This eagerly awaited DVD has just been released by APV Films of Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. It was filmed at the home and gallery of the late James Fletcher Watson, Following the Crantock course in October last year, his second 2011 UK course took place the following week at Burford, Oxfordshire. At the end of the course Charles made the video.
I am an unashamed fan of Charles Reid as readers will be well aware. He is very different to many other watercolour artists, although I see several well-known professionals who (to my eyes) seem to have been influenced by his approach, even though they don't all acknowledge it. You do have to buy into the Charles Reid way as he often defies conventional wisdom. His style is very `loose', some might claim untidy, something not popular with the lovers of realistic to super realistic paintings. Although I have virtually all his books and DVD's, as well as attending several courses with him, I found this an exciting series of demonstrations with new insights, plus many interesting anecdotes about his career and progression as an artist. One thing you have to realise is Charles isn't static. Each painting is a new adventure and he doesn't plan to the extent many do. This applies here and his discussion of the colours he uses indicated some changes. He also commented that his book on Portrait painting, published over 20 years ago, was mainly monocromatic, whereas his studies now are full of colour. This is something he said had just happened over the years.
On this DVD three paintings are produced, two of a young lady called Gabriella and one of an older man Jerry. Charles is very good with the models, neither of whom I believe were professionals, with breaks every 20 minutes. This is his normal practice both for himself and the subjects. He stated he likes to complete a painting in two and a half hours.
I have Charles previous figure and portrait painting videos but this one is the best as you might expect given the time lag between them. I have viewed it once and am sure will get many more hours of pleasure and instruction from watching it. Although there is a lot about portraits in several of Charles books, a dedicated portrait book would have been a jewel for us fans. Unforunately this doesn't seem likely but the DVD is a consolation. Although not mentioned on the film Charles said at Crantock he'd brought a supply of Czech hand-made Moldau watercolour paper especially for the demonstrations.
The DVD is available from APV films www.apvfilms.com/show_product.asp?id=253 It costs £28.55 inclusive of postage and arrived the day after I ordered it. In the USA and Canada it will be available from www.artist-videos.com/ who charge $39.95 for other APV DVD's plus $4.95 postage ($6.95 Canada).