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Workshop: A Magical Forest with David R Smith

Join watercolour artist David R.Smith for this journey into painting a 'magical forest'. A 2-3 hour workshop, broadcast live from Minnesota on 22 July 2021. Visit our video library after the event to purchase or visit David's shop here.


Scroll down for reference photos and recommended materials

In this magical forest workshop, David will walk you through the impression of trees, rocks, and water by beginning with a wet-on-wet wash. He will touch on many techniques including adding textures with spattered water, paint, salt and negative painting for the layering of the trees.

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Example painting

Another reference:


Materials Top-Up

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Recommended materials

• PAPER: 140lb Cold Press Paper (Arches, Fabriano Artistico, Hahnemuhle, etc.). I’ll paint on either a 11x15” size or 7 ½ x 11” size… your choice.

Craftsmart/MonaLisa Graphite Paper or Loew Cornell Gray Transfer Paper (can buy at Michaels art & craft store, JoAnn Fabric, or online) and a colored ball-point pen (red works well)

• PAINTS: Have your favourites available along with some form of the primaries: yellow, red, blue, and a dark (such as indigo or payne’s gray). My favourite colours for rocks are: Quinacridone Gold, Cobalt Blue, Indigo. My favourite colours for the trees are: a yellow such as Winsor Lemon or Yellow Ochre, a red such as Winsor Red or Alizarin Crimson, cobalt blue, and indigo.

On my palette: Winsor Lemon or Bismuth Vanadate Yellow (QoR), Cadmium Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Quinacridone Gold, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Thalo Blue, Cobalt Teal (or Turquoise), Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Red or Joe’s Red, Opera (Holbein), Viridian, Sap Green, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Burnt Umber, Dioxazine Purple, Indigo, Payne’s Gray, and White Gouache.

• BRUSHES: A variety of rounds and flats will probably work fine. If you’re curious, I typically use a variety of Synthetic Brushes: Escoda Round (Perla) size 12. Faux Squirrel 1827 Liner Aux. Reservoir size 12 (Dynasty). A 1.5” Flat Brush (Miller’s Pseudo Sable Mottler), and a variety of large rounds and mops. There are many options. A couple of my favourites are the Princeton Aqua Elite Quill #6 or the Escoda Prado #16. Brushes for lifting: #4 & #16 Fritch Scrubber (Cheap Joe) and the #2 Artisan Short Flat/Bright long handled (Winsor & Newton). Optional: Magic Eraser. • OTHER: Palette, water container, masking tape, clips, towels, Kleenex, large spray bottle, hair dryer, pencil/eraser, etc. Paint Board: The board dimensions should be larger than the sheet of paper. For part of the process, we will work at a slant. So, a table easel may come in handy or you may simply prop one end of your painting board up on a tissue box or something. Optional but super handy: White Pastel Pencil, Table Salt


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