Watercolor Project: TJ’s Bouquet Week 1
I started out showing the new students how to transfer a design onto my paper using graphite transfer paper. There are many ways to get a design on your paper, this was just one of them.
I wanted my design on the paper so I knew where to start my under painting. The lightest area is coming from behind and above to “back light” the arrangementso my lightest area will be slightly above center and to the right.
First I wet my entire paper with clean water. I do this so my paint will spread and it will also lighten it a bit. With a big brush – I used my 2” wash brush – so I could cover a lot of ground in a few strokes and so the paper will still be wet as I change colors. You should all have at least a 2” – 3” wash or hake brush for big areas, it will save you a lot of extra work.
Still using my wash brush, I picked up some of my cad yellow light and mixed in a lot of water, I just want a light yellow tint, and I painted a ring around the center of my bright spot. I rinsed my brush and lightly guided the yellow into the center of the ring and blotted with a paper towel so it didn’t get too much color. Moving quickly, to the yellow on my palette I added a little orange then on the outside of the yellow ring, I added an orange ring. You want the colors to blend where they meet so be sure that your paper is still wet. Keep moving and add some red or crimson to the orange color on you palette and add a red ring to the outside of the orange ring and finally, with either a touch of blue or purple and water, add another ring that covers the corners and goes across the top and bottom of your paper. Let this dry completely before starting the next step.
When the paper was dry I started adding the next layer of color. Remember that in watercolor you work from light to dark so again, I do not want to get too dark with these next colors I want to be able to have some “wiggle room” when bringing up the values, I don’t want to get there too quick.
I started with the metal basket and while it looks “white”, it isn’t, it is a cool, sienna color so the colors I used were sienna, a little blue, a little purple, this is my base color for the basket. When I applied this color I was using my ½” shader and started in the middle of the basket and I did leave some areas unpainted for the leaves and ferns that hang over. Look at the photo. You will notice that to the left side of the basket it gets a bit darker and to the right it gets a bit lighter and warmer, keep that in mind as you paint. On the left side add a little bit more blue and/or purple and to the right side use a bit more water to thin the color and add touches of orange to warm it. Rust has some very orange undertones rather than red so use orange and sienna for your rust. The lighter warmer version of this color is used to under paint the handle just don’t make the color a continuous line because the handle goes in and out of the flowers and leaves, look at your reference photo if you have a question on where it might show.
The rest of the class I spent under painting the flowers and the leaves. The sunflowers and smaller flowers I used my cad yellow light with a touch of orange in it, keep it thin you don’t want too much color too soon, the roses I used my napthal red with water to thin it to base the colors in. I DID NOT do any detail color on the small flowers that have red edges, which will come later.
The leaves I did pay a bit more attention to because as they go in and out of light, their color changes from a blue green to almost yellow so please look at the photo as you are painting and be aware of where you are painting so you change your color as you paint. Again, keep it light in value for now so for the darker green areas I used sap green and a touch of blue with water and the lighter greens were sap with yellow and water or just yellow with water. LOOK AT YOUR REFERENCE PHOTO and fill in these lighter colors we will do more detail as we progress.
Keep painting and I will see you in class.