Sunday, August 5, 2012


PV Class you will need to go back to previous blog entries as the Torrance class is a couple weeks ahead of you.

Many times when I am painting in watercolor, I will establish my values first before adding color, this is what I did on the rabbit. I got most of my values at least half way before I added any color. Watercolor is a transparent medium and so I use that to my advantage with my under painting, by establishing the values, I don’t need to worry about do I have the color right all I’m concerned about is light and dark remembering that in watercolor you work light to dark, once I have clearly defined my light and dark areas, then I start to add color.

That said, I was to that point with my bunny. It doesn’t mean that I am done with my values at this point, it just means that I can now introduce color and work to intensify not only my values but also my colors. I was using my ¼” angle brush but a small flat brush or a small round will work as well, you just need something small because we are working on something small – the fur.

The colors I used varied very little and they were sienna, blue, yellow, orange and touches of purple depending on where I was painting on the bunny. It is essential that you have your reference photo where you can look at it often so you can see the subtle color changes in the fur and the direction the fur is growing, I can only show you technique the photo is you map to create this rabbit, it is the difference between “turn left at the big oak” and a Google street level map.

I used my brush on the very end so I was making small, fur like strokes. It is a repetitive, slow process but unless you have a grass brush (it is a specialized type of brush), making small dry brush, strokes.

A couple of areas that you need to be aware of and they are areas behind the rabbit: One is the area behind the back end of the rabbit and the other is under its chin and down the front. The area at the back end needs to be lighter than the bunny behind so that the body shows up, so as you are doing your values be sure that you make the fur very dark though the opposite is true in the area in front of the bunny. The area under the chin and down the front needs to be very dark BEHIND the rabbit. This area needs to be dark so that the light fur that is backlit on its face and chest will show up. When you paint an area around the subject it is called “negative painting” and we use it a lot in watercolor. You may already be using it to do your weeds, just be sure to get that area dark.

Like I said, you can paint the weeds using negative painting, you can also use masking fluid. You can do this by adding a light layer of color or value, let it dry COMPLETELY use your masking fluid to add more weeds and repeat the step as many times as you feel necessary. Be sure that the masking fluid is dry before you paint your next layer or it could mess up your brush. Also, if you drop fluid where you don’t want it, just let it set up and peel it off, that is the easy way.

We should be about done with the rabbit next week so you might want to start looking for something you would like to paint for your next project. We will have a couple weeks off between classes and I hope that next semester is a lot smoother than this one has been. Thank you all for your support and understanding during this very trying time in my life.

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