Wildlife in Watercolour

The Devon Artist

Paint-along with Paul

Paul Hopkinson painting a cat's eye in watercolor

Paint-along with Paul, well this was certainly something new that I did this week.  This live event has been something that I have been planning for sometime.  I enjoy live painting sessions.  Firstly they really get the adrenalin flowing.  Secondly they enable me to directly engage with followers.  Thirdly I get to paint and talk – two of my favourite things!

During our daily walks Jo and I have been discussing how we could do a paint-along.  How would we share the information that participants would need?  Indeed, what would they need and more importantly what would we paint?  Well you know me, the latter was easy – I love painting eyes and feel really confident doing so on camera.

Reference Photo

Having decided I was going to paint an eye I needed to source a good, detailed photo to work from.  We discussed whether it should be a bird’s eye or an animal.  Animal eyes tend to have more detail in them and therefore more scope for an online tutorial.  This stunning image by Annette Meyer from Pixabay was chosen…we were getting there.

Now, despite painting many eyes I felt I should really practise this one and work out exactly how I was going to teach it live.  I wanted to be sure that I could work through the subject in a methodical manner and know exactly which colours to use and when.  This was certainly worth doing and it enabled me to put together a fairly comprehensive list of materials too.

The Tutorial Page

We decided to create a tutorial page, just like we do for all the other online tutorials.  It was a great place to host the necessary photo and outline drawing downloads.  Alongside the other equipment needed and the all important notification on the date and time.  I scheduled the event on YouTube, we were set to go. 😊 Now normally when I ‘go-live’ I manage everything myself, but with the paint-along we wanted to do things differently.  The emphasis was on teaching all the techniques in a systematic and easy to follow way, so I didn’t feel I should be taking time out to read comments.   Jo was tasked with this job but had to sit downstairs away from me.  There is a significant time delay on the feed going out, she would have heard everything twice but about 10 seconds apart!  

Free tutorial on painting a cat's eye in watercolor
The Event

I spend several hours on Sunday morning checking all the equipment was ready and making sure I had what I needed to hand.  Then armed with my stay-hot mug and a soft drink I was ready to begin.  All went well, yes there were a couple of things I forgot to tell people to get ready.  Namely, a drink and also a hair drier!  Apparently there was envy as I announced I was taking a drink and some dashing to the next door room for a hair dryer!  But, on the whole the session was really successful, some people chose to watch and listen and then replayed the video later.  Others, and hats off to them, managed to keep up and stayed with me right to the end.

A massive thank you to everyone who supported the event and I really hope that you enjoyed it.  Do send your finished paintings through to be included in the student’s gallery.

If you missed the live event no worries, the whole video is available 24/7, you can watch, rewind, pause and re-watch to your heart’s content.  You can find all the downloadable information here.  Or click on the video below if you simply want to watch it.  But don’t forget that drink and hair dryer!

Until the next paint along with Paul or even the next blog post, stay safe & keep them brushes wet.  Paul 🎨🖼️

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