My watercolor workshop experience in UP CFA

Last summer, I enrolled in a watercolor workshop at the College of Fine Arts in UP Diliman. It was held for four days over two weekends, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for P5,000. It sounds expensive, but when you compare it to other 3-4 hour watercolor workshop that charges P2,800 at the least, UP’s is a good deal, I think.

I haven’t been back to UP in a long time, much less be in an actual classroom. I was waxing poetic about my return until I saw the restrooms, lol. They were disgusting, though fortunately, thanks to the design of male appendages, I could pee a step away from the urinals. (I can only imagine how unfortunate it would be for girls.) A friend said maybe it stays that way at the CFA because it is inspires the rage needed to fuel artistic undertakings, haha.

If you’re interested in taking this workshop, it’ll help if you have a background in watercolor. After settling down, we immediately dove in and tried to paint as realistically as possible a still-life setup. The teacher, Prof. Obnamia, would then go around, critique our work one by one, and teach us tips and techniques as we go along. I loved that part and you’ll truly be able to maximize your one-on-one opportunity if you already have a painting background because then you’ll be able to ask specific questions about your style and technique.

Watercolor still life

We are tasked to paint this tableau.

Since I had been painting before the workshop, it was a good opportunity for me to ask him about the errors I had been making not only during the workshop itself, but when I painted back home. I also listened in on the praises and critiques that my fellow participants were receiving so I’d know what to apply and avoid in my work. We did this for two weekends; you’d think that a total of 24 hours is way too long to do just that, but trust me, it wasn’t enough. (I never completed my work.) One of the excellent things about the workshop is that it forced me to sit still and spend hours studying colors and shadows, to be patient, and to paint what one truly sees. (For example, a shadow is never truly blackit may have tones of blue or red. Or a white space may not to be truly white.) I will never have that luxury of being undisturbed at home, and in fact, never did have such time since after the workshop.

My unfinished work

My unfinished work

I would highly recommend this workshoppractice as much as you can at home so if you have questions or can’t seem to do things correctly, you may ask them during the sessions.

UP CFA also holds other workshops regularly—schedule here.



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