Wash day on Old Church Rd.Posted: May 24, 2012
My training in watercolour has always been to plan the composition first before painting and that is what I will be working on with the students in the workshops that I will be teaching this summer in Montreal, Paris and Portland. That idea even carries over to my small sketches because what are these, really, but little paintings? One of the compositional ideas that is important is to choose a dominant direction in the painting and then to have some element that is a contrast or foil for it. That direction can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. In this sketch vertical is the dominant direction, firstly by the shape of the paper itself and secondly by those strong trees that echo the shape of the paper and that are darker than the rest of the shapes in the sketch. The contrast? The horizontal string of wash on the line.