Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Torrance students the previous posts will give you the information that was covered in class and what will be covered in the next sessions.

PV Class, even though we have basically finished with our class project, one of my Torrance students asked why she couldn’t paint the tree color in first. A good question and the answer is “Yes, you can.” It isn’t going to get you out of having to negative paint the dark background in but if you want to intensify the yellow and oranges of the trees and make a rough shape of the tree first it is perfectly okay to do so, just remember to let the tree dry before adding the dark next to it or you will get bleeds and back runs into your light area. You can use the dark to shape your tree better, just be careful it can get to feeling so good, next thing you know there are no leaves left on your tree.

Since we have finished the project, I like to do request demos so I can address specific needs of students as they start their own projects and they experiment with different techniques. This past class was a question about a rose that was done on the cover of a Cheap Joe’s catalog. To a novice when looking at someone else’s painting it can look very confusing and overwhelming, however, as you learn more and more about watercolor you will be able to look at paintings and figure out just how they accomplished their work.

The rose in question was done very wet into wet but it was done in sections. If you want to be a good watercolorist, you will need to brush up on your drawing skills because a good painting comes from a good drawing and in this case it was a fairly detailed line drawing. You need the detail to know where each element (petal) is on the flower. This is the same for the rose, which is a complicated flower, or a poppy or daisies, which are simpler flowers because you need to know where you are going to paint.

You paint in sections and you skip around so that you aren’t painting next to a wet section. You can start out by painting the area with water first, in this case a single petal. While the area is still wet, you add in your colors and you let the watercolor do its thing. Add two or more colors into an area and let them blend naturally, you can guide the color by putting it in one part of the area or another but let the mixing happen when the 2 colors meet on the pre-wet paper. Find a new space away from the one you just painted and repeat the process on each petal and stem until you have worked your way around the rose.

This is a very loose and free way to paint and one of the things I love about watercolor, if you don’t fight it watercolor will do some amazing things on its own, but remember, if you fight the watercolor, the watercolor will win. See you all in class.