What I learned from a watercolour workshop with David Poxon
In August 2019 I organised a watercolour workshop with David Poxon R.I. N.W.S.
David is the moving force behind the International Watercolour Masters Exhibition, held in Shropshire. It was here that we first talked about a workshop in Cambridge. He has taught his special watercolour techniques in many countries, and in various parts of the UK. But until last August, Cambridge had never had a watercolour workshop with David Poxon.
I’m not going to write a details account of David’s painting techniques in this post. Aside from the ethical issues, the best you could possibly get from a second-hand written version would be watered-down, incomplete, and a far cry from the richness of the experience. If you want to learn how to paint using some of David’s techniques, far better to attend one of his workshops. Learn from the master because there’s nothing quite as good as that first-hand experience.
I learned an enormous amount from David. Aspects of preparation, markmaking and brushwork gained in the workshop have enhanced my paintings practice. What I can say is that I learned a lot about creating subtle colourwork through building up layers of painting. It requires patience, skill and a delicate touch – something I hope to master if I keep working at it. Experience is everything once the initial lessons have been learned. More brush hours mean better results.
David shared some really useful tips and techniques for making the preparation stage easier, helping the artist to get to the best stage faster: the stage we love – laying on the paint. He is enormously generous with his knowledge. Every attendee came away from the workshop with pages of notes and sheets of example paintings they had created under his guidance. David’s method of glazing with transparent watercolours creates a great sense of depth and perspective in a painting.
Observations from the weekend of painting with David:
Five things I learned from organising a watercolour workshop with David Poxon
Take your time over each stage of a painting
David’s paintings can take a long time to complete because he pays great attention to each layer of the painting. Every stage is something to be savoured, and each step should be enjoyed.
Don’t dismiss a workshop just because you are an experienced artist
Many of the participants in the August watercolour workshop with David Poxon have been painting and exhibiting for many years. Attendees included some fairly new painters, and some selected members of the Society of East Anglian Watercolours.
Many experienced artists reach a stage where they don’t take workshops, but there’s always something new to learn from a top-rate tutor like David.
There is a great sense of camaraderie in every workshop group – particularly when the tutor is passionate about their work
Every group is a mixture of artists who come to my workshops quite often and know each other, and those who are new and add a new dimension to the conversation. David’s energy and enthusiasm was infectious and the chemistry in this workshop was great.
A talented artist and highly experienced tutor can teach a bigger group of students and give them all new skills
Most of my workshops have up to 14 attendees as a maximum. When David said his workshops often top 20, I was a little concerned that there would be less attention for each particpant. David was quite right: The workshop was fully booked, and everyone got individual attention during the course of the weekend.
The key to a truly good workshop is first and foremost, the passion and skill of the artist who is tutoring.
What people said about the watercolour workshop with David Poxon:
‘A thoroughly enjoyable and informative workshop with Watercolour Master “David Poxon, well organise , good venue and a lovely evening meal together to round off the three days’
‘David Poxon was truly inspirational and very generous when sharing his knowledge and tremendous skill. The weekend was really enjoyable and I left with a great feeling of achievement and new purpose when looking for subjects to paint.’
‘Thank you for a wonderful workshop! I learned a lot over the three days and also met some lovely people. It was very well organised. I came from out of town and enjoyed the dinner option one evening, as I was able to get to know some people and socialise. I will certainly come again!’
‘Vandy is extremely efficient and enthusiastic and arranged a wonderful workshop with International artist David Poxon. It was inspirational and fun and full of lovely people!
David is teaching another workshop in Cambridge in April 2022.
Book here if you’d like to join it.