Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spring 2010 Watercolor Class Week 7

Watercolor – Week 7: Borax Wagon

Torrance students you are a bit behind the PV students but you should finish the wagon up at our last meeting, so do not despair.

All classes, before I painted the dark shadow under the wagon, I used masking fluid to protect the sun streaks that are in the shadows. While this was drying, I worked on some of the detail on the wagon. Torrance students I had to paint the iron bar that attaches to the wood beam that comes from under the wagon. If you haven't drawn it in, do it now, all I has was a curvy line and used the edge of my ¼" angled shader to get the width of the bar you can use a round brush if you like. First I painted the bar with just water. While it was still wet, I picked up burnt sienna and tapped my brush into the center of the wet area and let the paint do most of the work. Then I picked up blue and lightly touched the shadowed side of the bar, again while it was wet and letting the paint do the work. I rinsed my brush and picked up some orange for the sun lit side of the bar (it should still be wet) and touched the orange to the left side of the bar. LET THE PAINT DO MOST OF THE WORK!

Torrance students you will need to look at last week's blog for the detail on the beams under the wagon and on the hub so I don't have to repeat myself, your photo will be your best reference, it is mostly doing what you have been doing – dry brush texture, adding intensity to your colors and shadowing – you can figure out what and where if you look carefully.

The bolts on the wagon and on the wheel are not long involved detail work, they are quick and simple shapes. We just need to suggest to the viewer that they are bolts or what ever and they will fill in the rest.

You may want to use a small round brush for this, I used my liner brush because it comes to a fine point and hold a lot of paint so I can do more than one or two bolts before reloading. I was using the dark shadow color and where I needed to suggest "bolt" I just drew 3 little lines like the shadowed side of a bolt and a small dot in the center. Notice where the blots are placed on the wagon: they are on the vertical boards on each side of the spaces between the long boards. I did the bolts on the wagon wheel later but in the same way. That is it! Don't get carried away thinking it is more than it is and all it is are some basic, simple shapes that suggest "bolt".

While you have that smaller brush in your hand, there are a few other things you can do with the dark color: There is a bracket on the wagon that holds the chain and at the bottom of the wagon there is a metal plate you can suggest with a couple of quick lines to indicate a shadow, this plate also has a could of bolts holding it on, two seconds and it is done.

Near the top of the wagon is an "M" shaped piece of metal, while we still don't know what it does, we did figure out that the metal bar slips over it and it acts like a lock or stop to hold the bar so the driver can handle the mules, at least that is what it looks like, anyway, with my ¼" in angled brush – you can use any small brush you feel comfortable with – I started in the dark shadowed side next to the bar with my very dark color. Near the top of the first point, I rinsed my brush and with just water, dragged tome of the color up to the top of the point. I then picked up a touch of sienna and touched into that wet area, rinsed and found some lighter version of the dark color on my palette. It just needs to be a gray color and I tapped this color almost down to the center, skipped the center then went up the side. Look at the photo to see where the dark and light areas are.

When that was done, with the same brush and the same dark color, I painted in the shadow that is under this metal strip. If you need to pencil it in before painting, that is fine, just be very aware of the shape of the shadow. I'm not so concerned with hard lines this time because the hard lines actually help give a strong sense of light to the painting. We are artists and we have a license and we need to use it upon occasion.

There is also a shadow from something off camera that looks like another metal bar you can paint in now as well as the shadow cast from the metal bar we can see. Notice that at the bottom of the wagon there is another hunk of wood that rests on the beam that hold the metal bar and the shadow from off camera changes position as it falls over it. Paint in that dark shadow while you are there that is under this hunk of wood, I think it is a support for the metal bar.

Detail isn't hard but it can be time consuming. Just keep in mind that a few simple shapes. a few lines here and there can bring a whole different look to your painting. Don't be afraid of it, just take your time.

