25 Watercolour Practice by the Henry Hensche Method

"Paint blocks!" Henry Hensche taught painting in USA in the Twentieth Century. He taught his students to gather white objects on a white background and paint them at different times of the day, and in different lighting conditions, to train the eye to see the quality of the light. I took his book with me on my trip and I practised painting white cubes. When I settled down in one town for a month, I paid a local carpenter to cut three wooden blocks for me. I knew that I would paint outside, and I wanted heavy blocks so that they would stay in place when a breeze blew. I bought some heavy, white cardboard from the art supply store and covered the blocks. I sprayed the blocks with clear fixative, because I would be handling them and I did not want the blocks to become grubby with my fingerprints. This visual training takes years, and one never finishes. However, even my early attempts helped me perceive the colour of the light. This is my very first attempt.

“Paint blocks!”
Henry Hensche taught painting in USA in the Twentieth Century. He taught his students to gather white objects on a white background and paint them at different times of the day, and in different lighting conditions, to train the eye to see the quality of the light.
I took his book with me on my trip and I practised painting white cubes.
When I settled down in one town for a month, I paid a local carpenter to cut three wooden blocks for me. I knew that I would paint outside, and I wanted heavy blocks so that they would stay in place when a breeze blew.
I bought some heavy, white cardboard from the art supply store and covered the blocks. I sprayed the blocks with clear fixative, because I would be handling them and I did not want the blocks to become grubby with my fingerprints.
This visual training takes years, and one never finishes. However, even my early attempts helped me perceive the colour of the light.
This is my very first attempt.

Block practice 2

Block practice 2

Block practice 3

Block practice 3

Block practice 4

Block practice 4

Block practice 5

Block practice 5

Block practice 6

Block practice 6

Block practice 7

Block practice 7

Block practice 8

Block practice 8

Block practice 9

Block practice 9

Block practice 10

Block practice 10

Block practice 11

Block practice 11

Block practice 12

Block practice 12

2 thoughts on “25 Watercolour Practice by the Henry Hensche Method

  1. Sally

    I found this posting by looking for information about Henry Henche and his style of painting. I have not seen this exercise before but it makes perfect sense! Also, I was delighted to see watercolor in among the ‘images’ from my GOOGLE search. Thank you so much for this posting!!

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Hello Sally
      Thank you for your kind comment!

      The book from which I took guidance is “Hensche on Painting” by John W. Robichaux. After the excellent colour instruction that I received from Gerald Formosa at Langara College in 1985, Hensche’s lesson is by far the most helpful that I have encountered since then.

      Hensche’s method deserves to be better known. Hensche’s method is simple, timeless, based on sound principles of human perception, free of instructor bias, and wonderfully free of jargon. Hensche’s method refines the student’s sensibilities the more one practises. Once I began, the potential to improve seemed exciting and open-ended. It was immediately apparent that this was the beginning of a possible lifetime of study that provided visible improvements from the start.

      Thank you for taking the time to look!
      Cheers,
      Ingo

      Reply

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