Line and Wash Worksop

Line and Wash Worksop

In June I attended a great two-day workshop at the Art league School in Alexandria, Virginia. The workshop was lead by a Peter Ulrich, A wonderful artist, a great teacher and a good friend.

The purpose of the workshop was to study the use of line as a compositional element in watercolor painting. Shape is usually the most easily understood element of composition. The purpose of this class was to focus on the use of line elements with the addition of watercolor washes to create those shapes in a new way.

The Class was made up of over 20 artists of all varying skill ranges and ages. Some had only recently begun painting watercolor and others had been painting for many years. The two day workshop was divided into four parts. The first day was devoted primarily to Pen and Ink. In the morning we worked with fine point Sharpies and watercolor wash, in the afternoon we moved to using india ink and a cut bamboo pen to apply the ink in a broader, more expressive way.

The following day we incorporated other tools to help define the line work in our watercolors and to stretch the possibilities of our work. These included, crayon, watercolor pencils and oil and soft pastels along with our pen and ink and watercolor. The final session was dedicated to creating travel logs and small, easy to carry kits for painting while on vacation. Each day ended with a critique of our work with everyone helping each other.

The art league offers classes throughout the year in just about any artistic field you could want to explore as well as more directed workshops each season. If you live in the DC area you owe it to yourself to visit and consider taking a class or a workshop.

Images 1 & 2 Peter Ulrich instructing the class in creating a stronger use of line in watercolor by adding ink to a watercolor wash.

Image 3 My First attempt at adding watercolor wash to a pen and ink sketch

Image 4 our afternoon critique shows the wide variety of skill levels and subject matter that was approached by the class.

Images 5 & 6 examples of the Travel journals that Peter has kept from his trip for may years and his small travel paint kit that he takes with him wherever he goes.

Image 7 Hard Day at work. This painting of a fly fisherman incorporates several techniques from the weekend. The Rocks were created with India ink and a cut bamboo pen. The Pines in the background are both color pencil and watercolor. The fisherman and his line was done with Sharpie, watercolor and watercolor pencils.

Image 8 Maine Coast was created with a little of everything we learned. Ink was used to create the rock shapes, White oil pastel was used as a resist for the form of the wave. The far pines are ink, watercolor pencil and watercolor and the grass in the middle is both watercolor and pastels.

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