On the beams under the wagon I suggested some of the paint on the beams, I kept it mostly to the sides and left the top light. The color was sienna, a touch of red and a tiny touch of purple and I just dry brushed it on here and there, leaving bits of the under painting showing to look like exposed wood.

There are several chains on the wagon and while it may look complicated, it really isn't all that hard. Using my liner brush again and a mix of sienna and a touch of purple, I made a series of loops and bars to create the chains. I didn't draw them in first but I did draw a line that I could follow so I knew how it draped over the bar. This "o-o-o-" looks more like chain than just doing a series of loops strung together (ooooooo) because the loop you are seeing the full shape of the loop and the bar is the loop on its side (see photo page). It doesn't matter if the loops are exactly the same, these chains were made by hand one link at a time plus they have been abused and used for over 100 years. When you get to the shadow of the chain on the side of the wagon, pay special attention to the distortion of the shapes as they fall on the wagon. Torrance students, I think this is about where we stopped, PV classes carry on.

We managed to finish the wagon in both classes at PV (yeah!) at this point you need to be sure that all the shadows on the parts of the wagon are where they should be, we have a little more to do to finish just review the photo and your painting to see if all is as it should be at this point.

On the hub, there is a metal band around it, if you have your center painted you can paint in the shadow of that band on the recessed end of the hub. If you need to paint the center, it is red, orange and sienna and starting from the outside and pulling in creating a mottled look, let it dry before adding the shadow. There is also a shadow under the next band back.

Please look at the photo before starting the shadow on the center of the hub. The wheel is canted slightly in so we aren't seeing the wheel straight on. You can see a bit of the lip of this band on the right side that is in the sun and the shadow cast from the left side. There is also a slight shadow where the wood in the center meets the lip. Just make note of this before you paint.

The lug nut in the center is created by negative painting and lifting. I negative painted the shadow on the left side of the nut and lifted a highlight on the sunlit recess it sits in. I also lifted a little off a couple of the corners of the nut and it was done! No drama here, just in and out, simple steps.

If you want, you can put in some deeper grooves on the wooden rim using your liner brush and a dark color, this is just some extra detail you can do and you can also use it on the wagon if you want, it is up to you. Also add a few shadows behind some of the paint chips to give them depth if you want, do as much or as little as satisfies you.

By this time your masking should be dry so once again I mixed up a dark color of blue, purple and sienna keeping it to the blue side and painted all of the shadows I saw under the wagon. There is a stanchion right behind the wheel that I ignored and just painted in shadows, that was much more interesting than what was there. I used my ¾" brush for the large areas and my ½" for smaller areas. Refer to the photo if you need to and while you have this color handy, make sure that all your shadows are dark enough. Watercolor dries lighter and these shadows need to be pretty dark to get the contrast we need.

When the shadows are totally dry, you can remove the masking. With a damp brush, just soften the lines of these shapes just a bit. If you want to add texture of the dirt, use the shadow color and stipple some into some of the light areas.

Some final detail are the bolts on the wheel along with lines and cracks, I also added a long metal bar under the wagon because I liked it, do or don't, it is up to you. I think that is all and from what I was seeing in class, everyone is doing a great job. This was a challenge because of the detail but if you have patience with yourself and take it one step at a time and keep a positive attitude, you CAN do detailed subjects. Don't set yourself up for failure by saying it is too complicated, or it looks tough because you have already been defeated. It is a challenge or a puzzle you need to figure out but you can do this!

Registration is now open at both Torrance and PV for the summer session. Please get signed up early so we can continue our classes. Torrance students this is especially true because we need at least 10 to keep the doors open.

PV students, I will figure out something for our last 3 weeks, Torrance students after the holiday we will finish the wheel and we will also have a critique so please bring in one or more paintings on our last day for critique, they can be your best or something you want a second opinion on what ever you want to bring. See you all soon.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Spring 2010 Week 6

Watercolor Class – Borax Wagon

Depending on what class you are in, you may need to reread the end of last weeks blog to get details, I am going to pick up where I left off in the Tuesday afternoon class but will review here what is needed to get caught up.

