Watercolour Demo by Anita Govan

I count myself as fortunate in belonging to a wonderful community of artists and art lovers in Durban called North Coast Artists. We get together on the second Saturday of every month, to hear all the latest news and showcase our work, in keeping with each month’s theme.

However, the highlight of our gathering is of always the invited artist demonstrator of the month, and it was a real privilege for December 2023’s gathering to have had my dear friend (and predecessor as WASA representative in KwaZulu-Natal), Anita Govan, sharing with us her exemplary talents with watercolours! 

Her art has been featured in national and international juried exhibitions including South Africa, India, Indonesia, Slovenia and Poland. She is a retired teacher who gives art instruction to children, students and adults.

For her demonstration, Anita set about an exquisite piece featuring a cedar waxwing perched on a branch with berries. As she worked, I couldn’t help thinking that her painstakingly disciplined approach was very much akin to that of a Bushidō master practicing the tea ceremony. A truly exceptional artist and beautiful soul to boot! 

Background wash and initial underpainting on the bird.
adding mid-tones and details to the bird and first layer on berries and branches.
second and third washes on berries.
adding the final details.

Palette: hansa yellow light, Naples yellow, pyrrol scarlet, quinacridone rose, permanent mauve, French ultramarine, burnt sienna. 

Paper: Primeart Water Multimedia Art 300gsm. 

Brushes: Oriental and hake brushes, squirrel mop and hake brushes.

Guy McGowan
WASA representative in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

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