Artworks by Mary Townsend, Watercolor Academy student

Watercolor Academy

Feedback and watercolors from Mary Townsend

Dear Academy Tutors,

For the last 10 weeks I've been slowly working my way through the Watercolour Academy lessons and thoroughly enjoying them. The video demonstrations are brilliant!

I decided it was time to "bite the bullet" and submit 2 of my course paintings for critique.

Artworks by Mary Townsend, Watercolor Academy student

I'm looking at the principles of composition at the moment and beginning to realise I'm particularly weak in that area. Any feedback related to that topic would be especially appreciated at this time.

I have now started making thumbnail sketches prior to painting and that is beginning to help, I think. However, these simple thumbnails have also made me wonder if I'm adding too much detail in my finished paintings which may also be having a negative impact on the composition.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Kindest regards
Mary Townsend

Artworks by Mary Townsend, Watercolor Academy student

Feedback from Vladimir London, Watercolor Academy tutor

Dear Mary,

Thank you very much for your wonderful watercolors. I really like your artworks, they demonstrate that you handle difficult tasks well and solve various creative problems thoughtfully and methodically. Also, thank you for your kind words about the Watercolor Academy course.

It is very good that you make preliminary sketches; this is the right way to work on composition and colors. I particularly like the color gamut in your artworks. Your sense of cold and warm color-balance is very good. The only thing that you may want to improve is to avoid using masking fluid for depicting reflections on water. Of course, this is a personal taste, but in general, the less masking you use, the more professional your artwork would appear.

The amount of detail you would like to add is up to you. There is no right or wrong answer here. If your creative task is to describe in detail what you want to show, then you are doing fine. At the same time, should you leave some places less described, this would give some room for a spectator to imagine what one wants to see in your work of art. You may work in detail on the focal point of your composition and leave other areas more sketchy. This also works well together with the aerial perspective.

Regarding the composition, I'm sure you've found the video lesson on this topic helpful and can now make numerous preliminary drawings, working on your ideas and "constructing" the layout that tells the story you want to tell. When you are unsure about the placement of some objects, you may check the proportions by applying the golden ratio. Such "calculated" approach will help you to fine-tune your composition, so it would look more pleasing, balanced and attractive. There is no one rule that can make a great composition. This is what makes an artist unique - your own vision of how an artwork should be composed. This is what professional fine artists work on for their entire life. There is what other people called "talent".

Once again, thank you for your beautiful artworks.

I wish you to achieve your creative success.

Kind regards,
Vladimir London

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