I dry brushed in the texture of the sides of the wagon and the vertical beams that hold it together. I also under painted the shapes under the wagon with sienna and under painted the wagon wheel and did some texture on it along with the beginnings of the worn paint and I put in a few shadows. See the photos I posted and read the blog to get to that point.

The lines that represent the spaces between the planks on the side of the wagon can be done with either your liner brush, a round brush or a flat brush, choice is yours what ever you feel you have more control over. Just remember that the line will look better if it isn't perfect so don't get out a straight edge. Same with the shadows behind the vertical boards on the wagon, this is a very well worn wagon there is nothing on it that is perfectly straight.

The paint on the wheel is redder on the front than it is on the spokes or the inside rim where it tends to have a lot of orange, if you need to enhance the color use sienna with a touch of red to brighten the color and hit and miss along the edge and make sure that you vary your shapes: Thick, thin; large small; wide, narrow – It is old paint.

We will be using that terracotta color along with orange so don't wipe it off your palette.

On the inside rim start out with that terracotta color at the top spoke and work it down to the next spoke the change to orange all the way to the bottom. Don't worry about the shadows just yet, we will get to them later. If you want, you can wet the area first it might make it easier for you.

Each spoke is going to be painted the same way but with any luck at all, each will look a bit different. This will be wet into wet and there are a couple of ways you can start. I was using my flat, ¼" angled brush for these smaller areas. First the obvious, paint each spoke with water first, then orange then the terracotta. Drop the colors in by touching the tip of your brush to the paper and letting the paint do the work. The other way is to wet the area with orange and touch the terracotta into the orange. The paint should do most of the work and again, don't even think about shadows right now, we will get to them later. This takes time and patience so don't try to rush it. If the red color gets into areas you want lighter, use a clean damp brush to lift off the color a bit, but that is about all you should have to do.

On those wooden beams under the wagon use a mix of sienna with a touch of purple to make a dark red color and dry brush on some texture on some of the beams that are in the sun. Avoid the tops of those things to keep them lighter.

The support beam right under the wagon that has that bar attached can be a bit tricky because the side of it goes from the light into the shadow and it has some reflected light on it. That light is that reddish color you were just using, just wet the area first then touch the color into that area. The metal bar may take some practice on a larger scale so you know what you need to do but I first wet the bar with water then with just straight sienna touched the tip of my brush down the center of the bar. Rinsed and picked up some blue on the time and touched that to the right (shadowed) side, rinsed and picked up orange and touché that to the sunny side (left), all while it was wet and I let the paint figure out the rest.

The rims on the hub and on the outside of the wheel were done in much the same way: Wet the area then touch with color (sienna, blue, orange)

Now we get into some of the shadows. The color will be the same throughout and it will be a mix of blue, purple and a touch of sienna but mostly to the blue side. I am still using my ¼" flat angled brush and it is very important that you have your reference photo handy because you sill be referring to it often.

On the wheel, I looked for spokes that were near ones that I have in my painting (remember we only have 10 and there are actually 14) so I knew the shapes I would need for the shadows. On the left hand side of the wheel next to the spokes, there is a shadow that runs from just past the top of the wheel to the bottom. It is just a thin line but an important one to add depth. At the top on the inside it is very dark then lightens somewhat as it gets next to the spoke at 1 o'clock, this is because there is some reflected light getting into the shadow. The rest of the shadows are pretty dark and you will need to check the photo to see where they go. Some are thin, some only go down a little way, others go down almost half way depending on how the light is hitting other parts of the wheel to create the shadows.

Under the wagon, use the same dark color to start creating light and dark shapes out of the red color you have there. IF you want to add some detail like the chain just behind the wheel, all you have to do is negative paint, first paint the holes with the dark color, then paint around where you want the chain. Please, please, PLEASE check your reference photo to see where your shadows go, it isn't hard to do if you just look before you paint. It is the light and dark shapes you create that will give some meaning to what all that is under there so please take your time to find these dark and light shapes.

