Saturday, February 10, 2018

Winter 2018 Watercolor class

Watercolor: Sky, Water and Rocks - Putting it All Together
                    Week 1

Now that we have gone over some of the basics or skies, water and rocks we are going to put them all together to paint the photo I took from Pelican Cove. It is a simple image and if we break it down in stages it will be easy. Watercolor requires patience and that is where most beginners have their problems so step by step, no shortcuts.

First step was to get the sketch of the rocks and horizon line on my paper. Use a pencil that is dark enough to see without you pressing down too hard on the paper such as either a #2B or #3B. You want your sketch dark enough to see after a couple of washes but not so dark that it is noticeable when your painting is finished.

Next, I used a masking fluid on dry paper to protect the white tops of the rocks. Then I wet the paper along the top coast line where the foam would be then used the masking fluid in that area letting the masking fuzz out along the edges. Be sure to use enough masking to cover the area, too little and it may not protect the paper or be difficult to get off. I repeated that process along the bottom of the foreground rocks. 

Then I let it dry completely before working in that area.

While I was waiting for the masking to dry, I added my sky

First I wet the sky area with water then added ultramarine blue across the top and helped it down the page with a damp clean brush, just like we did in the studies.

I then turned the paper upside down and added a line of some orange/red I had on my palette and let that run down into the blue. Remember that your paper needs to be wet for this to work and watch it as it blends and moves, turning as necessary to get the blend you want. Lay it flat when you like the blend and let it dry.

When the masking was dry around the rocks, I under painted the rocks with a light wast of yellow, orange, sienna and touches of blue. starting with the yellow and oranges along the top or the rocks or where the rocks were dry on the shore, the sienna and blue were where the rocks were wet and darker. You can work wet into wet by first wetting the area or wet as you go with the paint (wet on dry). Let this dry.

The last thing we did for the day was to get our first wash of color for the water and this will work best if you dampen the paper with water first. Use a big brush to wet you paper and even when adding the color to this step because you want to work quickly enough to get the colors on while the paper is wet. Put away your tiny brushes for now.

While your paper is wet, I started at the horizon with my ultramarine blue and as I moved down the paper I added greens, lavenders and if you have other blues like cobalt, thalo or cerulean, you can add those as well just be sure that you water them down so they aren't too intense or dark. Streak them on and let the water on the paper and gravity do most of the work (you should have the top of your paper elevated anyway). Paint right over the masked area to be sure that you are getting the washes everywhere where it should be. then let it dry.

This is where we stopped for the day, we will continue with this painting next time. Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Winter 2018 Watercolor Class

Watercolor: Water and Rocks

I was a bit delinquent last week and didn't get the blog done for the water demo we had in the Watercolor Plus class and my Monday watercolor class just did water so this post will cover both the water demo and the rock demo to get us caught up

Water: The basics

The first thing we learned was how to use dry brush to create the impression of water with light sparkling off it. This technique can be use by its self or on top of other light washes. This is also a good technique for creating old wood or hair or grasses so it is not just for water.

The key to this is in its name: Dry brush.
You need to be sure that after you rinse your brush to squeeze the excess water out with your paper towel before you load your brush with paint and again to squeeze at the base of the brush after you load it to get out the excess you might have picked up with the paint and also to gently spread the bristles apart to have splits along the edge.

When you apply it to the paper, use very light pressure on your brush to get the effect you see above. The harder the pressure on your brush the more paint will come off.

The second method we used was wet into wet. First I wet the paper so the paint would move as I put it on, next I added a series of light washes and it wasn't just blue. I used my ultramarine blue, sap green, purple and even burnt sienna where the shore would be because water isn't just blue, look at the photo below to see how many colors are visible when you stop to look at water and if you were there, you would see even more, a photo just doesn't see what our eyes see.

Let the wet of the paper along with a slight elevation of the top of your paper help you blend your colors using long horizontal strokes and try to avoid stripes, add in some extra water if you need to.

Look at the different colors of blue, the lavenders, there are some reds from the kelp below and greens near the shore. Don't be afraid to add these colors to your water when you are painting it will make your water look more real.

