English artist Edward Wesson‘s watercolours are known for their simplicity, boldness and great brushwork — and he is the master painter who will be inspiring you in Mike Willdridge’s next interactive, online session with the Watermill, this Thursday. As you paint along with Mike, he will show you, in several stages, how great paintings like Wesson’s can be achieved.
Mike says: “Wesson returned, not only to the same subject time and time again but, often to the very same spot – a low bank of trees. Wesson painted these trees in all four seasons.” He adds: “I’ve used one of his paintings of a similar subject (above) but made in another season as a source image. My aim, in my coming session, is to help you turn this Autumn scene into a snowy winter painting.”
Mike says: “You learn to paint by painting and this is a wonderful opportunity to practice your washes, consider values and, of course, to brush-up your brushstrokes.”
Mike will take you through the creative process step-by-step, brushstroke by brushstroke, as you learn the secrets of watercolours and paint along, enjoying the company online of an international group of like-minded people. These are the stages that you will go through with Mike to create a watercolour in the steps of the master:
Drawing and Composition. This step is about drawing whatever one feels is necessary to proceed to the next step. In this scene, there’s not much drawing needed.And there is no real need for you to make a preliminary drawing before the session.
Washes. Again, a simple stage here but still an important one as it helps define the atmosphere of the painting – in this case, a soft, cold, flat Winter light.
Colours and shadows. I always find it difficult to exactly define this step, especially as it often moves quickly into the next and final step. Here I’ve painted much of the distance, some of the warmer colours in the trees and bushes and nearly all the shadows cast on to the snow.
Details. It’s this final step that always pulls the painting together. In this case, it was mostly the introduction of darker colours.
Unlike many online painting tutors, Mike will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Mike shows you, step-by-step. He will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you’ve been given a little time to catch up, Mike will move onto the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last about three hours. There is no need for any pre-drawing.
When you register for the session, you will be asked for a donation. Some people ask how much this should be. It is up to you, but we do suggest a minimum donation of £20 GBP (English pounds). Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.
Once you have registered you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. Please note that the start time is 3:30pm European time, that is, 2:3opm (UK time, GMT). Please check the precise starting time in your own time zone compared with Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
The second link is where you will find the Edward Wesson reference photographs that you will paint, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.
After the event, you are invited to add your painting to the private gallery, where you will be able to view the same scene uploaded by your fellow painters on Zoom. In addition, we will send you a link to a video that will enable to you revisit Mike’s step-by-step teaching. To join the session please click here.
To join the session please click here.
You can find out more about Mike’s style of teaching online by watching the edited video below from a Zoom session last year, hosted by The Watermill at Posara: please just click here.
When you’ve painted with Mike online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy this Summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Mike’s week-long course, from Saturday 3 September to Saturday, 10 September 2022, by clicking here.