We will be working some more on our wagon and will really be getting into the detail. I don't think we will get it finished this week, maybe the next which for Torrance will be our last class. See ya soon.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spring 2010 Watercolor Class

Watercolor – Borax Wagon Week 1

I know that the detailed drawing can be a bit confusing especially the stuff that is going on under the wagon, all you have to do is draw the shapes you see and not worry about that it is. I don't know what it is and it really doesn't matter what it is because we are ONLY concerned with shapes, we shouldn't be naming anything that we are drawing or painting, it is all just shapes. If you draw the shapes as you see them and paint them as you see them, if they are important, when you are done they will look like what they are suppose to but they are still just shapes. Do the best you can and don't sweat the small stuff.

There is only a small section of sky in the upper right hand corner, I wet that area with just water and included the distant mountains when I was wetting the paper. I then picked up blue and a touch of sienna to give me a gray/blue and painted the upper portion of the sky and let gravity do a lot of the work by rinsing my brush and with just water touching the bottom edge of that color and letting the color run down (I always work with the back of my paper elevated at least a couple inches). I then turned my paper upside down, picked up some sienna and a touch of red and just below the tops of the mountains applied this new color and let it run towards the blue sky. I tilted my paper to get the colors to go where I wanted them and then held it flat for a minute or so until the paper dried enough that they weren't running together fast. They were still mixing a bit but not enough to matter.

Let the sky dry a bit before starting the distant mountains but if they are just a touch damp, it will work to your advantage to create a soft edge or wait until it dries completely if you are unsure.

I picked up some sienna and a touch of red to create the distant mountains. It should be just a shade or two darker than the sky but not real dark, it is in the distance. Use water (a damp brush is good enough) to move the color from the top of the mountain to the bottom to keep it light.

While your mountains are drying, you can start on the desert floor. You will be negative painting the wagon as you paint the dirt around it. If it helps you, wet an area with water first then touch color – wet into wet – into the wet areas. Use mostly your warm colors – sienna, orange, yellow and red – but you can add some of your cool colors if you want, keep your strokes mostly horizontal and don't be too heavy handed when you apply your colors, this should be light and sunny when you are done. Many of you were way too generous with your colors and they got too heavy too soon, remember we work light to dark, if you get too dark too soon, you have nowhere to go with your color. Let the ground area dry before moving on to the wagon.

If your mountains are dry, if you have some of that pinkish color on your palette you can add a lot of water to it, if you have to remix, it was sienna and red and LOTS of water to make just a faint tint of pink for the sand hills just below the mountains. This is just a very light tint for these hills because they are made up of sand. Let it dry just a few seconds, probably just the time it takes to mix some sap green with a touch of orange and water, then just touch this color onto the tops of these sand hills while they are still a bit wet, this will be the grasses that are growing on the tops of these old dunes.

The under painting for the wagon is a very light gray color. You can probably get a good gray by mixing a lot of water with all the colors on your palette to get a "palette gray" or if you are just too neat, use just touches of blue, sienna and purple to create a gray tint much like you did for the sand hills in that it is very light. I painted over everything except for that metal strip on the upper left side of the wagon.

For the under painting for the wheel and the stuff under the wagon, I added a touch of sienna to that tint to warm it up and to make it a bit darker in value. I painted the outside rim and the under parts with this color on the spokes, I added orange and mixed with that reddish color.

This is the point where I left off at Torrance however we did go a bit further at PV. Torrance students if you want to try and do some of the things I did at PV before class next week, feel free, I will get you caught up so no need to panic.

Before I could do this next step the wagon had to be totally dry. If you are unsure, get out a hair dryer or let it sit for a half hour or so. If your paper is at all wet, this won't work. Be ye forewarned!

