Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Charles Reid's 10-Lesson Course

When I reviewed Charles Reid's Watercolour Landscape Masterclass DVD I said I would shortly post a review of his `10-Lesson Course'. This has taken rather more time than anticipated as this is a three DVD set totalling four hours. Rather a lot to digest. I also had mixed views about it at first - not negative by any means - but I wanted to think about how to present a reasoned view and this involved several viewings and some thought. The reason I was in a slight quandary was how to interpret the value to those who are at different stages of the Charles Reid experience. Charles has many followers, of which I am one, but these vary from newly interested artists to those who have been following him for years.



I already have 11 books and the same number of DVDs, all of which are either well-thumbed or well-viewed. As a result much of what appears has been well covered previously although not all at the same time. I especially value his book and accompanying DVDs `Painting Flowers in  Watercolour', North Light Books/David & Charles 2001 and his most recent  `Watercolour Solutions'. What happens here is that  information on Charles basic approach and all his tecniques are fully explored and then some. All of it is valuable but to someone like me the best sections are 9 and 10. This involves one of Charles magnificent flower paintings and he finishes with some interesting observations such as a discussion and explanation of triads. A disappointment is that portrait and figure painting don't feature at all but obviously to include everything would involve a four or even five video set which is impractical. Come on Charles lets have an up to date Portrait video! Figure painting has been covered in at least two other video releases, one some time ago, one more recent although both are still obtainable.

What do the video's cover? Disc 1  lessons 1 to 5 which involve setting up, brushwork & water to paint ratio, using local colour, mixing colours, tying in cast shadows and finally mixing greens. Disc 2 lessons 6 to 8 contour drawing and green still life, edges and emphasis and finally composition and contour drawing. The third part covers lessons 9 and 10 when Charles paints a large still floral life and then discusses mixing triads with a final review of the painting. As you can see everything is there and to those embarking on the Charles Reid experience this set is a must. As for fans like me I'm glad I have it and I think it is something to study now and then to avoid regressing, which I find is a problem. Of course I don't claim to be able to paint like Charles, much as I'd like to, but I keep trying and live in hope.

I was motivated to complete this review because the latest issue of The Artist magazine, December 2010, has an advert from http://www.paintfix.com/, who produced and sell the DVDs. They are offering free EU shipping until December 31st. Cost of the full 3 video course is $99.95 with individual videos $39.95. A good Xmas present!

14 comments:

Mick Carney said...

Great reminder for us all of the importance of studying the work of the masters in some depth. It takes time to absorb the many facets of their thinking and process but each stage along the way improves your own technique.

Robert P. Armas said...

Hi Peter.That was my first watercolor DVD set.I got it on the Swap Shop of WC after putting an ad "want books and/or DVD's of Charles Reid".A nice fellow sold it to me for half retail price.I was and is new,it was claimed as watched twice.I don't doubt it.And I treasure it all over my possessions(as well as all my Mr.Reid books and others DVD's).In books I'm missing only "Painting by Design".I have one ordered via Abe Books from Australia,its limit arrival date is Nov.14th and I suspect I won't get it.Somehow it was lost in the process,that's what I believe.All others books I have.
Now,how do you manage to build that big collection of DVD's?
Please send me an email,a PM on WC or post it here is you consider it appropriate,the names of these.I searched and barely could came out with a handful of titles.By the way for the your US followers,Creative Catalyst Productions Inc.
http://www.ccpvideos.com/
is running a sale in the "Painting Flowers in Watercolour"(the 2 hours one) for $19.95 and "Charles Reid's Watercolour Landscape Masterclass"(2 hours and 14 min.) for $22.95.
I couldn't resist and purchased both.Fast delivery.I have them already and my card hasn't been charged yet!
Plan to watch them today.

Bob

hap said...

Question Peter; What would be your recommendation for someone who's style is not similar to Mr Reid's? Would I benefit from the DVD? I'm pretty sure there are some things that would be helpful to me, but over all would it be a good tool for those with styles not so similar? Or would it be much more suited to someone who's following much more closely the loose approach that Charles employs?
Thanks!!
hap

Peter Ward said...

