“I don’t think the joy of mixing and creating new colours ever really goes away from when we are children; it is just something that we forget about as adults,” says Laura Ribbons, who will begin her online contemporary watercolour painting workshop by introducing students to colour mixing. “It’s a lovely, meditative way to start,” she adds.
Ribbons’ Contemporary Watercolour Painting: Exploring Plants and Colour workshop takes place on 26 May 2022 and gives students the chance to explore watercolour painting by focusing on the natural world. At the end of the friendly and welcoming two hours they will have created a beautiful artwork based on plant forms.
Ribbons will discuss colour and shapes, composition and visual language. “I love being able to demonstrate what it is like to carefully observe a plant,” she explains. “It is not something most of us spend time doing, but it is a fascinating way to get to know another species.”
“I love being able to demonstrate what it is like to carefully observe a plant. It is a fascinating way to get to know another species”
She encourages students to be open-minded and to think about what appeals to them, what sort of work they would like to create. “In my experience,” Ribbons says, “the biggest surprise is always at the end of the class when students realise what they have accomplished in such a short space of time. There’s often a point mid-way when students express that they aren’t sure if their work is any good. I encourage them to keep going, because if you can get beyond this point, it gets really good! It is always a wonderful surprise for me to see the works that students have created. I am never not amazed by the quality of work.”
In her own artistic practice, Ribbons is inspired by what she calls a “sincere love of plants”. She believes that if humans are going to move forward in the middle of the climate crisis, we need to alter our relationship with plants and other species. The Wimbledon College of Art graduate makes large, bold watercolours, sometimes combining this technique with collage or pencil.
“Test the water with different workshops and courses, keep discovering and working out what your artistic practice is”
Support from our sister brand Reeves means that students attending Ribbons’s workshop will receive a bundle of art materials including an A4 pad, a set of professional brushes, and a range of paints in both tubes and pans.
Ribbons is a firm believer in artists exploring new forms and techniques, encouraging them to “be open to the process of learning and to keep trying things out.” She adds: “Test the water with different workshops and courses, keep discovering and working out what your artistic practice is.”
Find out more about this online learning course here as well as the many others on offer at Elephant Academy.
Contemporary Watercolour Painting: Exploring Plants and Colour Workshop takes place online on 26 May