Bucklers Hard Boat Yard
Joseph Zbukvic painting course day 2

Joseph Zbukvic painting course day 1

I was very fortunate to attend recently a Joseph Zbukvic (pronounced Z-book-vich) watercolour painting course care of EPC Painting Holidays in Girona and Cadeques on the Costa Brava.  It was a superb location for painting, or indeed any holiday, and we were lucky with the weather being early October.

Anyway, Joseph is the leading watercolourist with terrific skills in the atmosphere and the tones of his work and I was eager to learn more about his style.

Day one was spent mainly at our hotel base and working in the 'studio'.  Exercise one was a study of an 'English country scene' with sunlight coming towards you in the early morning mist.

Here is Joseph's example which he completed in an hour whilst giving a running commentary!:


Notice the wet in wet on the background trees and great dry brush strokes on the middle ground trees.  The cows were literally done in seconds and looked perfect.  Well here is my first interpretation:


As you can see, I lost the plot of trying to emulate the master, and after a small ticking off from Joseph (in the nicest possible way!) I attempted a second:


Perhaps a little closer to the brief, but only done in 30 minutes or so as I didn't want to miss lunch!



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and well done, but did you change position or was it the speed of the action? The second try is different from the first, at least the roof gives that impression..

How about the while lines around the orange roof in the second painting? Is that paper or did you add opacue paint afterwards?

Thank you,


tim wilmot

Hi Pete it was more the speed of the painting. First painting was really quick and the second attempt was more to follow some techniques we were practising from tutor Mr Z. No opaque was used on these and the highlights on the roof was lighter paper left. Thanks Pete. Regards, Tim


This is so helpful for a new water colourist. Thank you!


I am humbled that one of my idols (Tim) is so candid about the mastery of another of my idols (Joseph Zbukvich).

I am an amateur of amateurs, and I love Zbukvich's work. What I have come to realize is that most of the water-colour painters I "worship" excel at a particular type of scenes (or a handful of types of scenes), and I keep telling myself that I should "be easy on myself" for not succeeding in emulating (nowhere close, at my level :-)) some of the masters. I have no "style", because I am a beginner (I am not "good at anything"), and perhaps a piece of advice to people with my level of skill: while it is great to explore and try out different things, focus on a few types of scenes where you sense that you making progress: 1) it will help you get better, and 2) it will make you FEEL better.

Thanks Tim Wilmot for your art and your heart :-)

PS: Joseph Zbukvich excels at backlit scenes (source of light in front of you)

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