The Natural Landscape: Plein Air Watercolor in the Sierra Nevada

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General Description

First paint the forest, then the trees.

  In this all-levels course we will develop technical skills and awareness that serve to simplify the complex landscape. By starting with general statements, each of us will be able to add information by increments, stopping when the story is told to our satisfaction. This approach deliberately leaves as many doors open as possible, avoiding the common watercolor problem of over-painting the scene.

We will practice watching for opportunities to let the paint display its fluidity and transparency. Every painting has passages where it is important to paint carefully, and other moments when we can be carefree. We will practice seeing the difference in advance, so our work can be both casual and descriptive at the same time.

At each site we will begin with a discussion and a quick and simple study designed to address any lingering questions about value, color, wetness or composition. Each day will include guided step-by-step paintings and instructor demonstrations. We will practice solving technical problems as they arise, by first clearly articulating the nature of the issue.