Friday, September 30, 2011


WATERCOLOR DEMO – Values and Color.

Torrance Class – You will need to go back a couple of weeks to get the first part of this value study, I did post a picture of the one I am doing in class so you can see where we are. I also posted a photo of my drawing for this version of the value study. This is good to note for both PV and Torrance classes because if you want to do detailed paintings in watercolor, you need a good drawing.

I started by transferring the drawing I posted on the picture page but then I took the reference photo and carefully went over the image looking for detail that wasn't included in the original drawing (figured it would scare the pants off everyone ;-) . I looked for shapes in the vase, and in the reflections, I also found that I had mis-drawn the leaf that is below and behind the flower so I corrected that. I put as much information is as I thought I needed to help me with my washes. You DO NOT need to do this! However, if you want to do more detail in your paintings, this is what you will need to do.

PV Class – I decided that I had most of my values for this study about where I wanted them so I switched from the diluted ink I had in the bottle to straight drawing ink because I wanted to get the black areas black. That is not to say that I didn't go back into some areas with a diluted wash, but I could just add water to the ink to make it lighter when I needed it.

There were many areas that needed to be almost as dark as the background, especially around the flower itself. To make the flower look light and bright, I really needed to get dark around it. Many of you were still way too light right around the flower petals so you flower didn't quite jump off the paper. I took my full strength ink and put it in between and around the petals, rinsed my brush and with just water, pulled the ink out to blend it in with what was there. I did this a couple times until I got the darkness I needed behind my flower.

This is the point where the artist has to make decisions: How much detail do I put in and do I add color? I added quite a bit of detail by using the reference photo and finding where I wanted/needed to add more values or darker values. When I was done I let it dry for at least 20 – 30 minutes so I was sure that the ink was completely dry then I came back in and added some color to the flower, leaves and vase. I did this so students can see what it is like with color, the one I am doing at Torrance I will leave black and white for comparison.

Next week I am going to do a demo using my watercolors in a similar way to build values, I will be working from a photo from a friend and former student Kathleen Russo who graciously said I could use it in class. However, I am not going to use this as a class project it is a demo, if you want to paint it you can, or you can find something else you would like to paint and just watch the demo.

I hope that students will find a project of their own to get started on so I can help you with it during the rest of the semester. See you all in class.

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