Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Classes Begin

Spring 08 – Week 1

Usually the first week of class is dedicated to going over the equipment lists and general class info. Many of the new students do not have their supplies on the first day so the real work starts on the second week. This was true of my morning acrylic class but in my watercolor class in the afternoon, I only had one new person and she came prepared so we did get started on the watercolor project. I will include details of what we did later on this blog.

I know that some of you are having trouble getting this blog and that you end up on my nephew’s blog, we are trying to correct the problem so please bear with us. There is also a problem accessing archived entries which kinda defeats the purpose of the blog, we are working on that as well, hopefully we can get the bugs worked out, this is a new area for both of us so it is a learn as we go situation. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Watercolor – Sunflower Week 1

The important part and probably the most challenging aspect of this painting is the drawing. If you are not real sure of your drawing skills you might want to draw your pattern onto a piece of tracing or drawing paper that is about the size of the watercolor paper you will be working on so if you have to erase, you won’t damage the watercolor paper. Transfer the pattern using graphite paper or by rubbing a pencil over the line on the back of the paper then laying on your watercolor paper. There are also programs like that will enlarge an image to the size you need and print it out on multiple sheets of standard 8 ½” x 11” paper. Remember: It does not have to be exact. If you don’t have as many petals as the photo, no one is going to notice unless they have the picture in hand and count each and every petal. This is art, not a photograph. Just do the best you can and fill up the paper with the image.

After you have your drawing on you are going to need to have your Cadmium Yellow light (pale) and it you have Indian Yellow or Cad orange or some other yellow, we will be using those as well, though it is not necessary. You will also need sap green for this step.

Wet your paper thoroughly. You may start by spraying the paper with your spray bottle but you will need the largest brush you have to spread the water around and to add more, the surface will be very shiny from the water.

Using the same large brush pick up some yellow (any of the above) and mix it on your palette with plenty of water. This is going to be a very pale wash for the background. Apply this to your paper. If you pick up more color than you intended, just use water to thin it on your paper. It WILL NOT MATTER if this first layer has a mottled look that would actually be a good thing. As you cover your paper with color use the other colors of yellow or orange, the important thing here is to keep this first wash very light. While the paper is still wet, you can if you want, drop a bit of your sap green into the center of the sunflower, though this can be done later if you forget. Let this dry.

When your paper has completely dried, you will be using the same colors you have just used except you will be using them a little bit more concentrated (less water) but still very pale. Paint all the petals of the flower with your yellows, since they are all being painted as once you do not need to paint them individually, they can be painted “en mass” varying the yellows as you paint. For the leaves and stems use a dilute wash of sap green.

The important aspect to all watercolor is layers or washes so don’t get too dark too fast or you will have no place to go. Because watercolor dries lighter, you really need to wait for your painting to dry to know exactly what you painting looks like before proceeding. I see many students try to correct something on their painting without waiting for it to dry and this not only over works an area but the constant rubbing of the brush damages the paper which in turn makes the colors darker and all other manner of problems can happen. You must be patient with watercolor and let it dry before proceeding.

Next week we start to add detail and more color.

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