I also did another one trying to do a more active type of water but it really didn't look much different than the one above so I'm not including that here, though if I wanted to I could change the one above from calm to turbulent if I wanted to, it is all in the brush strokes. 

There are many ways to paint water these are just a couple of examples, look in magazines or other artists' work to see how they handle water and find what works for you.


I have decided to use another photo I took from the same area I too the above image because it is simple and covers everything we have been doing in class: Sky, water and rocks. so for the rock demo I used the rocks from the scene we will be painting. 

Concentrating on a part of a subject that may give you problems when you are doing the actual painting, is a good way to learn about your subject. Doing a study or doing sketches helps you familiarize yourself with the thing you might otherwise see as a problem, so this is just a study for the larger painting.

First I sketched in my rocks with a #4B pencil. I used the #4B so it could be seen by the class normally I use a #2 so the line are minimized at the finish of a painting.

While I did include some of the smaller rocks, I didn't sketch in everything because I can do that with my brush as I am painting, this is just to remind me where the rocks go.

This is actually taken after the second wash the first wash with that very light tan color made with sienna and blue (burnt umber will also work) and was a very light tint I put OVER ALL THE ROCKS. I did not just paint the light areas (I did leave some white at the top) all the rocks and all their parts had this first wash.

The second wash was the same colors just a bit darker and this is where I started  differentiating between rocks. Starting where I knew the shadows to be on each rock, I tapped the color in.

Close-up of the rocks. See how it is darker in the shadow areas? Also notice all the texture, that is from my tapping in the color. As I worked to the light side I added water to my brush instead of paint to help lighten the color. I also painted around areas i wanted to leave the lighter color.

I put on at least 4 layers of wash, each time starting in the shadow area with a slightly darker color (add more blue rather than the sienna so your shadows look cool) and leaving parts of the previous washes to create a sense of light and to make shapes in your rocks.

As you can see I used the layers of wash to create more than the original rocks I had sketched in. Just by adding shadow shapes, I could carve out more rocks or create holes in the rocks or cracks. I also took my liner brush to add some smaller cracks.

Now we are going to put it all together and we will be painting the scene below.

Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Winter 2018 Watercolor Class Week 1

Watercolor Skies - Week 1

Note to the Monday Watercolor Class: We will be doing similar things when we meet in our class, I will edit this post with any new or improved examples next week. Be sure to review what I am doing in the Wednesday class, I don't want to have to repeat myself for each class. thanks.

In our first Watercolor Plus class where we were all painting we went over painting skies, not just to learn how to paint skies but to experiment with the paint to see how it works under various conditions. It may seem like a simple lesson but it is a very important one.

One of the key elements of this lesson it learning how gravity helps you. It is always helpful to have at least a slight angle to your paper so the paint will move down the paper, if it is laying flat, the water just pools up and doesn't do anything and could cause a problem with areas that dry faster than others. It doesn't take much, like a roll of tape under the top of your tablet or support is enough help the paint move and help you as you paint.

I was working on a large sheet of paper and divided it in to several sections to show different techniques.

This first technique I started by wetting the whole area with just water before I added color, this is called WET INTO WET - wet paint onto wet paper.

I used just my ultramarine blue starting at the top painting it across with crisscross strokes and down a couple of inches. I rinsed my brush and with just water (the brush was damp not dripping) I went back into the bottom of the color I just put down and painted across the paper with the water. Rinse and repeat as many times as you want. I came down 3 or 4 inches in this manner then with a very wet brush hit the bottom of the color and let the paint run into the wet paper below. You can see how left to its own devices the watercolor will blend and disperse quite nicely on its own.

The clouds were added later after the blue had dried using a combination of lifting with a brush and adding color to the dry paper. That funny little cloud with the dark center is what happens when you scrub too much and damage the paper, there is no recovery from the damage.

The next sample was started the same way. first wet the paper completely, then start at the top with the blue the move the blue down the paper using just water. You can always go back up into the darker blue and add more if it seems to be getting a bit too pale just remember to go back up into the dark area to add it then continue with water to move it.

