Watercolor Techniques Workshop: Facing the Blank Page with Judi Betts, AWS

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 — MPS Art Therapy Department Studio


Ms. Betts:

  • Spent 25 years teaching art in public schools in Louisiana.
  • Retired in the 1980’s and has since then traveled extensively conducting teaching workshops in U.S. and abroad.
  • Describes her work as ‘Creative Realism,’ with realistic subject matter and expressive color.
  • Developed ‘Aquagami’ technique (watercolor + origami/collage/folding paper exercises).

Watercolor Technique/Problem #1:

  • Divide paper (not in half) using pencil and ruler parallel to top and bottom of page (not in half, not a square).
  • Divide again parallel to side (not in half, not a square, don’t repeat a measure).
  • LIGHTLY paint each rectangle a different color (except purple).
  • Allow paint to dry.
  • Pencil in subject matter.
  • In each color box, paint around subject using complementary color (Orange-Blue/Red-Green/Yellow-Purple/etc).
  • Paint slowly, building up layers of color.

Watercolor Technique/Problem #2: Same steps as Problem #1, only use curved lines instead.

Tips + Advice:

  • Basic shapes used in art-making: Circle/Triangle/Rectangle.
  • Use a sketchbook; watercolors are portable and good for travel.
  • RE working with printers: it’s good to be friends with a printer!
  • Matisse knew when to stop painting.
  • Stand up while you’re painting.
  • Color comes first, then subject matter.
  • It’s o.k. to keep the pencil lines on the paper; they are like thread in clothing.
  • Paint lightly.
  • Let the paint dry.
  • Don’t use a lot of water.
  • Work on more than one painting at a time.
  • Be patient.

More info: Xtraordinary Art

‘Pride of Peru’, watercolor, 22 x 32″


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