Wash day on Old Church Rd.

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.

Wash Day

7 Comments on “Wash day on Old Church Rd.”

  1. Jane Hannah says:

    Sounds good Shari 😉


  2. Vicky says:

    Thanks for the mini-lesson. It was fun to scroll down and come to the colorful wash line near the bottom of the page.


  3. Roxane Majeau says:


    I am blown away by this article I read in the Gazette today. What a discovery, and what an inspired artist you are! I’ll be following your journey(s) for sure. Please keep at it!



  4. Gary Osmond says:

    Shari, i just read Saturdays Gazette and went online, your sketches are unbelievable, the detail is quite extraordinary. I will start my day by viewing your blog, the sketches are inspirational, thanks for sharing.


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