Saturday, May 11, 2013

Project: Az. Wash

Torrance class you are about a week behind the PV Class what we did in class is to add highlights to the background trees remembering to do negative painting around the foreground bushes, added color to the wash which was a mixture of yellow and a very tiny touch of purple to gray it, I do want to mention that when I got to the wash I switched gears in a way, this time I painted over the area on the right hand side with my wash color (it is so much lighter than the branches in front, it won’t matter), but negative painted around the bush on the left hand side. In the front corners I added some orange to my sand color as the under color for the foreground weeds. Out in the wash itself I added just a touch of purple to make the color just a bit darker and put some random “dots and dashes” where the water washes down to give some contour to the sand, then with just a clean damp brush, I went over those lines to soften them.
Torrance Version
I want to explain another reason to negative paint an area: when you are painting in watercolor you always have to remember that when you put one color on top of another the color underneath will influence the color you just put on because watercolor is a transparent medium. If you want an area to have a nice clean color you need to be painting on white paper, this was my main reason for negative painting around the foreground bushes yes, they are in many places much darker than what is behind them but the foliage of these plants have a cleaner color, a brighter warmer color than the trees or cliffs behind them, hence the reason I left the white of the paper in these areas. The tree trunk and the branches are so dark that whatever is behind them isn’t going to have enough influence on the dark color to make a difference. I do have my reasons and If I don’t explain them clearly enough, please feel free to ask.

Torrance, you will be doing the following in class next time so you might want to practice. PV class, we first started the class by practicing with the liner brush and I’m sure that most of you found it isn’t as easy as I make it look but remember I have been doing this for a long time and I love this brush!

There are a couple key things to remember when you are using the brush, first is the paint itself. Whether you are using watercolor, acrylics, oils or other painting medium, the paint needs to be an inky consistency. If you tilt your palette it should run, it is a balancing act between getting the color dark enough and enough water in it so it flows which is why we are practicing before getting to the painting.

The next key point is loading the brush. The brush has long bristles for a reason (you should have a #3 as your basic liner brush), it can hold a lot of paint IF you load it properly. Work the whole length of the bristles into your paint, as you lift it up, roll it in your fingers to create a point, you brush should be fully loaded with paint and those long bristles will act like a fountain pen as you paint, what is in the bristles will flow down to the tip replenishing what you are using.

That brings me to the next key point: How you hold your brush. For these techniques to work you need to hold the liner at the very back end of the handle so it is pinched between your first and second fingers and your thumb, if you hold it any other way you will struggle to do the technique. You also want to always hold the brush slightly downward so that the paint can flow into the tip as you paint. The rest is in your fingers and wrist.

Many of you paint with your whole arm and sometimes your whole body seems to be attached to your brush, I think this is learned from those early days when we were learning to write it was more a whole arm sort of movement, you need to be aware of this so you can feel what you are doing, this is painting not writing, it is a different skill set.

Using a liner brush to make trees and branches.
The liner brush works best if you are using you’re the length of the brush along with your fingers and wrist to create what you are trying to do be it tree, bush or grass, first, the trees. If you have closer trees like we do in this painting, you might want to take a bigger brush to lay in the bigger parts of the tree and use the liner for the branches and twigs. We start in the thicker areas of the tree or branch by pressing the bristles into the paper so that they spread to form the wider part, then as you pull to form the branch, you lift up slowly until you get to the tip of your brush making a finer and finer line. It is also a good idea to have a bit of a “shake” to your brush this will give it a more natural twig/branch look. When you want to create another branch or twig, don’t start right where you want it, start back inside the branch it will come off of, follow it up then change direction creating a new branch, lifting until you get the length you want. This takes practice folks, but once you get it, this brush will do some amazing things for you.

Next are grasses. You load and hold the brush the same way but this time you will really get the feel of using your fingers and wrists with this brush. Before you ever touch the paper with the brush start doing circles with the brush above your paper, get a rhythm going with your brush. Bigger circles means taller grass, small circles shorter grass but keep this motion going, then on the upstroke of your circle, touch the paper and lift but keep the circle going. Each time you
Use a liner to make grasses.
will touch the paper on the upstroke to create the grass. Change the size of your stroke also practice going in the opposite direction. Congest the area with these strokes, don’t just do one or two across the page, think about what you are trying to create, a clump of grass and it has more than one or two blades sticking up out of it.

You really need to practice these strokes before you get to your painting if you are unfamiliar with this brush, it can add so much to your painting but it can also add a lot of frustration if you think you can just start on your painting without the practice.
PV Version

PV we also did the under painting for the foreground bushes, remember to leave some of the white around the edges as your brightest highlights and when you do the branches where there are leaves keep in mind that some of the branches go behind the leaves and some are in front, and some weave in and out. Those of you who missed class please try to have your painting as close to this point as you can, if you have problems with the liner brush, hold off on the tree and branches until I can give you a quick demo when you are in class.

I want you all to start thinking about subjects you would like to paint so I can decide on what we will be painting next semester. See you all in class.

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