WHILE THE PAINT IS STILL WET take a paper towel or a tissue, wad up a part of it and press it to the paper making cloud shapes. Look at the towel after a few dabs you may need to move to a cleaner spot on the towel. This is called LIFTING and can be done with a paper towel/tissue, brush, sponge even a Q-Tip for small areas and is very useful in an assortment of situations.

This next technique is called a GRADED WASH. The blue was also a graded wash using just one color and water, this time we will be using several.

I turned my paper upside down to start and wet the area of paper I was going to be working. At the now top I added cad. yellow light across the bottom letting it run down, then picked up some cad. orange with a bit of water and added this new color just to the bottom of the yellow, it should overlap just a bit. I did the same with the next color either napthol red or cad. red light and I lit that run to about midway of the area helping with just water if it seemed a bit slow. When I got the paint where I wanted it, I flipped the paper back over so that now becomes the bottom again.

The paper still needs to be wet so if it has dried a bit, go over it with just water before starting the next sequence of colors.

I started at the top with the ultramarine blue, and painted it down about a quarter of the way, because someone asked about using other blues, the next color I used was cerulean blue rather than just water but you can use just water at this point. I over lapped the bottom of the UM blue with the cerulean blue then moved the cerulean down to meet the red with just water. Watch the water on your brush you want a damp brush not a runny one or you will get drips. Let the watercolor finish painting this for you.

The clouds were added using color (a weak red so it looked pink and yellow) to a still damp sky so the paint would create "blooms" as it touched the drying paper.

Up to this point we have been working on wet paper when we added color but you can work WET ON DRY and using a combination of lifting or softening edges with a damp brush.

I used my UM blue and water at the top on dry paper, as I painted I suggested some rough cloud shapes. I rinsed my brush and with just water went along the edge of the painted area with the damp brush to soften the edge and hope for a bloom. I think I talked too much and the paper dried too fast because I wasn't getting the look I wanted so I took a bit more water on my brush and moved the paint around a bit more and even lifted with a paper towel (Left side). You need to understand that each paper will work just a bit different from other papers because of the way they were manufactured also the weather will affect the way the paper works, if the humidity is high it may work great, too low and you are fighting it, that is watercolor and you need to be aware of it.

This last one I was back to wet into wet starting with the blue but to make the white cloud tops I just used water to make the shapes of the clouds. You might have to turn the paper upside down so it doesn't just run down the paper, that is the fun of watercolor is turning the paper to make the paint move in a certain direction. In the still damp white part of the clouds I added a gray color, the "tornado" was made by forcing a drip to run into the red area that was already drying.

You are only limited by the limits you put on yourself. My best advise to you is to experiment and play with the watercolor and watch what they do. The more you understand about how watercolor works the better relationship you get with the medium so you work together, watercolor is the only medium I know I can say this about because at times it does act like it has a mind of its own if you can determine what it might do in a certain situation, you can use that to your advantage, if you try to control the watercolor and not know what it is going to do, you will lose the battle. So play, experiment and observe as you paint and remember: It is just a piece of paper, no one dies, you life does not depend on that one piece of paper so relax, learn and enjoy.

Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fall 2017 Watercolor Class

Watercolor Plus - Leaves and Berries Week 2

This week's class was more of the same for the most part and also starting to flesh out the details of the leaves.

I added yet another wash of color to the background with just my ultramarine blue to deepen the color and make it look like more shadows, but each time I do one of these layers I leave more areas unpainted to create more leaves deep in the bush. I can also leave what looks like stems or twigs just by leaving them unpainted.

If I have time in our next class I will do more washes to get very dark shadows in certain places especially around the subject.

Here you can see how each wash I put down I left leaf shapes by painting around the shape. Sometimes if you look at your brush strokes, you will see that there may already be the suggestion of a leaf, just paint around it.

This week I also started working on detailing leaves and putting a second coat of color on the berries.

The leaves are now being positive painted as opposed to the negative painting we have been doing. Look at the photograph to see where the leaves have highlights and shadows, for instance the leaf in the lower front center of this example is coming towards you to the back part is coming from a darker place into a lighter place as it comes towards the viewer, Start at the base of the leaf with your blue wash where it will be the darkest, come up about a third with that color, rinse your brush and pull some of that color about to the half way point the use a wash of yellow or sap green and yellow to create the brighter tip of the leaf. You will do similar things on each leaf but you will have to look to see where the shadows are, just look at the photo first before you start painting.

