Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter 2012 Watercolor Classes

Watercolor Week 2 – Foggy Point Vencente

We are now up to the fog and this step was a combination of adding color and lifting color depending on the area and the need. Take your time and keep a paper towel handy as you work.

I wanted a line of fog behind the point of land with the lighthouse that went along the horizon and continued past the lighthouse almost to the edge of the paper. However, when it got into a darker sky area near the edge it went from adding color to lifting color so keep that in mind as you paint.

I mixed a gray color with my blue, a touch or purple and orange. Usually I use burnt sienna but the orange seemed to work better for me this time, a word of warning a little orange goes a long way so if it gets too orange, add more blue, you want a nice cool gray.

I applied this at the horizon area and just a bit lower using quick circular strokes, these are basically clouds I'm painting so I want my strokes to mimic the bubbling and boiling of the clouds. I was also rinsing my brush and with just water, softening some of the areas at the top of the fog and also all along the bottom of the bank of fog so I didn't have any hard lines. I also occasionally dabbed with my paper towel to lift a bit of color. I repeated this process behind the cliffs until I got into some darker sky, then I switched to just water on my brush, using the same stroke to lift some of the existing paint, then pressing my towel to the paper to lift the rest of the color.

I also lifted color along the bottom of the distant cliff, the rock in the water and the area between the closer cliff and foreground, sometimes I added color to a lifted area while it was still wet, other times I just left the faint hint of what was behind there so it looked like thin areas of the fog. Another word of caution as you try to lift the color off, don't work in one area too long because if you keep trying to lift color the paper gets too wet and you run the risk of damaging your paper, it is best to work around you paper when lifting letting the paper dry a bit before going back into to lift more.

The weeds in the foreground are just there, I didn't want them to draw attention away from the lighthouse so I kept them in muted grays so they looked like the fog had come up over the cliff making them almost like ghost shapes. I did lift out a rock in the corner but that was just to show how, it isn't necessary.

Using my small angle brush I lifted out the shape of the lighthouse before putting in the trees. Don't make it too big because it is far away and don't do too much detail on it for the same reason. There are some other buildings that you can just lift out some shapes to suggest they are there, the viewer can fill in the rest.

One thing you want to make sure that you have before lifting the lighthouse, is that the area behind it is dark enough because you need the contrast so the lighthouse will show up against the darker fog bank. I didn't get my quite dark enough on the one I did at PV so I need to remember that when I'm working at Torrance, my fog could have been a shade or two darker and it may have been but just went down the page because I have to work upright.

With your liner brush you can add in the palm trees and some of the bushes around the lighthouse if the area behind it is dry. This is a gray/green color so you can add a touch of Hooker's green into any of the gray you have on your palette to get the color. These are just shapes, these trees are too far away to see any detail and they are planted so close together their parts run into each other, so just make a series of marks to indicate "palm trees" and don't over think it.

I am going to be doing some studies on various things like rocks and waves maybe some bark, if you have watercolor cards, this is a good way to practice, if not, have paper with you so you can do several, I will look for reference photos but you can also find reference photos to work from. See you in class. end#

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