A Watercolour Workshop
JMW Turner is arguably Britain’s best known painter. Many artists have been inspired by his works, not only the famous oils found in collections worldwide, but also his simpler watercolours and sketches.
Turner is known to have spent time in the Tamar Valley, and some of his sketches have been identified as portraying “Endsleigh Cottage”. Although from a viewpoint which no longer gives the same clear views of the house, there is little doubt of the subject.
So in this workshop, which is suitable for beginners and those who want to improve their watercolours, we will take inspiration from the master, and work using some of the materials and techniques which we can learn from him.
In the morning we will, depending on the weather, either sketch around the grounds, or undertake a few exercises to get used to his techniques. Then in the afternoon we will paint using one of his watercolour sketches of Venice as our reference material.
I prefer tube paints of artists quality for a variety of reasons, but bring what you have. Suggested colours available to Turner, and which most of you will probably have are:
Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Red, Lemon Yellow, Cerulean Blue, Indian or Light Red, Naples Yellow, French Ultramarine, Alizarin Crimson, Chrome Yellow, Prussian Blue, Cad. Yellow Deep or Orange, Raw Umber, White Gouache, Paynes Grey, Burnt Umber, (Winsor Violet), Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna or Yellow Ochre.
Turners brushes were of course of natural materials such as badger hair, squirrel hair and sable. Good synthetic brushes are available now with similar handling properties. I would suggest a wash brush, (either flat or mop) round brushes Nos 6, 8, 10 and a rigger or sword liner.