The berries are something you will need to decided yourself as to the color. The actual plant had reddish to purplish berries but you can make them all red if you want, it is up to you. Just look at the photo for the highlights and shadows and paint accordingly.

We have one last class and I do hope to get this a bit more finished before we end our class for the year. At least I hope to give you enough information so if you want to finish up at home over the break you can. This was just an exercise on layering and negative painting, I do hope that you have learned a bit about how important this is to the watercolor painter, if you can, please try to get down to the National Watercolor Society's International Exhibit before Dec. 17th, and look at how watercolor is used, see if you can see where these techniques have been used to get a better understanding of where you can go with watercolor. Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Watercolor Project: Fall Proposal Week 7

I still have a few things that need to be done but essentially, I could call it finished at this point in time.

My goal in the last class we to get the "mood" of the painting the way I wanted and to get the richness of color I wanted.

The shadows got another wash of blue and the bright area around the ring box got another wash of napthol red and orange.

I also brightened some of the ends of leaves with color.

These are the things you need to do on your paintings. Look for those things that need more color or more shadow or places that need to be toned down, all the little things that YOU want to do to finish your own paintings.

I put in the ring using a very light gray which is my standard mix of ultramarine blue and a tiny bit of sienna, should be on the blue side, them make sure you add plenty of water so it looks more like silver of white gold than a dark gray. leave the top of where the diamond is paper white as well at the highlight on the top of the ring itself. there needs to be more of a shadow on the box which I will try to get to in our last class.

I need to put in some curly sticks in the back part of the bouquet and I will show you how you can use opaque watercolor, something I don't usually use, but it will work for this. I am also going to do something else to my painting to make the ring stand out a bit more, so I hope you can come and stay for the whole class.

This coming class will be the last class for the semester and the year I hope that you have learned something about how to handle similar colors and how to create leaves out of nothing. Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Fall 2017 Watercolor Classes

Watercolor Plus - Leaves and Berries Week 2

Week 2 of our Leaves and Berries project is basically more of the same: Adding more layers to deepen the shadows and intensify the colors and creating more leaves in the shadows through the use of negative painting.

In this photo I have at least 4 layers of the green as I created the leaves in the shadows. Each layer of wash I put down makes those first leaves I left unpainted look brighter and brighter because of contrast, I may do at least one or two more washes of green with blue to deepen the shadowed areas of my painting.

All of these leaves are in shadow. The leaf in front has had 2 layers of wash before I left it out, the ones behind it had 3 layers of wash. The twigs were painted with sienna and a bit of orange and painted while the background was still damp so the edges would get fuzzy.

I finished the first layer of wash on the berries making sure that I started on the shadowed side of each berry with the darkest color and with a damp brush spreading a little bit of that color up into the lighter areas. Remember the pumpkin: you start where the shadows are and tease the color with a damp brush.

Close-up of some of the berries. BTW, the blue spot on that one berry was a happy accident from the splattering I did when I started the painting, if your's doesn't have it that is fine, there is a little place where the flower was connected that I will need to put in on some of the berries I will do when I get to the detail.

We will work on this until our last day and I hope that we will get enough along that you will see how to finish your's up at home when classes are over.

So keep painting and I will see you in class.

Watercolor Project: A Fall Proposal Week 6

We are coming down the home stretch with this painting now so most of what I did was fine tuning what I had and putting in some detail.

I put on yet another wash of red over all of the background and foreground fabric adding touches of orange to the napthol red in and round the subject and alizarin to the napthol in the shadowed areas and corners. I will probably do at least one more wash of color to deepen the color some more as well as deepen the shadows.

I did remove the masking from the ring but I have not done anything with the ring yet, probably the next class. I did go in and deepen shadows or added color to leaves.

In the red flower I took my ultramarine blue with a touch of sienna (burnt umber will also work) to create a dark color to add a bit of the detail between the petals. Watch the direction and shape of these lines because they are not straight or one width. Look at the photo to see how they differ.

