Open Flowers ~ Watercolour Painting Workshop ~ Grafton 2017

‘Open Flowers’ ~ Watercolour Painting Workshop ~ Grafton NSW, 2017

And so this week brings a close to yet another wonderful year of Grafton painting workshops already! Who can believe it where the time goes, but my 6th event teaching with Fay Boyd’s Art School proved to be another challenging but wonderful week of painting, learning and of time with so many wonderful people.

The ‘Open Flowers’ watercolour painting workshop this year was an exciting one that certainly kept us very busy in both body and mind. Of course, creating beautiful flower centres is so critical to the success of botanical illustrations, and this can be especially difficult to get a handle on in the watercolour medium too. With many of our botanical subjects presenting themselves with such intricate details, tiny delicate features, light detailing over dark backgrounds, and technically difficult elements to tackle, we took this opportunity for a closer look at some of the many ways to approach this aspect of botanical painting successfully.

Working in washes, glazes and a little dry brushing, we considered different painting approaches to achieve a range of results, and we also played with masking fluid for the first time in some earnest too. Yes, its horrid stuff, but it can be used well with a plan! Our subjects for this workshop was working in layers and tonal studies of Lotus, Flannel Flowers working in whites, a gorgeous multi coloured Zinnia with its difficult yellow inner flowers to capture, and a brilliant red poppy, exploring rich dynamic colour, fine stamen features and its distinctive textures at the other end of the ‘brave’ scale.

heidi willis botanical art_painting workshop

Its not an easy thing, this painting business… but what i REALLY admired so much in this group was your perseverance, your focus and determination to stick with it, to push through to new ground and to practice until the concepts began to gel. This is the greatest gift you can give yourself when learning, just to persevere, and you were all shining stars on that front! Its all about knowledge, building our watercolour painting skills and techniques, and finding some clear direction and strategy so that you can continue to grow this successfully for yourselves. Amongst the learning and painting, we also had a whole lot of fun together… So thank you to a wonderful group for such a wonderful painting week!

I know Ill be seeing many of you back in Grafton next year as I believe the class is almost full already, but please let Fay Boyd know if youd like to join us as places do tend to book out very fast. I do have a small number of fabulous opportunities available in other workshops open at the minute including 5 days for each at Tyalgum NSW and Cradle Mountain TAS, so give them all some thought and let us know if one feels right for you.

I look forward to seeing you all again very soon. Happy painting to you all ~ Heidi