Many of us here in the Shuswap had the privilege of attending a watercolour painting workshop run by Juve Furtado at the Blind Bay Hall this last weekend. If you haven’t seen Juve’s
work yet, you have to check out his website. http://juvefurtado.com His luminous lighted paintings and textured backgrounds create some beautiful watercolour paintings that are striking.
I am not a watercolour artist, as a matter of fact, I have never painted with watercolours, so although I knew this may be a challenge, I was excited to explore his techniques. Juve used to be a teacher, so we were lucky to have an instructor that really knew how to teach as well as paint, because they don’t always go hand in hand.
This technique requires quite a bit of planning upfront so you need to draw out your composition on the watercolour paper and add masking wherever you would like “white or very light” areas on the painting. Watercolour masking is a liquid that once applied turns gum like but is then removable by rubbing leaving the white watercolour paper showing through.
His backgrounds often start off using an indirect painting method called paint pourings.
He makes it look easy; it’s not. But the trick is to keep the canvas wet and work in sections focusing on where you want your strongest colors and manipulating the pouring to get you the tones you are looking for. Several pourings are completed using primary colors starting with lightest in places where you want backgrounds to be “lit” and moving towards darkest usually at the furtherest end of the paintings.
Once the pourings are complete, you can add some “splatter” by tapping on a loaded paint brush onto a wet canvas to provide some texture in the background giving the essence of foliage and trees. Then “direct painting”, using brushes to add in your trees, objects, etc that are part of your composition. You can soften any areas around the masking at this point as well by “brushing” the paint using a toothbrush or firmer bristle brush after the paint has been dampened. Finally, you remove the masking, where often the painting really begins to shine, and lightly tone down the white masking areas to shade the snow or add colour to other masked areas.
I managed between working on my painting to catch a few of the artist’s work in progress paintings. Think we captured the “essence” of the technique…now practice to get better at it!
Thanks Juve for the great workshop. I dreamt in watercolour last night!