I deepened the shadows of the paper around the bottle so that the one edge of the bottle next to the paper almost disappears, this is called "lost and found lines" and it helps add a bit of visual mystery to the painting.

On the label I added some shadow also to the seal around the neck. I did this with my blue and a touch of alizarin to make a purple color, starting in the darkest part of the shadow I put down the color, rinsed my brush and with a damp brush while the color is still wet, I teased some of the color out into the lighted part of the label to create a sense of roundness to the label and bottle. I did a similar thing on the seal always starting in the darkest area and teasing the color across with a damp brush with just water. I may need to do this again to get the dark I want. Watercolor dries lighter so it may take more than one wash to get the look you want.

I should finish this up in the coming class. We have 2 more weeks and if you need that time to finish, please take it, there is no rush. I will be doing the finishing touches in our next class so keep painting and I will see you in class.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Fall 2017 Watercolor Classes

Watercolor Plus - Leaves and Berries Week 1

This week are are going to put together things we have been practicing to create an actual painting. We started out the same way but this time we are following a photo I took at the nursery and created a drawing from it.

You can put the drawing on before or after the first step, the choice is yours.

I started this painting much the same what I started the leaf washes we did a couple of weeks ago but this time before I splattered paint I wet the paper  because I wanted the colors to spread and blend. Then I let it dry completely. 

Remember not to get this step too dark or you won't have any place to go as you put on more layers.

Before I did the first wash of sap green I had to determine which leaves were the lightest and/or brightest. This is not always easy, one way that helps is squinting at the photo, it will help you see light and darker areas better. This isn't a science, just do your best better to error on the side of the light because you can always go back in and darken something up which is easier than trying to make something lighter.

You will want to paint around stems and berries with this wash because we will be doing their their washes separately. Yes, you could use masking on the berries and stems if you want but they are large enough that you can paint around them.

Remember to paint over EVERYTHING ELSE besides the bright leaves, berries and stems that includes all the background leaves because they will be much darker than the foreground leaves.

While the background is still damp - not wet - you can take your brush with some orange and sienna on it and under paint some of the background stems. Because the paper is still wet it will cause the paint you put down to spread a little creating soft edges. It is important that the paper is only damp, if you still see shine it is too wet wait a few seconds until you see the shine go away then add your stems.

Once the back ground is dry you can start with the first wash of color on the berries. Even though the berries are blue in the photo, they do have some red in them in the lighter areas so I am under painting with my alizarin crimson and doing like I did with the pumpkins: I put the color in the darkest area then with just a damp brush going along the inside edge, I tease the color up leaving a lighter area for the highlight. I will go over these berries several time to get the color and the darkness I want, this is just where I start.

I also under painted the stems with a mix of orange and sienna just be sure that areas that you are painting next to are dry or you could get blooms if wet touches drying.

Try to get as much of this done as you can and we will continue on with this probably until the end of the semester. If you don't get it done, no worries, I would rather you take your time and get the techniques down then have you rush through this and not know what you are doing or why, remember you are learning and no one dies if you don't finish or if it isn't perfect, those masterpieces may be a ways down the line, for now concentrate on learning.

Keep painting I will see you in class.

Advanced Watercolor Class Project: A Fall Proposal Week 5

Before I started class, I had to really look at the painting to see where I needed to start because I wasn't happy with how it looked and something just seemed off. I decided that the first thing I needed to so was to get another wash of color and shading into the fabric background and foreground and also get a wash on the paper around the bouquet.

The background wash was mostly the napthol red and alizarin, in the shadow areas I added some blue to create a shadow color and touches of orange around the box and the front of the bouquet. Then I let it dry before I painted the paper and reassessed my painting.

When the background was dry, I did another wash of color on the paper using napthol red (you can use cad red light) with a touch of orange and went over everything that is paper including the part behind the wine bottle.

Once I had done those two things and my painting had dried, I looked at my painting again and those washes made all the difference in the world! The reason for this is now all parts of my painting were at the same point of completion and the bouquet looked like it fit in, this is an important thing to remember because sometimes we are concentrating so much on one thing because it doesn't look right and we end up overworking that area, when all along if didn't look right because it was far more complete than the rest of the painting, so yeah, in comparison it was out of place but it was the rest of the painting that needed work not the thing you thought had the problem. Work in, around and through you painting bring all aspect up at the same time so you finish it all at the same time and you won't get areas that are over or under worked.

