Watercolour painting & Oil painting CPD 2015 – Matthew Krishanu

Matthew Krishnanu ran two painting workshops, watercolour and oil to our artist teachers across Tower Hamlets – venue Central Foundation Girls’ school. Our artist teachers were introduced to a range of skills to further develop personal practice and develop and enhance the skills of their learners. They were introduced to a range of contemporary artists to demonstrate the range of practices artist use.

For more information about Matthew Krishanu and his practice visit his website at http://www.matthewkrishanu.com

Workshop 1: Introduction to Watercolour – 11th February -4-6pm

He introduced a range of techniques using watercolour and Gouache and demonstrated the differences between the the mediums.

With watercolours generally it is best to work with the lightest tones first, putting only the deepest washes later. Watercolour whites are very weak, and have very little covering power. Essentially it is the white of the paper that creates ‘light’ in a watercolour paper, with the lightest parts of a painting having the thinnest of washes. Frequently patches of the paper surface show through on a watercolour paper

Watercolour is mainly used in thin transparent layers that are built up slowly over time – with the
paint drying between each layer.

Gouache shares many of the properties and characteristics of watercolour. The main difference is
that it can be used opaquely, and in flat areas of colour rather than only in thin washes. Gouache is
often used by designers and illustrators, as its colours reproduce particularly well, and allow for a
range of applications – from thin washes to opaque blocks of colour.
White in gouache is much stronger than in watercolour and can be used opaquely (rather than
relying on the white of the paper ground for light).

Paper surfaces are either cold pressed (and therefore textured) or hot pressed flat and smooth. The thicker the paper (180gsm +), the less it will buckle. Stretching paper prevents it from ‘buckling’ when wet. Watercolour paper is often already stretched and coated for
watercolour painting.

Workshop 2: Introduction to Oil Painting – 25th February 2015 – 4-6pm

An introduction to oils – colour mixing

Oil paint easily turns to ‘mud’. If too many colours mix together then the result is grey/brown paint.
This particularly happens with oils (as opposed to acrylics) because they take a long time to dry, and so colours layered on top of each other in one sitting will merge together. Ideally mix 2-3 colours together as a maximum. Wait until the previous layer is dry, or simply ‘scrub’ away
earlier layers in wet oil paint with a solvent and rag/paper towel.

A key principle in oil painting is ‘thick over thin’. Initial layers need to be thinner
(more thinned with solvent) than subsequent layers of paint to prevent the thicker layers from
cracking. The thicker layers should have more oil paint and medium, with less solvent.

First layer of paint could be just with a small amount of oil paint, and solvent.
In subsequent layers, add a medium, and gradually increase the amount of medium in the mix.
E.g. next layer may have oil paint with 20% medium mixed with the solvent. Following layers would
have progressively more medium mixed with the solvent (for a rich oily finish).
The medium and solvent can be mixed together as a solution rather than used ‘neat’. This helps
keep an even sheen over the paint surface, avoiding patches of gloss (medium rich), and matte
(solvent heavy) areas in the painting.
If the final layer of a painting has too little oil (medium) content the colours can ‘sink’ and look dull.