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.