Saturday, July 13, 2013


Watercolor Class Project: Moonlight Fishing
Week 2

(PV class you will need to go down to the previous blog entry to see what we did last week and what we will be doing this week though it will be good to read this entry as well because we will probably get caught up with Torrance or close to it when next we meet.)

Many of you were adding more value to your sky and water so most of what we did was to get the waves started and added some detail to the moon. Waves can be very challenging and I am going to be doing another demo in our next class that will be exclusively on breaking waves so if you are having problems with your waves you might want to wait until next class to start them. Getting your sky and water dark enough when they need to be dark is more important at the point.
We worked on the waves and added a "face" to the moon.
The moon is very simple so don’t try to make it more than it is. You already have the color on your palette, just some of the light blue you have been using an a lot of water, it should be just a little bit darker that the moon itself. First, lightly wet your moon (should not be dripping) with clear water, while it is wet, take that light blue on your palette and just touch the surface of the moon and let the paper take what it wants and just suggest the craters of the moon, the water and paint will do most of the work. Done!

Basically a wave is a graded wash: Dark at the bottom and lighter at the top. This has to do with a couple of things like the depth and thickness of the water at the base, the thinness of the water just before it breaks and the light source. We know where the light source is in this picture and we know that the light of the moon is cool, what that translates to is the color we will use, mostly our blue with touches of purple and the occasional touch of Hooker’s green. This is for the water right now, not the foam, that will be later.
Note the change of value from top to bottom of the wave.
Right where the wave is breaking it has what is called its “eye” the water is very thin at this point and light will shine through it. As you go down the wave, the wave becomes more dense and thicker with water so less light can penetrate to get through so it gets darker in color. You might find it easier to wet the area of the wave with the light color which is just a touch of the cobalt with a lot of water the start at the bottom with your darker color while the area is still wet and drag color up the wave leaving that lightest color just under the breaking foam and along the top. Another thing to keep in mind it that wave is curving as it breaks so be sure that your brush strokes curve with the wave in the wave, the rest of the water needs to stay flat. I hope the demo will help clear this up because it is very hard to write about it.

You will probably want to let the wave dry before you do your foam though blooms can be very creative, just a work of caution.

You probably already have the color you need for your foam on your palette it will be the cool blues or purple grays and you want to find an area where there is very little color. This is a much easier way to work when you only need little amounts of color and you have a dirty palette. If you need to mix, it will be a little bit of cobalt or ultramarine blue and a tiny touch of purple and a lot of water.

This will be similar to what you just did on the moon to suggest craters, though this time we will get a little bit darker in some areas, first wet the foam area, you are going to need the water to help soften this color, do it in sections if you have to so the paper doesn’t dry. Start at the bottom of the foam area and dab the color on. Think about what the foam is, it is turbulence in the water, bubbling and boiling, violently moving so you want to suggest this movement with your color. Most of the foam will be covered with color except for the very top edges where it might catch a bit of light from the moon. You may want to go over some areas so they are a bit darker, just don’t go over everything you want that variation in value to show movement and texture in the foam.

Like I said, I will be doing a demo on the water and waves because this can be a bit confusing. I do suggest that you go down to the beach and take picture of the waves or go on the internet and Google breaking waves to you can see what I am talking about, it makes you a better artist if you can figure out the whys and the wherefores rather than relying on your teacher because there are times when words just aren’t enough, you need the visuals to really understand.

See you in class.

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