Saturday, February 14, 2015

Watercolor Safe Harbor Week 4
Finished project

This was the final week for this project what I did was to go through and make sure that everything was the way I wanted it to be, that I had things dark enough or that I had enough detail or that I had finished everything. This is the finishing up stages and how you finish yours is going to be a personal choice for you as an artist, you can make this as detailed as you want or as undetailed as you want this is totally up to you.

One of the things I needed to finish up was the dock in the front which had the crab pots, the ropes and the pilings. On the crab pots, I did not take a ruler or any other straight object to create the sides or the netting, I just took the straight edge of my brush and created a series of little lines with a dark, gray color to form the framework of the pots. The grey I used was a color I got from mixing all the colors on the dark part of my palate together to come up with a palette gray, if it needed to be darker I added more blue and a touch of sienna but if you need to mix the color it was blue, sienna and purple. When I was putting in the railings on the pots I left some of the white that was there after I removed the masking. Very little of the white was left but it was enough to suggest highlights.

For the netting in thepots I just added some more water to lighten the color and then just scribbled diagonal lines across the sections of the pots this cuts down the white that was there to create highlights in the netting. Again I did not get out a straight edge I did not worry about if it was perfect or not I just scribbled lines in. There is netting all the way around these pots so there will be a lot of overlapping lines. If you are trying to make the perfect netting on the pots you will 1, get them too wide and the crabs will escape, and 2, it will look like there's only netting on one side and again your crabs will escape, so just scribble this on and it will look a lot more realistic.

The pier pilings and the rope are pretty simple to do you just have to trust me on this. To create a round, textured piling I took my quarter inch flat angled brush mixed a dark color that will be to the warm side (remember the dark is burnt sienna, blue, touch of purple but this time it will be more to the sienna side) and with just the edge of my brush I made a series of vertical overlapping strokes starting in the shadowed area and working towards the sunny area. About a third of the way from the shadow to the light I rinsed my brush, picked up some sienna then starting just inside the dark area made some more vertical strokes about another third around the piling, I rinsed my brush again, picked up some sienna with orange as well to finished off the piling with the vertical strokes into the sunlit area and there you have your piling. It should look round you might want to practice on another piece of paper but this creates wonderful texture especially for old wood or tree bark, this makes great tree bark, and it is something you need to learn.
The rope I took some color from the dark side of my palette and added to the golden color I had already mixed on the lighter side (this was a little burnt sienna, a little orange and a little yellow if you need to mix the color again) you should have a bit of the dark left over from the pots or boat, to create a shadow color for the rope. Remember that the rope is round so your strokes should be curved. Some of you have gone to great lengths to create the spiral texture of the rope when you don't need to do that much detail, you just need to suggest it that's all, the viewer will fill in the rest otherwise it looks too cartoony. When it was dry I came back in with a little bit darker color into the coils of the rope and suggested the coils I did not make a complete spiral I just suggested spiral, I also came back when it was dry with a blue gray color and put a shadow from the pots over parts of the rope.

The boards on the dock can be made with the same brush the same dark color as we've been using and just suggest cracks and crevices in the boards. Remember if you want this to look flat your lines have to be parallel to the top and bottom or mostly parallel and as they go back they become closer together and less intense in color to create the idea that it is going away from you also use this dark color to create shadows under the ropes on the dock and under the pots to settle them down on the dock. On some of the boards you can even put some of that dark color to suggest holes and cracks o into the pilings to suggest bigger holes, have fun with this and see what happens, nothing's going to get hurt, this is where you can learn.

Finish up your painting the way you want to finish it up if you don't want to put in any more detail don't put it in if you want to have more detail get out that reference photo of the boat and go for it, this is your painting so finish it up the way you want to finish it, however, we are done with this project so the next time we meet please have something that you want to work on with you and I will help you get started I will do spot demos as is needed and will help you with anything that you are having trouble with. Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Watercolor Safe Harbor Week 3

The first thing we did in class to begin with is to strengthen our colors of the boat, the buildings on the dock, the water and anything that we need to do or feel we have to do before we can take off the masking fluid. Be sure that your boat is dark enough and that you have everything that you want done to your buildings complete at this point before you take off the masking fluid.

On the buildings and on the dock in the foreground, I did what is called dry brush. Dry brush means that there is very little water on your brush, mostly pigment and little of that as well. To load your brush pick up some color, work it into your brush and then you take your paper towel and squeeze the base of the bristles to suck out any excess moisture. Then with your fingers squeeze the bristles so they flay out. With light strokes go over the area that your painting. For instance the dock in front and buildings and back might be old wooden
buildings by dragging your brush across these areas you can create what looks like wood grain. Dry brush is a very effective way to add small amount of color and it also allows you to create texture.

The next thing I did was to bring the color of my water up so that it was as dark as I needed it to be. That doesn't mean that you paint over everything that is there it just means that you're adding another layer of color. Remember to leave the water in the background lighter and less colorful than the water in the foreground. To the water in the foreground I added sap green, Hooker’s green, purple, blues even my cerulean blue to bring up the value and intensity of the color of the water.

One thing I did do because I did not like what I had from last week, was I thought I had brought the reflection color of the boat too far down in my water, so before I started on the water I lifted out some of that dark color and let that area dry before I went over it again with new lighter colors. You don't need to do much to suggest a reflection so be careful of getting your water too dark too far down or too far over.

When you have everything where you like it and you can't find anything else you need to do, let your painting dry and let it dry  completely because when you take off the masking if there is any wet paper there is the possibility of tearing the surface of your paper, so make sure it’s good and dry before you remove the masking.

To remove the masking you can use your finger or you can use a piece of tape turn so the sticky side is out or if you have a rubber cement pick up which are available usually at most office supply stores (I didn’t find them at OfficeMax though) where they have the rubber cement. You can feel any masking that is on your paper by lightly rubbing your hand over the surface if it feels tacky that's probably the masking. Make sure you have it all off before you start this next phase of your painting.

Many of you have wondered about how we're going to use this masked out area we've created, with the masking off we are going to start shaping them into the things that are
there. The color for the netting and some of the equipment that's on the top of the boat I mixed up a gray color (remember that is your blue, burnt sienna, and purple with water to make it grey) to make a medium dark color. Use this color to cut down the size of the mast and antenna area leaving bits of the white paper that becomes the highlights. The same color can be used in the back for the ramp thing that's on the back of the boat and also for the netting. Just start cutting down some of the light area and adding dark to it to shape these things you just want to leave some of the light but not all of the light so these things have some highlights.

The same thing in the water if you put masking in the water for highlights take your blues your purples and greens and cut down some of the bright white.  I had a problem with saving whites where I had not gotten color behind some of my pots and I had removed my masking before I spotted the problem so I had to go back in on the lower pots an add blue behind it “dots” to represent the see through spaces in the net. This technique is called negative­ painting, basically I was painting the holes in the netting so that I left the highlight and later I will come back in and put the netting and the framework of the pots.

Last but not least I started on the pilings in the front doc there is a dark side in a light side using my half inch angled brush. I mixed a dark color that is on the brown side with the
sienna, blue and purple and using the very edge of my brush and making little vertical marks in the direction of the wood grain of my pilings. I started in the shadowed area then working around to the sunny side, I added touches of sienna until I came into the light area where I added orange and yellow to create a rounded piling.

This is where I stopped and we probably will have one more week on the boat. Start looking for something you want to paint because you need to understand how to work on your own projects and how what you have learned from the class project and how it will apply to the subjects you select.  Be sure that you have your reference photos with you, the reference photos are important when you are trying to finish up your paintings.

Keep painting and I will see you in class.
Torrance Class Week 2