Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cornell Watercolor Course

The official name is Botanical Illustration II: Working With Watercolor.

This course, as did the previous, draws upon Bente Starcke King's Beautiful Botanicals. In this introductory week we are asked to skim the introduction, materials, and chapters 1 - 4. Although no longer in print, it's easily available at a reasonable price. I have a copy and especially enjoy the spiral binding. Cornell makes available scanned pages for students not wishing to invest in a book.

These books, all in my library, are listed as additional resources:
  • Painting Plant Portraits: A Step-by-Step Guide by Keith West
  • How To Draw Plants: The Techniques of Botanical Illustration by Keith West
  • Painting Flowers in Watercolour: A Naturalist Approach by Coral G. Guest

It's been three months since the last course ended. I went back over my posts to remind myself where I've been all this time--calligraphy, illuminations, zoomorphics, color charts, robins, skunk cabbage, and some hellish loose w/c attempts. A good range of topics, even if some were ever so briefly touched upon. I think it is the Celtic art that I found most endearing and I will want to slide back into that later this year. Getting back to the course...

Here are the weekly lessons topics:
  • Lesson 1: Brush Care, Preparing Paper, Getting to Know Color
  • Lesson 2: Applying a Wash
  • Lesson 3: Other Helpful Watercolor Techniques: continuing to become confident with brush, paint and water.
  • Lesson 4: Painting in Watercolor: Keep it Simple to Begin With
  • Lesson 5: Progressing Toward More Complexity
  • Lesson 6: Pulling it All Together
Just as during the previous course, this blog will now shift focus to daily updates on what's happening with my assignments. At this time I have in mind the thought of using of local vines as drawing and painting specimens. They may not meet the needs of all flower painting exercises. We'll see as I go along. I've quite a collection of photographs on this subject that need to be collated. Also, I figure I can get out and sketch in the field to get a feel for all this. As you can see from the lesson plan, it will be weeks before painting turns to actual subjects.

There. That's the plan! Naturally subject to change, but a start that I am comfortable and excited with. :-)


  1. And you were worried that you might not be able to fill the void between your classes! Look at all you have learned and experienced in these interim months! (actually I find it very hard to believe it's been three whole months- good grief where did the time go?)
    All of this exploring will help you on your new journey. I'm excited to see where it all leads you. I hope this next class continues to inspire!
    ~ gretchen

  2. It's hard to believe where six months has taken me! What's in store for the next six? :-)