Learning from the Experts:Two Watercolour Tutors

You can read all the books and spend years at college but sometimes a few days with the right person and a door will be unlocked …hopefully. There have been just two tutors who have really helped my watercolour practice.

Sue Archer
I have nothing but good things to say about Sue Archer’s course this week in Sarasota. She is such a good tutor. My head is now completely full of ideas and information. Her course is so well structured and no matter how good an artist you are, you would learn something, revise something, look at your own work in a different way and, as in my case, return to the much needed discipline of planning a piece of work.
Her large scale, deceptively simple images are full of luminous colour, elegant design and careful composition and on the course she explains every aspect of how this is achieved. ..trying to do it is another matter.
Visit her website http://www.archerville.com/ which she shares with her photographer husband and see this beautiful painting amongst many others.

Life is Just A…
29 x 41″

Sue Rubira
I had seen Sue Archer’s work on the internet and so had some idea of what her work was like but my first door opener was a completely lucky chance.
Sue was the tutor on a last minute decision holiday to Portugal some years ago now. With this Sue I discovered how to work with ‘wet’ transparent watercolour, having been very much a controlled dry brush painter. After a day of making mud, I gradually understood how to leave white paper for whites and how, ideally, to keep colours clean!..I still have my first tentative watercolours from that holiday.
Her work is very different from Sue Archer’s, her portraits are breathtaking in their handling, viewpoint and scale. She was the second prize winner in the prestigious Singer Friedlander watercolour competition in 2006 with this large 72cm wide x 91cm painting of her brother Geoff. This is from the Sunday Times September 3, 2006:
“I need to paint people who interest me in some way, otherwise it’s difficult to begin to understand them. This one’s of my brother, Geoff. I obviously know him very well and to that helps with the painting no end.” “I prefer to paint on a large scale, larger than life, and I like using very large brushes.” Find her work and step by step for some paintings here http://www.suerubira.co.uk/

Geoff 2006
21 x 30″

I continue with my leaves….