Documenting Your Travels with Watercolor Illustrations: A Two Part Course with Dr. Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe

Documenting Your Travels with Watercolor Illustrations: A Two Part Course with Dr. Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after each event.

At the turn of the 19th century, an unprecedented number of travelogues and notes de voyage were published in Paris by French travelers sojourning in Spain. Initially intended to document travel, these publications gained enormous popularity as authoritative travel guides based on first-hand accounts and on the quality of the illustrations included. They garnered such popularity that they became fundamental to launching the wave of "Espagnolisme", the fever for all things Spanish, that captivated the imagination of French writers, artists, amateurs, even government officials and Louis-Philippe himself, the citizen-King. 

Together we will travel through nineteenth-century Spain in the footsteps of these daring visionaries. We will learn about the ways in which Spain was experienced, understood, and depicted in these influential travelogues. We will discover how these publications became so popular and why Spain was the subject of these explorations. 

This course is divided in two parts. First, we will travel through time by means of these travelogues in conjunction with modern-day virtual visits to the sites they illustrate whenever possible. The second half of this course is devoted to learning the skills of watercolor illustration to document your own travel observations and experiences. We will learn a brief history of watercolor and will survey the main elements of color and materials. We will then focus on watercolor techniques to illustrate architecture and landscape by focusing on mood and atmosphere rather than paying exclusive attention to accuracy and precision. 

Led by Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe, an expert on nineteenth-century French art and a watercolorist herself, this Course invites participants to travel by following the footsteps of nineteenth-century French travelers. Moreover, it focuses on developing the skills to enhance the experience of travel by learning to document through watercolor illustration. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased awareness of the notions of travel that inspired some of the most adventurous travelers of the nineteenth century and with the skills to document their own travel experiences.

Lecture One:
We will travel through time by means of these travelogues in conjunction with modern-day virtual visits to the sites they illustrate whenever possible.

Lecture Two:
The second half of this course is devoted to learning the skills of watercolor illustration to document your own travel observations and experiences. We will learn a brief history of watercolor and will survey the main elements of color and materials. We will then focus on watercolor techniques to illustrate architecture and landscape by focusing on mood and atmosphere rather than paying exclusive attention to accuracy and precision. 

Dr. Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe is an art historian, educator, and curator specializing in nineteenth-century French art. Her doctoral dissertation surveyed the interconnectivity of national identities in nineteenth-century Paris through acquisitions of seventeenth-century Spanish artworks by private collectors. Born and raised in Mexico, Ana-Joel has lived in Canada and France and currently resides in the USA. Her work and pedagogy are flavored by her penchant for cross-cultural and interdisciplinary learning experiences and approaches. While she is a nineteenth-century French art specialist, her interests are broad and her experience speaks of a confluence of early modern and contemporary issues in art. Working at the Cabinet de Dessins, Musée du Louvre, her research on sixteenth and seventeenth-century Italian prints and drawings culminated in the publication of the department’s most comprehensive and up-to-date catalog of Italian drawings. She assisted in curating major exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada on Caravaggio and at the Brooklyn Museum of Art on Francisco Oller’s Impressionist oeuvre. Concomitant to her curatorial career Ana-Joel has taught Art History for thirteen years and currently holds a position as Adjunct Faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Art. In addition to her academic and museological achievements, Ana-Joel is an artist and opened her own studio in 2020 at the service of women who have suffered abuse in the context of domestic violence and the ongoing pandemic.

How does it work?
This is a two-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

What supplies will I need for this course?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on the topic, there are suggested art supplies you should purchase to create your paintings. Our expert's suggestions are as follows:
  • Watercolor paper pad (140lb cold press) of the size of your choice 
  • Pointed round brush #5 (Windsor & Newton or Princeton) 
  • Round brush #4, #10 (Princeton or Windsor & Newton) 
  • Filbert brush #4 (Princeton or Windsor & Newton) 
  • Watercolor palette (plastic or ceramic) 
  • Basic watercolor paint set (tubes or cakes set with at least 12 colors)
    • We suggest Windsor & Newton or Grumbacher Academy Watercolor Paint or Reeves
  • Glass with water 
  • Paper or cloth towel 
  • Micron Ink Pens (01, 03, 005) 

How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?
The course is $70 for two lectures.

Is a recording available?
Yes, a recording will be emailed within 24 hours of the conclusion of each session.  It will be available to re-watch for 15 days thereafter. 

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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