Ive just returned from the weeks wonderful 5 day KINGFISHER ILLUSTRATION PAINTING WORKSHOP on the gorgeous GOLD COAST, and its time to catch my breath and reflect on our time together, learning all about bird illustration and watercolour painting. What a beautiful group it was, once again, to work with… Honestly, my students are the best! I am always so touched by their willingness to come and learn something new, their determination in the challenge, and their openness to just explore the process. I so enjoy seeing their thrill when theyve achieved something wonderful. It keeps me coming back every time as I feel so enriched too.

I wanted to share a little of the behind the scenes with you here, this clip looking into the process and students work for our first kingfisher, the Azure (Liz Bamber being the photographer) For that ONE person (possibly my fav student now!) who wanted to see pics of my very old dog (Mick is 18) in the welcome survey, Ive included him in my story, just for you too πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

Seriously though… this week we enjoyed a 5 day painting workshop of watercolour painting and kingfisher illustration, the second in my super popular Kingfisher painting workshop tour! The first was in Melbourne exploring the Sacred Kingfisher, this event also worked with the Azure Kingfisher and the next painting workshop will be over three days on the Sunshine Coast this June, most likely exploring the Forest Kingfisher… so three events doing a deep dive of three different kingfishers.

Gosh, arent they all just divine too! These have been such a wonderful painting subject to explore, presenting us with soooo much learning opportunity and Id say weve covered it all. Of course this isnt just relevant to kingfisher illustration, its the knowledge and process we need for all realistic watercolour painting, and bird illustration in general, so a perfect foundation for my students to build on from here in all directions.

With the gift of two extra days in this event, we explored two Kingfisher subjects which allowed us to discover even more about the subject, and about the various possible painting techniques and approaches for the challenge. This gives students a thorough understanding of the options and allows them to mix and match approaches with suitable techniques, their goals, what they enjoy most and with what feel suits and serves them best.

Within this we dabbled in wash, glaze, dry brush, creating relevant texture, as well as some fun switching things up a little, playing with wet in wet for a change too. The combination of all these things resulted in some truly wonderful results across the bird… ooops, across the board!

Two Kingfisher paintings in hand, our time together came to a close… and as I put it, the Gold Coast weather may have been grey but our lively little paintings definitely were not πŸ’™πŸ§‘ These events are far more than just the painting, its a chance to slow down, nurture yourself, explore something new, be creative, meet new people and enjoy new places and I saw, and enjoyed, plenty of that this week. Thank you ALL so much for being a part of this event, it was a pleasure and I hope to work with you all again soon.

Special thanks to Liz Bamber and Andrew Haysom for allowing us to work from their original photographic images for this event. We deeply appreciate you πŸ™πŸ»

If you do want to come along to any of my events, check out my painting workshop calendar and see if theres a good fit for you. https://heidiwillis.com.au/painting-workshops-and-events-calendar-for-2024/ This schedule can always be found from the HOME PAGE of my website, should you need to find it again down the track… Enjoy πŸ™πŸ»