Sunday, May 10, 2015

Watercolor Garden Fantasy Week 5

I have a couple of weeks to catch up on as far as my notes for this class are concerned and I will try to give you all the information so that you can get caught up because we finished the project in class this past week. Mainly what I did the previous week was to start working on my rocks and creating different shapes of my rocks. You want to start with a shadow color which will be your blue, purple, and little touch of burnt sienna to create a dark cool shadow color and to lighten it you use water. Before you start painting the rocks look at the photograph so that you have or better yet, go out and look at rocks so that you have an idea of what a pile of rocks is going to look like looking at their highlights and their shadows and the texture in the shape of your rocks.

Getting your rocks to look like rocks comes with practice I've been doing this for a long time and rocks happen to be one of my favorite subjects so I do them well but I didn't when I first started. I had to really study rocks so I could see how the light hit them and how to get the texture on them, most of the time I am patting the color on rather than brushing it on. The patting motion creates texture as the dark and light areas of the brush leave the paint they have and the strokes are overlapping which create layers of color that create the texture. Like I said it's going to take you practice and observation to start to get your rocks looking like a pile of rocks rather than a stone wall.

I also continued putting in the shadows and deepening the color of the ground cover and the plants around the stream again you need your shadow color which is the blue and purple this time add some green to it for the green shadows of your of your plants as you work into the sunny area add sap green and yellow.

I created the bark on the pine tree by mixing a dark brown color that would be my burnt sienna with purple and blue to create a very dark color, then I used my quarter inch angle brush on its edge and just by tapping with the edge and overlapping the strokes, I created a bark like texture. You don't want to lose all the gray color that you had on the trunk but you do want to give the suggestion of bark. Remember that as the bark goes off onto the branches it goes in a different direction so be sure that your strokes follow the direction of the part of the tree you are painting.

You should have removed all the masking fluid from your painting by now, now we need to make those white areas in the water look like they belong to the stream. You will need to mix a darker color it can be either blue or green or both but you will use this to make the suggestion of the water flowing over the rocks please look at your photo and look the detail of the water that's going over the Little Falls there you will see that there are many values of color there it isn't just one bright white area it has white streaks it has some dark streaks it has several in between value streaks and a lot of those streaks are in the shape of a “v”: either with the point pointing down or an upward “V” depending on what is underneath the water. What your job is, is to create that representation of that waterfall remember that there are areas of foam at the bottom of each of those falls so you will have to negative paint around that foam or you’ll lose it.

Koi melting into drips.
Also be sure that you get enough dark in your water so that it looks like it has some depth to it. There needs to be some place for the fish to swim and that is shown by putting dark blues and greens into the pools to create those deeper areas. To put fish in your pond, with just a damp brush, paint fishy shapes with your small brush and clean water, then lift it out with a paper towel, while it is still wet add little touches of yellow or orange or red or any of those combinations keep your fish near the Falls you don't want them too far out to the edge of your painting keeping them close into your subject which is the pagoda and will suggest a pond full of fish.
Added some drips coming from the tree.

Torrance version
PV version
Last but not least we come to the pagoda itself you will need to mix up a shadow color (see above for the colors) and you will use water to dilute it. Look at your photo see where your shadows are, see where your highlights are, look for any detail that you want to put in and have all of that in your mind as your painting. The darkest area is going to be the inside of the pagoda that color is almost black so you will use your mixture without diluting it everything else will have water added to it to lighten it. Start in a shadow area with your color, rinse your brush and then drag the color out to form the shape of the pagoda. You can do as much detail as you want or as little that will be up to you but you do need to create the shapes so pay particular attention to what you’re painting and its shape. Don't forget to put a very dark shadow at the very base of the pagoda where it sits on the rock and the shadow it's casting on the rock and that about does everything I did in class for the past two weeks finish this up the way you want to and be sure to have something ready to work on in class when we meet again so keep painting and I'll see you in class.

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