Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Workshop with David Lobenberg

On Saturday, I took a one day workshop with David Lobenberg at the University Art on Maconi and Fulton, Sacramento.  Although I don't know David or his work, I was intrigued when I received the flyer for the workshop because it was about watercolor on pen and ink sketches using some unusual surfaces.  I haven't painted watercolors in 30 years or more and I've been thinking about trying it once again.  David's workshop gave me the excuse to purchase some basic w/c supplies.

David with some of his work behind him. 

 Using bamboo and reed "pens" we drew (traced) some portraits onto both watercolor paper (140# cold pressed) and on Tyvek, a construction paper with some unusual applications for watercolor.  We used both india ink and an acrylic ink for sketching.  I enjoyed the unpredictable line work that results from using the bamboo and reed pens. 

ink on w/c paper with washes
  First David had us ink some smaller heads and then make value studies with a single color.  He cautioned not to try to "paint" too much, to let the ink do the work.  I did these two studies.  Although I understand the principle of w/c washes, I found myself wanting to draw with the brush ala oil painting.  I had to try to learn to simply wash in the color. 

ink and w/c on tyvek paper about 11 x 14

Then David had us ink a small head onto tyvek.  This is not a material meant for art use.  It has a very impervious surface that resists water.  It does stain, but the color lays on top, giving the opportunity to scrub out sections or lift color with a dry brush.  The technique is unpredictible and a little hard to get used to.....but it can have  interesting results. 
Ink and watercolor on tyvek paper about 18x24

Finally we did a larger ink and w/c portrait on tyvek.  I want to put some glazes on this, which I think the tyvek will allow nicely.  The entire face is in shade with light falling only on the tip of the nose and around the mouth area.

I'm not sure I would try tyvek least not until I have some more conventional w/c under my belt...but I did enjoy the workshop and trying some new things.  I also reacquainted myself with an old friend.  I look forward to more watercolor painting soon.


  1. Wow Bruce you did a great job in David's class. Your drawings that you lay in for oil paintings are beautiful and it is nice to see your watercolor work.

  2. Hi Ruth! Thanks for the comments. The class was fun...I can't remember when I last sketched in ink, but I enjoyed it. David's class was good for me because it forced me to try a few new things. I get in a rut way too easy!

  3. wonderful paintings, Bruce. A great blog.

  4. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)