I started to write a post about my experience over the weekend at Tom Hoffmann’s workshop in San Francisco. And then, I searched for my post from last year’s workshop and amazingly, I had almost the same things to say. Here is a link to that post.
But I’ll repeat this bit: A workshop with Tom is an amazing experience and you will learn a lot. Tom is a most generous teacher, especially in how much he shares of his process and his thinking through a piece. If you love watercolors, if you wish you painted fearlessly and in a way that really showcases the medium, then check out where Tom teaches and register for first workshop you can go to.
The waterfront at Mission Bay was a great place to start. What you see lends itself to what will become a mantra for the next few days: Seeing Big Shapes. We started out with a scene that’s relatively easy to paint. Only relatively, because seeing big shapes and working wet-in-wet are always challenges.
I did this first piece on a quarter sheet as a study, but I liked it better than the half sheet painting that followed it.
And if I was thinking “hmm, I can do this” that morning, then the afternoon was another story. A much more complex subject, a lovely tree in the background, and boats in the foreground and things got much more challenging. I did what I often do: one piece followed by a second one.
Sometimes, you look at a scene, and painting it is like putting together a puzzle. And when you try solving it, a whole other set of puzzles (which is a nice way of saying problems, perhaps?) show up in your painting, and then you try to solve those in a second piece, and then more puzzles turn up…