John Salminen watercolor workshop- finished painting

Last month I attended the John Salminen watercolor workshop at the Arts of the Albemarle in historic Elizabeth City, NC.  It was a great workshop led by the renowned watercolor painter.  I, and the other participants in the workshop, spent the entire week working on one painting.

Generally, I paint loose and fast.  Working in a slow and methodical manner is, well, not me.  That is why I chose to take John’s class.  Stepping out of my comfort zone would be a learning experience.

We first began with a detailed drawing on full size Arches 300 lb watercolor paper (not a paper nor size I typically use).  I had problems finishing the painting when I returned from the workshop because my kitchen table is barely big enough to hold the paper, much less my water bowl and palette.

The subject matter of the painting is the Arch of Santa Catarina in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Antigua, Guatemala.  My photo reference was a slide I shot years ago.

Once the initial drawing was completed, we used masking tape to cover protected areas.  Cutting around the tape protects the area from paint, though most of these areas would have paint applied eventually.  It just prevents mud from happening by covering areas with too many glazes.

My first washes on the paper were applied with assistance from John, expertly talking me through blending wet colors with the use of a hake brush.

My watercolor palette at the end of the third day of painting:

I am cheap.  I use the lid and palette bottom for mixing colors.  I just have to make sure the top is dry before putting it on.

Unfortunately, I did not take more progression shots of my painting.  Wish I had, but I was busy concentrating and talking (face it, I can’t be quiet for more than 10 minutes, it’s how I relieve stress). 🙂

The finished watercolor:

I darkened the sky and mountain, finished the right-hand side, and slightly modified the shadow being cast by the foreground light.

Materials used:

water (duh)

Arches 300 lb paper

mouth atomizer

Winsor Newton watercolor paints

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Snap knifes

Crappy masking tape that left a residue on the paper that made it really, really hard to apply paint once removed (don’t buy the cheap stuff)

Hake brush

Regular brushes

What a fun week.  Check out Eng Pua’s blog about the workshop.  Eng was gracious enough  to photograph the final critique of the participants’ paintings.


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