2021 – Jon Lam. Teach a Child to Fish or Give a Child a Fish.

Details Price Qty
Deposit Jon Lam $211.43 (AUD)  

  • April 7, 2021 - April 11, 2021
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Jon Lam, Victoria. Pen and Watercolour.

Pen and Wash is primarily used to make preparatory sketches for paintings. The pen line provides accurate detail and the coloured washes suggesting tone, volume, and atmosphere. It is particularly good for plein air as you don’t have much to carry. Very often we see workshops where a student was shown how to paint a picture from a reference. This is a good start until you begin a new painting when the tutor is not present. Then it becomes more challenging. Therefore in this 5-day workshop, this course will take you a few steps further. Students will be shown how to apply the techniques of Pen and Watercolour wash and study the characteristics and magic of the medium. I will also introduce the fundamental design elements and design principles so students will learn how to create better drawings, pen and wash sketches. There will be a fifteen-minute lecture followed by a quick demonstration at the beginning of each day.

Day 1. Exploring the pen and the wash – introduction.

Firstly, explore and experiment with sketch pen. Drawing with dots, line and hatching and simple shapes both real objects and abstract. Study the effects of lines that reveal the tonal variations. Secondly, experiment and explore the possibilities of watercolour washes. Flat washes and biomorphic splashes with abstract shapes using different hues and values. Thirdly, do a few small pen and wash sketches.

Day 2. Creating different moods and focus using the same reference.

Using a sketch pen, draw two or three images of the same scene or reference, each with slightly different focus in composition, tones and objects. Apply the technique learnt from day one to create small sketches to create different mood and weather conditions.

Day 3 Plein Air

Sketching plein air is one of the better ways to make progress as an artist. The advantages are that one experiences the true atmosphere that a photo cannot provide. The other is to figure out both the linear and aerial perspectives rather than ready made by a photograph. However, some artists do take a photo as well from the same spot for future reference when working on larger pieces in the studio.

Day 4. Discover your strength.

Study the various ways of achieving depth in a sketch and painting. Make a small colour sketch each of a street scene, landscape, waterscape and a still life. Then paint a slightly bigger piece in the genre and technique that display your strength.

Day 5. Consolidation.

Having discovered your strength, you are now ready to explore and push that boundary. Be bold and paint your favourite Pen and Watercolour Wash. By this time you would have notice your own progress and so would I. Should you need further guidance, I would be more than happy to offer some constructive advice.

Author’s note

Whilst it is important for me to help students achieve a good result, it is more important to me that I encourage students to actively pursue happiness and fulfilment through art. I am committed to transfer my own practice and experience to filter through to my class. It is an exhilarating feeling when I help someone to hit that eureka moment. The look on their face is priceless. Open to all comers 18 years and over.

Click on the images below to view larger.

Jon Lam was born in Malaysia of Chinese parents. He arrived in Melbourne in the 70’s for his tertiary education. He thought he was being an obedient and a dutiful boy by enrolling himself into a business school. Jon soon found out that it was not for him. The following year he put in an application to do a fine art course. The immigration department objected to it, claiming that there would be not much prospect of gaining employment when he went back to Malaysia. However, they did offer him an opportunity to pursue a Diploma of Art and Design (Graphics), course. Jon accepted it with both hands.

After graduation, Jon started out as a graphic designer and had an interesting job designing pinball machines until he saw an advertisement to do a Bachelor of Education Studentship for experienced artists to teach art. That began a long career as a secondary art and graphics teacher. However, after retirement he could not resist the lure of the brushes and started to get very serious about his art again.

In his spare time, he kept racking up those successes such as the $5000 first prize in the second annual Rochester Mural Festival for his dramatic piece “Changes” centred on the Australian landscape. In the last seven years he went on to win more than 35 awards with his Watercolours, Oils and Acrylics paintings, from Best in Shows to acquisitive competitions and has works hanging in civic buildings around Australia and overseas.

He has works in the Edward River Council Collection, the Murray River Council, Ballarat Base Hospital and St John of God Berwick Hospital Collection. Four-time finalist of The Rochester Mural Festival, his 2016 winning mural is on permanent display in Northern Highway, Rochester. Jon was commissioned to paint a mural for St Joseph primary school in Rochester and Veolia Education Room in Echuca, making him a muralist and fine artist. Jon’s work has been published on the cover of the Art Education magazine and has appeared in the Australian Artist magazine on various occasions.

Jon is no stranger to the Australian landscape, especially country Victoria, where his wife was born, near Echuca. His inspiration from the Rankin’s farm and the landscape from this region has seen Jon produced work that has won him awards and recognition.

Jon is a familiar face in many group shows, such as the ones held by the Victorian Artists Society, Australian Guild of Realist Artists and the Rotary Club shows and has four successful solo exhibitions to date. Today Jon tutors in art societies, runs painting workshops and gives private tuition.

Jon is a member of the Victorian Artists Society; Australian Guild of Realist Artists (AGRA), The Echuca Moama Artists Inc., The Echuca Moama Arts Initiative, Box Hill Art Group (committee member), Ballarat Society of Artists, and The Whitehorse Arts Association (past president).



97 Mary Street, Grafton, New South Wales, 2460, Australia