Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring 2011 Watercolor


Because Blogger has taken away my ability to create paragraphs, why, I am unsure, I will separate thoughts with --- sorry I know it makes it hard to read but they keep messing with my format.

--------- Please read the last post for last week to get started, I do want to emphasize that you do not need to do your drawing until after you have done your first splatter, not do you need to have your boat masked out, however, if you have don't both before you started to splatter it is okay, I just like to see some of the splatter in the subject I am painting, it is neither right or wrong, it is personal preference.

--- Another thing I need to mention is there was method to my madness when I splattered, this is where a drawing or at least the horizon line will come in handy, I wanted to keep my warmer brighter colors up in the sky area behind the sail of the boat and the cooler, darker colors in the water area. Keep your paint pure as you splatter and let them mix on the paper, remember to stop before you start mixing mud.

--- I also want to mention again that it will help your painting, not just this painting but when ever you paint, if you raise the top end of your painting so it is on a slight angle. This will let gravity work for you and your paint won't sit in stagnant pool on your paper but will do what watercolor does best and mingle together with the other paints. You don't need much to start, maybe an inch or two but you may find that the angle helps you a lot. I usually work at an angle of about 4" at home though I am now pretty comfortable working almost vertically since teaching the classes. All it takes is a roll of tape or you purse or a brush box, just something to prop the top up.

---- Once you have finished your first splatter and your paper is completely dry, if you haven't done so get your drawing on and put masking on the entire boat and sail. The paper need to be completely dry before you add the masking or you will have problems when you go to take it off.

--- When the masking is dry, it should take about 20 minutes or so, you can do your next splatter, this time use more paint and less water so the colors are brighter. You want to increase the color intensity and also its value nearest the boat both in the sky and in the water, just don't try to do it all at once. It may take t or more times of splattering with drying time in between to get the depth of color and value you need, just remember to let it dry between sessions.

--- When you have the background the way you want, make sure that your paper has completely dried before trying to take off the masking. The moisture likes to pool up along the edge of the mask, especially if there is a corner, if you take it off while there is any dampness near the mask you run the risk of tearing the paper. If you use a hair drier, be sure to use the cool setting and hold it back at least a foot from the paper so you don't melt the masking into the paper. You may have to reestablish your drawing before you start because the mask will put up some of the pencil and paint with it.

--- From here I painted the boat just like I would in a traditional setting. At the top of the sail, there are some shadows and creases, I mixed my blue with a tiny touch of purple and sienna, I wanted a bluish gray. Starting right next to the mast I painted my darkest color using my ½" angle brush, I rinsed my brush, and at the edge away from the mast I blended the color out to get a graded look to the color. Next, using this same color, I painted the shadow on the sail. If you need to draw a line to show you where the shadow is, please do so. There is a harder, darker edge to parts of it but you do need to soften the back edge going towards the sail, so after you rinse your brush, with just a damp brush, tease that strip of color you just put down so that it fades back towards the mast. Next, rinse your brush, and draw the damp brush down the outer edge of that shadow just to soften it a bit, it will make the sail look rounded.

--- The stripes on the sails had two colors, you may want to wet the stripe first, then put blue at the top and bottom and hooker's green in the middle. On the bottom stripe I did a similar thing with red and orange, orange being in the middle. I did add some shadow to the side of the boat with the blue-gray color, but we will finish this up next class.

--- We are going to practice doing some graded washes so have some extra paper with you to practice on.

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