As Architects and Designers, we often look to outside sources and activities for design inspiration.  From looking at the latest magazine article in Architectural Digest to taking a local art class, we are always trying to feed our creative side.  

This past weekend, one of our own architects, and several other architects and artists from around the state, attended a 2-day watercolor workshop that focused on composition, drawing and painting buildings/landscapes, and studied light and how it enhances the environment, and in turn, an artistic sketch or rendering.

The workshop was hosted by Birmingham's own Forstall Art Center.  The feature artist and workshop teacher was Iain Stewart.  Stewart is an architect and painter, and he teaches watercolor and design drawing to architecture students at Auburn University.  He also travels around the world sharing his knowledge of watercolor, architectural illustration, and how to use it to capture a "scene" or just the atmosphere of a place or time.   

 Day 1: Iain Stewart demonstrates watercolor wash tips and techniques

Day 1: Iain Stewart demonstrates watercolor wash tips and techniques

 Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstrates composition and value shading

Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstrates composition and value shading

 Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstration and paint palette

Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstration and paint palette

 Day 1: Alicia's practice following the class demonstration on washes and composition

Day 1: Alicia's practice following the class demonstration on washes and composition

 Day 2: Alicia practice of the initial wash following Iain Stewart's demonstration

Day 2: Alicia practice of the initial wash following Iain Stewart's demonstration

 Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstrates wash values and "saved lights" in paintings

Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstrates wash values and "saved lights" in paintings

 Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstrates initial layout of a drawing using horizon lines and correct scaling

Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstrates initial layout of a drawing using horizon lines and correct scaling

 Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstration on darker washes

Day 2: Iain Stewart demonstration on darker washes

 Day 2: Alicia's final rendering

Day 2: Alicia's final rendering

We highly recommend attending one of his workshops if you have a chance. You will most certainly come away feeling more knowledgeable and inspired.  

If watercolor isn't your cup of tea, Birmingham has a number of other classes available around town.  Check out these websites for a list of workshops and classes near you.  Get your creative mind going with painting, pottery, cooking, music, woodworking, or even screen printing.  The possibilities and inspiration are endless. 

Photo Credits: Alicia Pughsley, Architect and Associate at BPA

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