Paint sun-drenched Italian façades and rooftops online with Randy

In his next online, interactive painting session, American watercolourist Randy Hale shows how to paint two classic features of Tuscan architecture. He says: “Watercolour is a perfect medium to capture the patina we find in the sun-drenched stucco façades and clay rooftops of the houses of Tuscany, Italy.

“But a watercolour painting really sings when we present an impression instead of a literal rendition.”

Randy‘s next session is on Thursday 8 April and you can find out more and register by clicking here. Please note that the starting time slightly different from our usual Thursdays: the session begins at 5 pm Italian time, 4 pm UK time. Of course this may be too early in the morning, all in the middle of the night, depending on where you live, but don’t forget if you register you will receive an edited video of the demonstration for you to paint along in your own time.

In this workshop class Randy will work from a photo taken in the medieval centre of the magical Tuscan city of Lucca. The camera, however, probably captures too much detail. Randy says: “If we take our cues from shape instead of detail, and pay attention to those lush blends of colour, where light illuminates certain surfaces and creates shadows across other surfaces – a composition will emerge that captures an emotional response.”

Randy’s demonstration picture of the scene (above) certainly ‘sings’. In contrast, here is the original photo:

The photo is valuable in helping with our colour choices. Randy says: “For our palette choices, we’ll take our cues from local colour indicated in the photo, but we can take liberties – making some more saturated and bold, while others remain subtle, lighter in value, and transparent. The idea is to let building surfaces become fairly fluid, allowing “local” colour choices to mix & mingle naturally on the paper.”

Unlike many online painting programmes, Randy’s will not expect you to ‘look over his shoulder’ for a long demonstration, and perhaps be allowed to ask the odd question or two. No, you will be painting along at more or less the same time, trying out the watercolour techniques that Randy has shown you, step-by-step. He will demonstrate some basic techniques for only a few minutes before you start painting the same subject at home. Then, after you have had your turn, Randy will move onto the next part of the process. Lois Breckon from The Watermill at Posara will be on hand during the session to feed your questions. The session will last a couple of hours.

When you register for the session you will be asked for a donation. People often ask how much is acceptable. Our answer? “It’s like a Scottish house dram of whisky: it neither offends the guest nor the host!” But the most important thing is to donate whatever makes you feel comfortable. Our Zoom painting demonstrations do take quite a bit of time in preparation and administration and your support is very much appreciated. With your generosity we can plan and run further sessions and, more importantly, provide a regular meeting place for creativity, camaraderie and fun. We hope that you enjoy the international, online painting community that we have created.

Once you have registered you will be provided with two links. The first is the Zoom link for you to join the session. Please note that the start time is 4pm (UK time). The second link is where you will find the photograph that you will paint, an outline drawing, a practice painting, Randy’s notes, and a list of equipment and colours for your palette.

Randy’s outline drawing of the scene.

After the event, you are invited to email us with your painting to add to our on-line gallery. In addition, we will send you a link to a edited video of the session that will enable to you revisit Randy’s step-by-step teaching, to paint along in your own time. That link to register again: just click here.

When you have painted with Randy online, why not join him for real at the Watermill in Tuscany Italy next summer? We would love to welcome you to the Watermill. You can find more details of Randy’s week-long course, 21 to 28 August 2021, here.

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