Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring 2011 Watercolor Calss

Watercolor Project – Utah Fall

PV Class – You will still be referring to the previous blog posts for the steps we covered in class but there is a difference you will notice: At Torrance, I under painted the deciduous trees before I painted in the tall evergreens, in your class, I just negative painted around those trees and will under paint them next class, either way is fine, there is no right way so if you are going by the blog to catch up and you see the PV painting looks different, do not panic, you are fine.

Torrance class, we worked on filling in the middle ground dark trees and the lighter deciduous trees in front of them. The brighter trees were created by negative painting around them, leaving the light area. I hope that you practice the negative painting because as watercolorists it is a very useful tool in your tool box of knowledge, by painting darker behind and area you can make another stand out so when you are painting the trees, if you want to suggest a branch coming out off that tree, you paint dark around the area you want as that branch. Go out and look at different kinds of trees, notice the light and dark areas and think of how you would paint that tree knowing that you have to save your lightest areas.

In the deciduous trees, I was using my 1/2'" angle brush on its tip, I usually start in the middle of the tree with a light color – this will depend on if it is a green tree (sap green, yellow and water) or the orange trees (yellow, orange and water), and I tapped the color on with over lapping dots leaving some of the under painting showing for highlights and worked my way to the edge of the tree. Remember that under painting is your highlights for the tree so do not cover the whole thing up, leave some of it to show the light in the trees. This is also where you can suggest branches in front by leaving light shapes in the body of the tree (see the sample I have on the picture page).

While the tree was still wet I went in with slightly darker versions of the color of the tree (more paint less water) adding that to parts of the tree I wanted to suggest were in shadow, I did not cover up everything I just did, just some parts especially towards the bottoms of the trees where they may be more in shade. And finally to that color I added touches of blue and/or purple for the darkest shadows and added this to only the areas I thought should be the darkest.

I do need to clarify something when I say I make a series of dots: I don't mean Dot. Dot. Dot. I mean dotdotdodotdoot dotdotddoot dotdodottodot. The overlap and become one shape rather than a bunch of individual dots that look like ornaments hanging on the tree. The dots allow me to leave small spaces to let the under painting show through and creates texture.

Also note that when I got down to where the weeds and grasses start I negative painted around them to suggest the weeds and grasses.

If you are going to have a path in your painting – some have opted not to have one and that is okay by me – under paint it with a watery mix of sienna, yellow and a touch of orange. Be sure to get the path in the background going into the trees. The grasses are under painted with watery versions of yellow, sap green, and orange. You can paint both the path and the grasses with water first to help the paint move and to help keep it light. This is just a wash so it should be very pale.

Last but not least, I under painted the pile of rocks with a mix of blue, sienna a touch of purple and lots of water. This is just a pale gray that I put one everything that will be in shadow leaving the white of the paper as my highlights. If you need to, re-draw your rocks so you know where you need to leave the white of the paper but everything that is in shadow get this first layer of color so don't worry about painting individual rocks, they will come out later.

I noticed a couple of things I forgot to do so I will show you, you don't need to panic if something isn't perfect, we all need to know how to fix things we don't like so this will be a good demo. We only have 2 weeks left so I hope that everyone is up to this point in class. See you soon.

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