With a very dry brush, I worked some orange into my brush (I was using my ½" and ¾" brushes). Before I touched the paper I squeezed the bristles near the metal ferrule to make sure I didn't have any excess water in my brush, then touching the paper lightly with the very edge of the brush, I dragged it horizontally across on the wagon sides, wiggling a bit as I went. THIS TAKES PRACTICE. Have some scratch paper handy to practice on and just paint the side boards not the vertical supports just yet. Skip areas, if this is old varnish or paint, it has worn off in spots. Repeat this step using other colors like sienna or blue just be sure that the paper is dry, your brush is dry and you use a very light touch. We also dry brushed the grain into the vertical stays that hold the sides of the wagon. PV Morning class, this is where we stopped.

Afternoon class we got a bit further we added some texture to the outside rim of the wheel using a mix of blue and sienna with water, we want it a bit darker than what's there but not real dark just yet. Make sure you get the excess water out of your brush before starting the texture. We also started putting on the flecks of paint on the wheel rim the same way as well.

We did start some of the shadows using blue and purple with a touch of sienna very little water painting in the underneath part of the wagon and some of the shadows on the wagon from the stays. Note on that support coming out from under the wagon that has the metal bar on it there is some reflected light on the side – look at the reference photo – before it goes under the wagon.

We also painted the metal bar on the side. First I wet the bar with water, not drippy water, just enough to dampen the area then I picked up some sienna on the tip of my brush and ran it down the center of the entire length of the bar. While it was still wet, I picked up some blue and ran this color down the shadowed side of the bar, rinsed my brush and picked up orange and ran that down the front side. This whole thing was done wet into wet. I did leave a gap where the chain was. That is where we left off in the PV afternoon class.

If the other classes want to try and get to this point on your own, that is fine with me. Just take your time and look at the photo and try to figure out on your own what you have to do to get the look you want. Or you can wait until class and we will all get caught up. Be ready to work on Monday and Tuesday. See you then.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Spring Watercolor Classes 2010

Week 4 – Watercolor: Creating Form

When I walk around my classes to observe what my students are working on, there are things that stand out and tell me we need to work of some basics still. Most students want to paint things that look reasonably real as opposed to impressionistic or abstract, yet there is a lack of understanding about how to create a 3D look on a 2D surface, e.g. paper. That was the basis for the lesson but it was more than just creating the shapes it was also how to see them in everything around you.

As an artist, your first job is to become very observant. You will hear me say this time and again but it is very important to understand what you are painting before you can actually start painting. Whether you are working from a photograph or plein aire being able to see the detail will bring a sense of life to your paintings and a sense of light.

Highlights, form shadows, reflected highlights and cast shadows work in concert to bring form and substance to your subject matter and your painting in general, you need to learn to see them in real life so you can use them in your paintings. We start with the light source.

We live on a planet with only one sun, keep this in mind when you are working from a photo or if you set up a still life at home. A photo, even ones you take yourself, can have what is called "fill light". It comes from the flash on your camera. Professional photographers may use several fill lights to create an image, while not wrong, too much light can take out the drama of the light and out of your painting. With a still life, most people will over light their subject because they want to be able to see every detail, which is fine so long as you take a photo with only one light source as your primary reference, use the others only if you need some clarification. If you are working directly from the set-up, resist adding more than one light source, it will work to your advantage.

Another thing to keep in mind is where the light is coming from. As a photographer I know that the time to get the best photos is early morning before 10 or 11 a.m. or after 2 p.m. and try to get the light to come from the sides of the subject. This will create dramatic form and cast shadows as well as highlights for a much more interesting photo. This principal also works in paintings.

Look at how the light falls on your subject, in this instance a roll of paper towels. The top of the roll and the top of the side closest to the light will be your brightest areas, everything else will be shades of gray. Now look at the corner on the table opposite the brightest corner for the roll (you may have to set up a roll next to a window or other single light source to see this). You should notice a couple of things one is the cast shadow and the other is that the form shadow on the towels is just slightly lighter than the cast shadow.

