I had the opportunity to attend an animal painting workshop with Kim Johnson who will be our visiting artist for the NPWS workshops this August. It was a relaxed and fun workshop where Kim focused on the process of painting with a little whimsy such as splashing colors as part of the initial wash step and then focusing on some of realistic aspects of her subject (a cat) but in a casual way. She spoke about the importance of the focal point of the composition to make your painting interesting to the viewer. She encourages using a minimal palette to achieve a cohesive painting, letting colors mix on the paper so as not to create mud, using value to enhance the painting, importance of negative painting, keeping backgrounds simple and using soft and hard edges among other things.
Kim Johnson Testimonial
Her actual approach to the class was to paint an entire painting during the workshop by demonstrating – in stages – while talking us through her process/ techniques then letting us tackle our painting as she gave one on one help before going on to the next portion. You’re time will be spent painting – so she has you come with your drawing on the paper ready to go and she doesn’t care how you get it on the paper. Your value sketch will be a black and white photo copy the size you want your painting and a color copy your color reference. Most were painting on quarter sheets – not blocks. Please look at her website gallery to see the compositions of her paintings and use that as a guide for composing your subject. You will see her backgrounds are uncluttered and she focuses on her subject.
I hope you take this opportunity to paint with Kim. It’s exciting to put your
watercolor skills to work on subject matter we’ve not had in recent
workshops. You’ll enjoy your day.
See you there! Kathy Benson