I added more shadows around the flower petals and created the tips of leaves sticking out by negative painting the shadow underneath the leaf. 

I also suggested some flower petals in the hydrangea using blue with a touch of alizarin to create a lavender color. If you look closely, there are only a couple of actual flowers in that cluster the rest are just shapes. You don't need to spell out everything for the view, you just need to suggest.

I also went around to deepened shadows around the other flowers and leaves sometimes creating more leaves if I saw the need. Again, if you look closely the shapes only suggest leaves for the most part there really aren't any actual leaves just suggestions.

Next week I will be working on finishing up this painting, I may not get it all done but I will be close. I will take off the masking on the ring and work on that as well.

So keep painting and I will see you in class.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Fall 2017 Watercolor Classes

Watercolor Plus - Using Washes and Shading

The following are the instructions for the past 2 weeks of class starting with the second phase of the Fall Leaves followed by 2 kinds of shading round objects.

I do want you to note that even though these subjects are very different - leaves and pumpkins - the technique is the same: A series of washes or layers of color to achieve a goal. The techniques may be few but their applications are limited only by the artist.

Starting where I left off leaving more and more leaves leaves unpainted, I added 2 more layers of wash each time leaving more leaves unpainted. I stopped here only because I wanted to move on but wanted to show that once you got your own leaves to a level where you wanted to stop, then you could start adding detail.

I also did some lifting when I added the 2 new layers by using a clean damp brush to lift out leaf and twig shapes (I was using my angle brush), rinse and dry often when doing this technique or you will just move paint from one place to another. I let each new layer dry completely before adding the next, this is important or you could end up mixing mud when you stir up previous layers of color.

I looked for places like the curls on the leaves to add more color to make them darker or to suggest one leaf over the other.

Basically at this point I am starting detail and I am looking to see where I need to add shadows and color and textures. This, for me, is the fun part because if you stick with it and increase depth with shadow, color and detail the painting starts to come alive. Depending on how much detail you want to put into a painting will determine the amount of time it will take, if you are detail oriented you must be patient with this process.

Adding color to the leaves will give them character adding things like bug bites, holes and cracks just adds to that character of the leaf. The holes and bug bites were made with just a darker color (sienna and blue), which represents the bottom of the leaf that is in shadow.

Go out and look at leaves on the ground and see how they are decaying and changing color and shape. Take photos and keep a reference file either on your computer or a physical file of photos (you may end up with many files if you do this right). The more you see as an artists the more you will understand what you need to do to accomplish your goals for your paintings. Doing studies and drawings will also hope you along your artistic path, don't overlook doing studies or drawing because you "just want to paint" they are all connected.

This is where I stopped in class because we ran out of time. If I get a chance I will do some more work to make it look a bit more finished. I could make this look very realistic from this point, we will see.

Like I said, do as much as you personally feel like doing, this is an exercise to show you how to use washes to create depths and values in your painting, the detail is the fun stuff but you will learn a lot from doing it.

Shading Pumpkins

This Pumpkin actually has 2 washes of color. the first wash is the light orange you see near the top where the pumpkin will receive the most light, the yellow will be the highlight for this pumpkin. The second wash is the darker orange, leaving part of the first wash on the pumpkin the light orange 

On the stem, the first wash is the light green was the first wash, the darker green was the second wash.

Note the little mark of orange on the side of the pumpkin, both the first AND the second wash were that value. The second wash appears darker because of the layers of color.

It is important to let the layers dry between washes.

The second pumpkin was done a different way using washes of grey to just do the values of the pumpkin first and later we add the color.

Note: the orange on the stem is because I had some orange on my brush at the time. It doesn't hurt anything.

The grey I use is usually a mix or ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, leaning more to the blue side. this time I was using that mix along with the "pallet" grey I get from adding water to all the paint in the cool section of my pallet, so it may have had a bit of everything to start.

