The King

Kingfishers workshop:

Firstly a huge thank you to the wonderful students for making the Kingfishers and Herons workshop so rewarding from a tutors perspective.

To see everyone absorbed and keen to experiment with wet-in-wet watercolour was fabulous.  There was one image that I didn’t have time to demonstrate on the day and I did promise that I would paint at a later stage and share my results – here it is, together with some notes:

  1.  Composition – note how I have positioned the kingfisher fairly centrally on the paper.  Although I was tempted to place him low on the paper to show the upward movement,   the central position gave me scope to allow for a reflection and lots of splashes.
  2. Preparation – I made masking fluid dots from a pot and also lines with the pen – leave to dry thoroughly before starting to paint.
  3. Be brave with colours.  as well as the obvious colours of turquoise and orange, I used indigo and raw sienna.  There are no rules, don’t be afraid to experiment with colour.
  4. I started with the eye as demonstrated in the workshop and then laid a foundation wash – gentle in colour around the kingfisher and body although I did allow myself to be bolder with the water in the first application of paint.
  5. Leave to dry and then add detail to head, winds and body.
  6. I felt legs would distract from the image, so I have deliberately lost them in the water splashes.


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