First the form shadow: Notice how as it goes around the roll it changes from a dark blue gray to lighter grays and finally to white in the upper corner, this is how you need to paint the roll or any subject for that matter. Start with a darker blue/gray (blue, purple and sienna) on your brush put it on the darkest part of the towels, rinse your brush and move the paint around the roll with water. Another thing to keep in mind is your strokes should reflect the surface you are painting. The towels are round so you should use curved strokes to help create the illusion of roundness.

Now the cast shadow: Notice how the shadow moves away from the roll, it is very dark near the roll and right under the roll and as it moves away from the roll it becomes softer and the edges more diffused the further it is from the towels. Keep this in mind as you paint, you can start near the towels with some thicker paint and as you move away from the towels do more dry brush to lighten and soften the color.

On the inside of the towel roll the highlights and shadows are reversed since the towels are blocking the light from the light source. This will be true on anything that is hollow such as bowls, buckets or rotted tree trunks. See it first before you paint.

The last thing is the reflected highlight. This is probably the most challenging thing for you to see though once you finally do see the reflected highlights, it will be easier to see them in all things. Reflected highlights occur when light bounces off of one thing and back into the form shadows of another. It is usually a cooler color such as a blue purple but it can also be a reflected color of something around the thing you are painting, it won't be as bright as its origin however it will be just slightly lighter than the form shadow. Adding these soft purple or cooler colors to your shadows will give them life and bring a sense of reality to your paintings.

You can create form whether you are working wet into wet or wet on to dry, either one is going to take practice and knowledge. You need to look for these things I've been talking about, they are all around you. Once you see them you will understand how important they are to your paintings so please don't just take my word for it start looking for these things.

It is also good to practice your techniques on a scrape canvas or paper (use watercolor paper it's tougher). The more familiar you are with how your paints and brushes work the better off you will be when you are working on your masterpiece.

I showed how to do wet into wet first by wetting the paper with just water then literally dropping color or just barely touching the paper with the tip of the brush onto the wet surface and letting the paint work its magic. You can also wet the paper with paint that has a lot of water then dropping color into the wet paint, both methods create fun results, its what I love about watercolor, just letting it do its own thing, remember if you fight the watercolor it will win, work with it and you will have great results.

I'm still working on finding something for class but I hope to have it up by Sunday.

Here are a couple of Google links that will take you to the works of Rembrant and Van Gogh to see how the masters used light and shadow. With Van Gogh you will have to look at his "saner" periods but his use of light is beautiful.


Van Gogh

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Watercolor Spring 2010

Week 3 – Cactus

When I look at the overall color of the cactus what I see is a predominance of yellow. Yes, it is a green cactus pad but it has a lot of yellow over all so that is where I start because yellow is going to be my lightest color after white. I painted the entire cactus with yellow working wet on dry and adding water when I needed to move paint. If you are working more level than I have to paint for class, it would be okay to wet the area first then add your color, I just have to make sure my color stays where I put it, it my paper is too wet, all the color will run to the bottom.

In the flower area, I did use the same yellow but one, I diluted it with water so it was lighter, and two, I did paint around where I will have the edges of petals so I have some white highlights, then I let the whole thing dry.

When my paper was dry, I mixed a color for my base color of the cactus pad it was sap green, with touches of yellow and orange. The orange has red in it and slightly grays the green to give it a softer look. On the pad itself, I just quickly put down this color using a scumbling stroke which means strokes going in all directions. This will give the pad texture and it will give you more texture if you work wet on dry paper adding water where you need it. Just do this quickly so you don't stir up the color underneath. While it won't really bother this particular painting if you do, it is good practice for the times you really don't want to mix mud.

On the buds I started in the darkest areas with this color rinsed my brush and with a damp brush, blended the color out from the shadow area with just water to create a graded wash and to start creating a rounded look, I also used a diluted version of this color in the shadow areas of the unopened buds. Again, I let it dry before proceeding. I can use a hair dryer if I want but the paper still needs to be dry to the touch.

