Here are some of Barbara's quick notes on Richard's approach to watercolour art:
Richard's philosophy on brushes is don't look after your brushes!
Well that's unusual.
He says that old brushes with irregular
hair lengths are wonderful, and that the worst brushes make the best paintings.
Often the irregular hairs paint unexpected things, and watercolour is nothing if not expecting the unexpected.
If his results are anything to go by, then there must be some truth there!
Richard starts a landscape by thoroughly wetting the sky area of 638gsm heavy rough Saunders Waterford paper. He uses a big flat brush and, loose and fast, and all in the same direction, brushes in his colours - don't ask what colour! You'll be told he doesn't know.
For lifting out, never use paper towel or tissue. Use a damp brush while the paint is still wet.
When you're stuck, just put in an area of contrast - some light against dark, and this should get you going in a new direction.
When painting water (pond, river, etc) or a road, paint the sides/banks and leave the water/tar. Then do this last, leaving plenty of white paper.
When it comes to trees, start three-quarters of the way down and build up the foliage a
nd down the trunk, making one side dark and also the base. Start leafless trees at the base.
Make the rough of the paper and the side of the brush work for you, keeping irregular tree shapes (no lollipops please).
If you have more than one tree, work on all trees at the same time. Vary the intervals between them or their trunks, and vary heights, shapes and edges.
Just as the skies are wet in wet, so the land is wet on dry, leaving plenty of white paper. Richard starts with his large flat brush, and then as he works smaller, so he reduces to a large round brush, and finally for detail, branches & twigs etc., he has a rigger.
In the two hours that he demonstrated during the morning, Richard painted two traditional landscapes and two abstract landscapes.
Both the afternoon and the morning demos were very well attended - in fact we were almost bursting at the seams!
It was a lovely day and Johannesbug branch and WSSA head office thank Richard Rennie (who was one the the first members of our prestigious society) for his sponsorship and generous contribution of his time to present the demonstrations for our members.