Simple Solutions for a Complex Scene
A Shari Blaukopf online sketching and painting course
I love painting boats, but this course is not really about that. It’s about simplifying a complex scene. So, while boats and their reflections are our ostensible subject, I’ll be sharing my tips and techniques for making visual sense from any scene of complexity.
The scene I’ve chosen for this course is one I’ve painted often — sailboats docked at the yacht club in Pointe Claire Village, on the shores of Lac St. Louis, near where I live. I often paint this scene from a shady spot in an adjacent park, which has a good view of the boats, masts and reflections on the water. The first time I tried painting this scene, I didn’t know where to begin — and the results reflected my struggles! But after returning to this favourite spot again and again, I figured out a process for simplifying both the drawing and the painting. It’s a process you can apply to any complex scene, from a busy street, to a cityscape, to a crowded market.
Get on board!
In Sketching Boats: Simple Solutions for a Complex Scene, you’ll join me as I analyze the scene, plan the composition using a value sketch, and then create a full pencil drawing. I’ll introduce the triad of primary colours we’ll be using, and show you how you can obtain a rich and varied palette with just those primaries. From there, we’ll paint the scene in seven steps, going from the largest shapes to the smallest ones — and, not coincidentally, from my largest brush to my smallest rigger.
I’ll give you the same references image as I’m using, so you’ll be able to draw and paint right along. Or watch first and paint later. When you’re done, you’ll feel confident going out on location to sketch, armed with some effective techniques for tackling even the most complex scene.
If you love to sketch in watercolour and want a step-by-step process for simplifying a complex scene, this course is for you. In this class you'll learn how to:
- Use pattern and repetition to strengthen your composition
- Plan lights and darks before you put brush to paper
- Use a limited palette of pigments to enhance colour harmony in your sketch
- Create visual focus with colour, contrast and value
- Work from larger shapes (and brushes!) to smaller ones
This course includes:
- Full-length video demonstrations that illustrate key concepts
- A downloadable reference image plus a bonus image, so you can practice what you've learned!
- A detailed list of materials
- A bonus handout that illustrates my most effective tips for simplifying a complex scene
- A comments section for each lesson where you can ask questions and post your finished sketches