The color I used for the shadows I mixed down in that same green color but I added blue and purple with a bit of water to make a dark green color. Again, I started in the shadow area by putting the color down, rinsing my brush and with a damp brush, I pulled the color out but this time I did not go quite as far as before and "dab" your brush a bit to give some texture. Save this color you will need it in a minute.

In the darkest of shadows usually under things like the flowers, and where the buds attach to the pad or between buds or the smaller pad at the bottom, you will need a very dark color, I use a mix of blue with just a touch of purple, the purple goes a long way and can over power in a hurry that's why I say a touch. I am using my angled shaders for all of this painting but with practice you and do this with any brush, I just find I can do a lot with one brush and tend to stick with what I know, this is a good thing because the less you have to think about your equipment the more time you can devote to your painting.

I load my dark blue/purple on to the tip of my brush which was very dry before I loaded it, then placing the tip in the darkest area but placing the entire brush on the paper I paint the dark shadow. If you do it right with either an angled or flat brush the edge that was formed away from where the tip painted should be a soft edge. If it isn't or you are using a round brush, rinse your brush, dry off most of the water and run the damp brush along the outside edge to soften it. To create the cast shadows, add a touch of water to the blue/purple so that it is a bit lighter than what you just did but still dark and paint the shapes of the shadows. Soften any hard outside edges of the shadow with a clean damp brush. Let the pad area dry.

The shadows for the flowers are very delicate so there will be a lot of water in any color you mix for the shadows. I started in that green color I mixed for the first layers so medium shadows – the one I told you to save – and into it I added a bit more yellow, a tiny touch of purple and water. You want a very light gray/green color this color will go under, between and behind the petals and a lot of what you will do is negative paint the shapes of the flower petals. Don't be afraid to use water to dilute the color even more because the color is very subtle and very delicate. Let the flowers dry before adding more color.

On the pad of the cactus where the spikes are, there are subtle ridges to show a ridge you need to give it form with highlights and shadows, even subtle ones. To create a highlight, rinse your brush and with a clean, damp brush lift out a diagonal highlight that is uneven, not a straight line, across the pad. The cactus doesn't have a ruler so the lines meanders a bit, have wide and narrow areas and curve slightly when they come to the edges.

Right next to this lifted highlight, use a diluted form of the shadow color – something dark and cool already on your palette will work – and make a similar shape next to the highlight again it isn't straight or even. Soften any hard lines with a clean damp brush. If you want, you can add a wash of yellow across the highlight, not necessary but do wet the line with water and using the tip of your brush pick up some straight sienna and tap the color in rough circles to create the base of the spikes while the area is wet, the edges will automatically fuzz out.

I also lifted the reddish leaves of the new, smaller pad with my small angled brush and with the same brush, I mixed my napthol red with a touch of sienna for the reddish color of the leaves on the new pad and the buds. Remember that these little leaves are growing over something that is round so they will be curved to go around what they are growing over. In the shadow areas where I have leaves, I added a touch of purple.

If the flowers are dry, you can add more yellow to some of the petals. Don't forget about your highlights you will want to paint around them but don't worry about painting over the shadows with more yellow, it won't hurt the final outcome.

At this point all that is left is the detail and if you are so inclined, feel free, however the last things I did was I lifted out the spikes with the edge of my angle brush using it clean but just a bit damp (if you see dark rings around the areas where you have lifted it is because your brush was too damp and the water ran off your brush and onto your paper) then I added some cast shadows with my shadow color. Because this was just a demo I hadn't done anything with my background but to show off the flowers I used a dark blue/purple and painted around the flowers, the contrast sets the flowers apart from the white of the paper.

Next week I think we will do more basics. I notice that many of you are still struggling with shadowing to create 3D shapes so there will be no reference picts this time, also we will be doing some practice with wet into wet because knowing how your paint works on its own opens up a lot of possibilities.