Another Exercise from Allan Kirk

Le Grand café, ink and watercolour on paper, 9" x 12"
After painting Allan Kirk's two freebies, it was time to loosen the purse strings.

For my first purchase, I decided on Le Grand café, a work in ink and wash which had several things that I wanted to practice. Like all his exercises, the cost was US$4.50.

The kit comes as a PDF download, just like the free exercises, except that in this case, you get a full-size sketch with instructions for printing it on watercolour paper. I never would have thought that inkjet ink could dry completely and not smudge after wetting it, but it's absolutely true. Even generic ink like the kind I buy these days at a fraction of the price for the Canon original cartridges.

It was okay, but it felt a bit too much like "paint by number". That's not very rational, since so far in my artistic career [; )] I've traced and copied from photographs, etc. almost everything I've painted. The feeling comes from having to stay within the lines, I guess.

As with Mr. Kirk's free exercises, I was frustrated by the lack of details for the colours, and by the fact that he skipped several steps. In the last drawing, details appear out of nowhere and they are not explained. I hate that.

Still, it was good practice and I felt it was money well spent. Susie Short should take a marketing lesson from Mr. Kirk.

Here's the link to Mr Kirk's website again:

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