Saturday, April 25, 2015

Watercolor Garden Fantasy Week 3

My goal in the last class was to get as much of the painting in the background behind pagoda done as possible because from here we will start finishing up are paintings and we will need to remove the masking that we have put on the pagoda and the white areas in the stream that were covered with the masking.

Have your reference photo of the Botanical Garden pagoda and the stream where you can see it because these are going to give you all the information you're going to need for this part of the painting. They will show you where your shadows are, where the highlights are on the plants in the rocks, it will show you the darks and the lights in the water and it is your best guide when you are painting so have those photographs handy.

Remember when you are under painting an area you want to start light and then add dark with layers, if you get too dark too quickly it will be very difficult to bring back the light so it is better to do this in layers then it is to try and finish it in one fell swoop.

When you are painting the stream remember to follow the water. If the water is in one of the pools it will lay flat so your brush strokes need to be flat if it is falling over one of the many falls your brush strokes will also fall over to look like the water is falling, this will clue your viewer that the water is flowing down over rocks into another pool this is very important.

When you are as far as you can go with your bushes, trees, ground cover and stream without removing the masking, let your painting dry completely before you remove the masking.
Once you have removed the masking from the pagoda you will want under painted in a warm color, I used my cadmium yellow light with a touch of burnt sienna and a little tiny touch of purple and a lot of water to under paint the pagoda.
In the streams I went in with various values of green and blue to break up some of the white area that make up falls look at the stream photo and you will see that where the waterfalls over the rocks it has various different colors and values this is what you're trying to recreate you don't want to lose all of the white that you saved but you do want to make it look more natural.

Try to get your painting up to this point as best he can we could possibly finish this painting this next week so you might want to start looking for the next thing that you want to paint and I will help you get started. Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Watercolor Garden Fantasy week 2

This week I started painting in the rocks the waterfall and some of the plants around the pagoda and beginnings of detailing the pine tree and other bushes.

The first thing I did was a quick demo on how to under paint the waterfall. I made a larger full page drawing of a similar waterfall and showed how I under paint for the rocks and also for the water. Remember when you were painting watercolor you work from the lightest area to the darkest area so when you under paint something you don't want to get too dark too soon.

There are a couple of ways that you can do this: you can wet the rocks area of first and then start adding some light colors like grey - which is a combination of your blue, burnt sienna, and purple with lots of water – and to that you can add more blue or you could have little touches of orange or red or yellow even green because a lot of these rocks will have moss on them so green is the perfect color, just keep everything light in value at this point.  Be sure to have your reference photo in front of you so that you can refer to it often I keep my reference photo right there where I can look up to it and I do as I'm painting, it’s called a reference photo for a reason because you need to refer to it.

The water also starts out very light. The water in the reference photo is a greenish color probably because of algae for one and also the greenery above it, so if you want to make your water more green that's perfectly OK, I chose at this time to use a light blue and if you have other colors besides the ultramarine blue such as cobalt blue or cerulean blue, you can use those, just be sure you have enough water in them that they are very light in value.

When you paint your water remember that water finds its own level, that means when it is sitting in a pool area it is going to be very flat so your strokes need to be very horizontal, when they fall over the rocks they become more vertical your brush strokes will tell your viewer that the water is falling over rocks or lying flat in a pool, brushstrokes matter.

I also want it made very clear I have not removed the masking fluid from any of my painting it is still on there because I'm still painting around things and as soon as I feel it is safe I will remove the masking fluid but not at this time. You do have some time before it becomes a problem.

I under painted theneedles of the pine tree. They're formed in clumps because they are cut and train that way but they still have a bit of irregularity to the edges, be sure when you are painting that you create interesting shapes. I used the very edge of my angle brush to create the illusion of the pine needles so that the point was to the outside, I overlapped my strokes in the body of the clump but when I got to the edge I make sure that it looked very spiky like
Torrance Version
needles, when I change color to create the next value I did the same thing and again with a darker value it's all the same kind of brush strokes. For the lighter colors of the pine tree I used my sap green with some of my yellow. l under painted the whole area of the pine needles. The mid-tone color I added in more of the sap green and painted in the mid-values and for the very shadows I added in blue and some Hooker’s green for my shadows I also use this dark shadow color as the underneath shadow for the little tree on the right hand side of the pagoda, also it becomes the shadows in its variations for the ground covers adding more blue, purple or sienna to change the color a bit.