Again, this is a couple of layers of the grey, I started with a bit darker mix (see the dark mark on the side) starting in the darkest area of the pumpkin which will be the bottom and the side away from the light source, then I took a damp brush and moved the color up the sides of the pumpkin, rinsing often until I had just a faint wash of color at the top. I left an area unpainted for the highlight. I repeat this process until I get the value in all areas that I am looking for.

Several layers later and adding a bit of blue to the final wash for the shadows, this is the result for the first pumpkin. I also used a dark mix of UM blue, a touch of sienna and alizarin crimson with enough water so it would flow (still needs to be transparent) to create the shadow on the ground and the shadow of the stem on the pumpkin. 

I also use that color with a bit more water to suggest the ribs of the pumpkin.

This is the second pumpkin with a wash or two of orange and yellow for the highlight. Let it dry between washes, you may not need to add more than one layer if you did the under painting correctly and use a wash of orange that is a bit stronger than the washes on the other pumpkin, remember the water to keep it transparent.

I used the same mix as before for the shadows on the table and from the stem, but lifted the highlights on the ribs of the pumpkin. Where it goes darker on those rib lines was just the color from my brush.

Below is a comparison to the 2 techniques.

A Fall Proposal Weeks 3 and 4

In week 3 of this project I worked to start defining the leaves in the bouquet by adding color to the ends of the leaves and shadows where they go under other leaves or the paper or just into the bulk of the bouquet. Remember you are just suggesting leaves, if you make some general leaf shapes you will be giving your viewer enough info to understand what it is, you don't need to spell it out.

You will be doing both positive painting (painting the thing) and negative painting when you do shadows. Please look at the photo and look at things around you to see how one object casts a shadow on another before you start painting, it will help you understand what you are to be doing.

I also started working on the flowers. The red flower has darker reds near the center, I used alizarin and UM blue so it was a very cool red color. Also notice the darker shadows I added around the flower and how I used a shadow color (the alizarin and blue but more blue this time) to create leaves with negative painting.

Finally, I did a wash of that same shadow color to create the shadows of the folds in the fabric. It looks more purple because I had a wash of red on there before but it is actually more to the blue side before it went on the paper.

PLEASE!!! Look at the folds in the photo or take some cloth and LOOK at how the folds and creases are soft, different shapes, sizes and widths you will need to blend the edges of your strokes after you put them down, use a damp large brush to blend both sides of the  color you just put down or you can wet the area first so the brush strokes will soften as you go, THIS IS IMPORTANT so you material looks soft.

This was the end of week 3.

On week 4 I did more of what I had started with the leaves but I also went into the fabric again this time with an overall (the fabric area) wash of alizarin and napthol red. In the shadowed part of the fabric after a couple of washes of the red, I added some UM blue so the color was a bit more purple. It will all get a lot darker than it is now if I have time.

(I think it was the camera exposure that makes the box look lighter, it could also be comparison to the previous lighter background and the now darker background, FYI)

I lifted out the suggestion of wrinkles in the shadow while the darker bluish wash was still damp.

You can use the darker background color to define the edges of your flowers or to leave bits of the lighter background color as highlights on the edges of flowers.

While it is hard to see, I did put a pale wash of yellow on the white flowers. this is just a tint so it was more water than color. I want the sparkle of the diamond to be the whitest thing in my painting so I needed to bring down the whiteness of the flowers and still make them look white.

Finally, I added color to the bottle. In the darker areas I used a strong mix of UM Blue, and alizarin crimson occasionally adding more of the crimson where it might be picking up light and more blue in the shadowed side. Noticed that along the bottom and the side, I left a little of the green under painting showing to suggest the bottle's glass.

Where the light is hitting the bottle, I used a damp brush with just water to blend out the edges, a bit of Hooker's green where the glass is in the light but leaving the original under painting for the highlight. Again I used a clean damp brush to blend the to blend the highlights into the other areas . Do this just around the edges of the color so the center stays light.

That is where we ended on week 4 and should catch us up for the past 2 weeks. We will continue on this painting and I think we may get it done in the next 2 weeks, at least that is what I am hoping.

Keep painting and I will see you in class.

P.S. If you are in the intermediate class on Monday, you might want to read through the first blog to catch up on basic watercolor techniques. We are using them all in this painting.