentatively dropped in phthalo blue, raw sienna, raw umber to create my interpretation of sky, sea, sand dunes and grasses.

The lesson was about moving the paint around the paper while still wet, learning both to control and go with the flow. The tutor had made it look so easy in her demonstration. I was so disappointed with my efforts.

The tutor took pity on my cry of 'this isn't working' and with my permission picked up my biggest brush and continued to move the wet paint around, showing me how I could rescue what I thought was my failure, as long as the paper remained wet. In her expert hands, wind-swept sand-dunes started to appear - just enough to give me confidence to continue the work.

One day with more practice perhaps I'll post images of my paintings on this blog. Meanwhile I learnt a lesson from this and not only about watercolour painting.


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