Loosening Up in the New Year!

PA Kaye Parmenter, discusses her new online painting course.

I am taking this opportunity to reach out to frustrated watercolourists. One of the most frequent questions I am asked by my students is “How can I loosen up my paintings?” There is a desire from many artists to try and “let go” with their painting, but the results often lead to frustration and disappointment.

For anyone who has fallen in love with watercolour, there is no absolutely no doubt that it is a truly magical and exciting medium. It allows spontaneity and expression, which can be a combination of both the artist’s skill and the unique ability of the pigments and washes to blend and merge. However, it can also be a deceptively tricky medium.

There can be an unconscious battle of wills between an unconfident artist and the scary washes as to who is in charge! The artist may nervously try to stand firm, needing to dominate and the watercolours can be overworked into submission!

There can be a point in a painting when, if you know the moment to put your brush down, the watercolour paints and washes will carry on working wonders on their own, unaided by fiddling and adding unnecessary detail.

There has to be a degree of confidence when mixing washes and applying the pigment to the paper – a delicate wash added to wet paper will dry so much paler and the resultant effect often leads to disappointment and frustration! Along with the desire to push the boundaries and experiment with watercolour, you can also gain confidence with repetition.

Constant practice will give you a feel for the medium – how much water to add to a wash, how much paint to add to a wet--‐in--‐wet wash and how certain pigments react. When you begin to understand how it works, you can then work on your relationship!

Allow it to be your friend and try not to control it too much, this will give the watercolour freedom to express its own personality! So, how can I help you?

I have a new online watercolour painting course which will encourage you to try some loose techniques. The course is delivered by email, in conjunction with access to a blog and online videos. It is suitable for all levels of ability and I am available at all times for help and advice. The level of participation in the course is completely optional.

The new year is a fantastic time to pick up your brushes and try something new! With a little help, who knows what you can achieve? For full details, please visit Kaye’s website www.kayeparmenter.co.uk

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