Dabbling in watercolour

I have begun Watercolour for Beginners classes at the WEA and, on the way, I walk through the Botanic Gardens looking for shapes and colours I might try to paint. The autumn colours are glorious and some of the vistas are grand. Others parts of the Gardens are more down-to-earth, so to speak, such as the shed in the Curator’s Garden.

I already had watercolour paints and a how-to book. My brushes weren’t the best, however, but I found a cheap set at The Warehouse after the first class and had fun using them today.

My efforts so far are a little disappointing, but I’m not too worried because I’m enjoying myself. The class is small and our talents are on a spectrum…continuum…sliding scale… My efforts today looked like something you’d find in a petrie dish.

I’ve been hoping in vain for the inspiration which led to my purchase of watercolour paints in the first place. Never mind, the techniques are interesting to experiment with.

I did some homework after the second class today. First, I wet the paper and attempted a ‘variegated wash’ like the one in the book. Instead, it morphed into a sort of memory of my train trip from Lisbon to Ēvora in 2018 (see post ‘Corker!’ June 2018) when I was enthralled by the acres of cork trees.

A much-loved childhood book was The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, illustrated by Robert Lawson, about a little Spanish bull who did not want to fight in the bull ring. Instead, he liked to sit under his favourite tree and smell the flowers.

His favourite tree was a cork tree. Can’t you tell!

There is a cork tree in the Botanic Gardens which I make a point of visiting, giving it a pat on its warm, textured bark.

Quercus suber

Am I ready for the ‘Monochromatic tonal value scale and 3D modelling’ which is the topic for our next class? The Gardens may be my muse after all and I’ll be perfectly content within my limitations, like Ferdinand.

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