WATERCOLOR CLASS PROJECT: Cloud Study
(Torrance class this is the post you will reference for the demo I will do in this Monday’s class. Look at the post before this one for what we covered in our last class.)
Before you take off the masking from your painting be sure that the areas around the cloud tops are dark enough and/or intense enough in color. Watercolor always dries lighter so you may find that your blue sky doesn’t look so blue after it has dried and to make this painting “pop” you need good contrast meaning dark values so the light ones will jump off the page. I thought that my sky was too light so before I took of the masking I went over it again with another wash of blue to intensify and darken the sky.
While that was drying, I did a wash of light gray over the landscape which I could have done the first week but didn’t. And while that was drying I looked for dry areas that didn’t touch any of the wet areas and started removing the masking because it does take time. By the time you have those areas clean of masking the other two areas should be dry enough to remove the masking there as well.
HAVE YOU REFERENCE PHOTO IN FRONT OF YOU! When I am doing something like this my eyes are going back and forth between my paper and the photo so I can see exactly what I should be doing. I can’t give you a blow by blow to paint these clouds because it really doesn’t matter if your clouds look exactly like mine or not, you just have to be close and you need to see how much movement there is in a cloud. The photo or nature are your best teachers, you need to be observant.
If you don’t have any gray mixed up you will need to mix some more before you start mix it to a medium value – midway between light and dark – if you need it lighter you will add more water either on the palette or better by rinsing your brush and using clear water to move what you have on your paper; to make it darker you can add touches of blue, purple or sienna to increase the value. You can even add touches of green or red/crimson to the mix if you want to because if you really look at clouds you will see all colors.
If you want, because it will make the paint move easier, wet small areas as you go but don’t go all the way to the edge with the clear water (look at the photo) to keep them bright white. I was using my ¾” angle brush and was dabbing on the color and letting the paint and water do most of the work. I would soften the edges of the darker areas with just a damp brush with water on it or as an area was drying I would add more wet paint to darken an area and hope for blooms, or I rinsed my brush and dropped water or touched areas with small amounts of water and let the watercolor do the painting. I let the photo guide me which is what you will also need to do.
I have a bit more work to do on the clouds and the landscape and we should be able to finish up this project next time. You may want to start looking for something you want to paint for your own project for the rest of the semester and I will be doing misc. demos and requests as needed. See you in class.