Today we painted Girona, a very beautiful city with old buildings and narrow streets. Joseph took us to a narrow passage with a long ancient staircase leading up to a large green church gate.
A very difficult subject. He drew the gate quickly and easily, straight on, seemingly without much thought of composition. He was careful about the wide staircase, saying that there is no shortcut for stairs. You have to draw them, all the steps. He painted everything with a faint grey-beige color, leaving small white areas here and there. Then it was allowed to dry. Then he painted from top to bottom, sometimes a broad brushstroke, but mostly small strokes, what he calls calligraphy. He added a person and then he made a shadow slanted over everything. He fiddled with the shadow for a long time to get it right.
Then we would paint and I didn’t feel like painting the same thing, so Margaretha and I painted in the other direction, from the stairs down. Now after this I feel that it would have been better to paint the same thing as Joseph, then I would have learned more.
After lunchbreak we went to the famous bridge in Girona that so many famous watercolor painters painted. Joseph made a gray image in backlight which he filled with many figures. If you have too much water in the brush and paint on wet, it will flow out. Joseph showed that you have to be thick with paint if it is to stay on wet paper. He names the different textures for water, coffee, cream and nutella. With Nutella, you can paint on wet paper and the colors stay.
We then chose to paint across the street, with the light coming in from the side. A difficult subject, with a shadow across the building. Joseph commented on my windows, to never make the same windows. They should be in the right place but they should not all be different.
I also discovered the risk of painting outside. I actually drew my motif, it looked good. Much later, when I was going to paint the shadow there, it had become much larger and also moved. I painted as it looked and it turned out completely wrong, my composition that I started with was forgotten.
In the evening, Escoda Brushes came to the hotel and showed how to make brushes. Fun and interesting to watch. Then it was dinner….again fish.