Bob. I'll pm you on WC. Don't know your e-mail address.It doesn't appear on your profile. What is Google talk?

Hap.
That's a good question. I suspect you need to buy into the Charles Reid way to get major benefit from the way he does things. Undoubtedly a lot of what he says applies to painting in general but he is different in many ways so I would hesitate to recommend the DVD UNLESS you wanted to paint in a similar way.

Peter Ward said...

Hap. I'll follow up my previous comments. See what Bob says above. If you can get the flower painting DVD's for $19.95 go for them. ALL his tecniques are covered on those DVD's. They aren't just about flower painting. Craig Young the palette man told me that prior to my buying them.

Mick Carney said...

As a follow up to Hap's question about the applicability of CR videos to those not using a similar style - I think that they transcend any particular style as he emphasises a raft of fundamentals that would apply to any medium or style. Yes, there are specifics that are his trademarks but much of the time he talks about shapes, edges, values, colour temperature, design, composition, internal relationships and linkages. I am a fan but recognise the universality of much that he has to say.

Peter Ward said...

I agree with what you say about CR's fundamentals Mick but I still think it can be difficult to digest some of what he teaches. After all the starting point is his system of modified contour drawing and that is unusual to say the least. I don't think it is easy to separate his individual approach from the basic, as you say, fundamentals that apply to painting in general. I would personally hesitate recommending his approach unless they were sold on him. Not everyone is.

hap said...

Thanks for your comments both Mick AND Peter! That was exactly the sort of reply I was looking for, whether it would be valuable to someone who wasn't in Charles' "style" of painting. I'm not sure if that's the direction I'll end up going, so I'll think about buying them second hand or borrowing someones to see how they "fit" with me.

Thanks again guys!
hap

Robert P. Armas said...

Hello Peter.I agree with you regarding the review of the 10 Lessons DVD,but knowing your nature,I'll say,and please don't get me wrong or trow rocks at me ;-),that this DVD don't deserve the reputation it has got in the media,advertising,etc.In my humble opinion it's quite too long with too little solid information.
It's OK for a beginner in the Charles Reid style,but still it delivers too little in too much package,quite pricey for what it is.
After watching "Painting Flowers in Watercolour"(the 2 hours version,consisting of 2 parts)and"Charles Reid's Watercolour Landscape Masterclass",I can't but be in awe.That second painting in the Pin Mill Sailing Club is a masterpiece,delivered to us in every detail and with all sort of tips and information about it.I just felt in love with it.
I just have to be straying out of the "Reid's Way" a bit and to watch that video again get my faith strong again.

Peter Ward said...

Well Robert throw rocks? Never! I did express some reservations about the 4 hour length and exactly who it was aimed at. I agree entirely that the two part Flower DVD's and the Pin Mill one are brilliant - and I rate them higher, although they are different,possibly aimed at a different audience. Did I tell you I am booked to go on the October 2012 Charles Reid course at Crantock bay in Cornwall.

Peter Ward said...

Dropped a clanger there !!! The CR course in Cornwall is next year 2011 NOT 2012.

Robert P. Armas said...

Oh Peter,I envy you now...I can't afford to stand or even sit if not too comfy for long periods of time due to my illness.I wish I could afford economically and healthy wise a workshop with Charles Reid.
Oh,something I didn't mention you.While discussing the possibility of a new portraits book back a couple of months(remember we spoke about it?),I exchanged emails with Mrs.Reid and she told me that a book is out of the question,he has done his share,but that a DVD on portraits might be cooking,so don't pass the opportunity to press that button again,maybe you can get a date for possible release?
She tried to sell me the Landscape Masterclass DVD during that email exchange and a signature of Mr.Reid was to be included,but I gently left that option open,was too pricey and I finally had it at a bargain price.I'll miss the signature,but everything can't be as you want it.That's life.

Peter Ward said...

I'll pm you with my reply on Wetcanvas on this one Robert.

Jay said...

This message is for Robert P Armas: I would like to know if it would be possible to have the address for the "Swap Shop of WC" that you had mentioned in your post, please. I thank you kindly.