In June, 1993, I took my first watercolor class from Mary Muller at the Des Moines Art Center. It wasn't my first 'art' class - I had a very extensive background in creating art. But it was the first for this 'most difficult' of mediums. I remember it very vividly because this was the year of the Great Flood where Des Moines and the art center lost all their water for what seemed like months - but was actually much less. The center had to cancel first one class and then another and then gave up entirely.
A complete irony - watercolor without water!
Since then, I have learned from many watercolor artists and produced many, many watercolor paintings. But this story serves to illustrate the importance of water to the watercolor artist. Of course, the pigments are activated by water but beyond that the beauty of the medium is the way in which the colors interact with water. Watercolor can be a spontaneous, serendipitous joy! It can be sheer and flowing. Or it can be rich and vibrant. Or both.
And that is what we will be exploring in this class. And we will be building confidence so you will feel comfortable letting it flow!
Next week we will look at nature and complete exercises emphasizing ways the artist can use color to build form. Bring one full size sheet of watercolor paper that we will be breaking into smaller pieces. If you are using a block, bring some smaller pieces as I showed you in class last week. (approx. 5"x7").
Here are some resources you might like to check out:
www.cheapjoes.com American Journey watercolors
www.danielsmith.com a variety of 'new' watercolors including irridescents and interference as well as mineral based and granulating paints.
Coldsnow art store on University near the Drake Campus between 24th and 25th carries a complete supply of watercolor including Daniel Smith. They often have sales and a buyer rewards card.