On the right hand side I used some of my medium greens to create some detail in the green background trees. I also use that color to negative paint into the orange in front of it to suggest clumps of leaves and branches in the tree in front but in the orange tree behind the green tree I used my red with a touch of orange to create shadows so that the green tree will stand out. Remember, you are negative painting the lighter trees in front when you are paint the shadows of the tree behind. I also added some red leaves coming in from the right hand side, I just like the shape and color so I added them you do not need to put them in but if you want to, you can they are just stuff.

PV Version
I also under painted the tree trunk and branches on the pine tree using a light gray color slightly on the bluish side. I need this color so that when I want to make the tree bark this color will show through. For the little tree behind the pagoda I mixed a dark brown using my burnt Sienna with blue and a touch of purple you want it to be on the Siena side.

Do as much as you can and as much as you feel confident that you can do, I won't miss anything for those who need more instructions, however, if you feel you can you can work into the painting a bit feel free, I will continue from here in class I will not leave anyone behind. By now you should be able to start seeing how this is going to work out I know it's been a bit confusing but splattering can be fun so keep painting and I will see you in class.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Watercolor: Garden Fantasy Week 1

I wanted to start out this painting in a little bit different way from what we have been doing lately just to show that there is so much you can do and have fun while you're painting so I wanted to start this painting by splattering.

I am working on a half sheet of watercolor paper so it is 15 by 22. I wanted to have it a little bit bigger so that I had room for my splatters to show around the edges of my design. I get my design on my paper by transferring it with graphite transfer paper and then went over some of those lines with a number 2 pencil.

Before you start splattering be sure you have water on of your pants so that they are in pools of water because that is what you'll be using to splatter with and you want your pigments to be ready to go for this step.
PV Version

I started with my light colors such as my yellow and I mixed it on my palate with lots of water. Be sure your palate is clean when you do this so you don’t muddy your colors. I mix my yellow with enough water so that it was a very runny mixture. I was using a round brush and a half inch flat brush. I filled the brush well with this mixture - you want it to be dripping off the end of your brush - and then splatter on your paper. If you want to you can take your spray bottle and lightly spritz your paper so that there will be spots of water on your paper when the color hits the spots of water it will spread out and give a different look from where it hits dry paper you can also spritz the paper after you have splattered just don't do it too often otherwise your paper will be too wet and your colors will start bleeding into each other.

After the yellow I went to orange than to red, I have a color called (p)thalo yellow green, another color which is a cheap Joe's color called Andrews turquoise, along with my ultramarine blue and my dioxazine purple. The trick to splattering is to know when to stop, you want enough splattering to make it look interesting and fun like confetti on paper but you don't want so much that the colors start bleeding into each other creating muddied brown colors you can also do more splattering after it dries and add more color just know when to stop so that you don't get muddied colors. Keep a paper towel handy to sop up any unwanted color combinations.

Once my splattering had dried I needed to protect the areas that I wanted to leave unpainted at this point, which would be the pagoda in the foreground and the foam in the water from the waterfalls so I will need to protect them making the rest easier to paint. You will need your masking fluid an old paint brush and some soap: you first rinse your brush in water, rub it around in the soap to cover all the bristles down to the metal ferrule, wipe off the excess foam and then load the brush with the masking fluid and paint out the pagoda. Once that is completely painted out then add touches around where the foam will be and in the fall themselves add some streaks of masking so later when we are finishing up the water we will have lighter areas that will look like shining in the water to give them movement. This has to dry completely before starting the next step if you are in the PV class this was as far as we got so we will cover the following next time we meet.

Torrance class, I started under painting for my trees and bushes and ground cover around the stream and around the pagoda. Mostly I used greens but I also use some orange/reds for the under painting for some of the other plants that will be in there I am NOT specifically painting any particular plant at this point I'm just under painting and that is where we stopped in class so please try to have your paintings to this point for next class and we will continue on from there. Keep painting and I will see you in class