Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 Spring Watercolor Class


PV students the one thing that I did different in your class is I didn't under paint the green and orange trees until after I had negative painted their shapes with the darker trees behind them, other than that the previous blog will apply, just add the yellow and light orange under painting in your tree areas.

Torrance, this was our last day on this painting for the most part, I started by adding more shadows to my rocks. Again the mix is sienna, blue and a touch of purple and only a little water. We are painting the NEXT DARKEST AREAS, not the darkest yet we will get there, just not all at once. This wash helps define the individual rocks even more, that first wash defined the sunlit tops of the rocks, this wash will help define the bodies of the individual. Please follow the photo where you can, it is your best resource. You will be negative painting some rock by painting darker behind them and positive painting other, just start in the darkest part of the rock and work your way out, rinse your brush and blend areas together. It doesn't need to be a smooth transition it will give texture to your rocks. At the base of the rocks remember that there is grass growing in front of them, if you want that grass you can negative paint around the grasses, mask out the grasses before you start on the rocks or scratch them out later, it is up to you, just remember it is there and proceed accordingly.

If you want ruts in your road, you might want to lightly sketch them in, simple lines will do, just so you know how your ruts go back into the distance. Remember they are prospected lines meaning that as they go back into the distance they get closer together.

To paint the ruts you might first want to first practice with a pencil doing "u"s and upside down "u"s. I want you to see that these shapes can suggest depressions – u's – and rises – upside down u's. If you connect them you will see that it visually looks like rises and falls, when you are working on a two dimensional surface like paper or canvas, you only have shapes to convey what you want your viewer to see, in this case curved lines. Flat curves will look shallow or low, deep curves will look deep or high. If you start out with a wide curve then make a slightly smaller curve on top of it and so on up the page until the shape is almost a dot, you should get the sense that the shape it going back in space. This is what we will be ding in the road and you need to under stand it so it will make sense to you.

All that said, I made a mix of sienna and a touch of purple and along the lines for the ruts of my road I made a series of shallow "u" shapes with my brush, making them smaller and lighter (more water) as I went around the rocks. The distant part of the road is too small for any detail. These marks can be rough and uneven, giving more character and texture to the road, just be sure that they aren't too deep.

Conversely, on the top of the road, using light mixes of color – sienna, orange, yellow, grey, any or all – meaning color mixed with a lot of water, make a series of convex shapes (upside down "U"s) to give texture to the top of the road. I also took my toothbrush and splattered different colors in the road area, you can use any or all you have on your palette, they should fade out around the big rocks, keep the very small detail for the foreground .

All that is left now are the grasses and bushes along the sides of the road. The bushes are done just like the trees in the back, leaving some of the light area as highlights and when you get around where you want grasses, you will have to negative paint some of the foreground grasses just like you did in the rocks. You can also positive paint grasses using the tip of your angle brush, a round brush or your liner brush, I do want you to notice that the grasses are many colors: Different greens, browns, oranges, some grays – don't be afraid to add those colors as you paint your grasses it will actually make the grasses look more natural, if they are in Nature, they can be in your painting.

Some minor details and this is done. First, you may want to put shadows on your road from the grasses, just be sure that your strokes follow the contours of the road: If a bump goes up, so does the shadow, if it goes down, so does the shadow. Next, we need to add the trunks of some of the trees. This is best done with your liner, mix sienna and purple with a little water, you want it dark but not too dark, then add tree trunks into the deciduous trees. These are lost and found lines because some of the have leaves and branches in front of the trunks, just put in a few where they will do the most good and let the viewer fill in the rest.

This was the last day for this project and Monday will be our last class. Please have something for critique, it can be something you have worked on in class or something from home or another class, any media, something current or something you have done in the past, just as long as you need a second opinion bring it in.

Registration starts soon and the summer classes will be 9 weeks and it looks like the fall classes have gone back to 10 weeks so please get signed up ASAP if you want to take classes. See you.

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