Sunday, May 28, 2017

Spring 2017 Watercolor Class

Watercolor Class Project: Farmers' Market

This is the final on the Farmers' Market project. I hope that you learned that but taking it one step at a time even the most complicated subject can be fun and challenging. You can only paint it one stroke at a time regardless of whether it is simple or intricate so don't let the subject scare you away.

Here are some of the final things I did to complete this project:

The grating on the front of the fruit stands does not need to be  detailed out board for board. I suggested the cross hatched panels by using a light grey (ultramarine blue a touch of sienna and lots of water) and using the dry brush technique (very little water or paint on the brush) with my 1/4" angle brush, I did a series of //////// strokes, then I did the reverse the same way only \\\\\\\\\, so it looks like vague "Xs" . Then I added some darker gray in a few spots to suggest you could see behind the grate to the darkness under the stand. All that matters is that is suggests the grate, it doesn't need to hit you over the head with it.

The fruit in the stand needs to look like it is going into the distance to create depth in the painting, so remember that as things go into the distance they become less intense in color, closer together, and less detailed. The fruit that is closer can have more detail and that tells the viewer what they are looking at in you painting. Even the little lady is just a suggestion as are the figures in the door way but it is enough of a suggestion to suggest people.

This was a happy accident. I hadn't planned to make the oranges as big as they turned out but because I did they look like they are on a stand closer to the viewer than the apples behind them, I am good with that, gives a bit more depth. Notice the difference between the detail in the pineapple and oranges and the apples and peaches behind. The peaches are just basically shapes of color yet it says peaches.

The signs and price tags do not need to be detailed either. All you need are a couple of them that show some believable word then the rest of them are just marks that suggest words. Let your viewer do some of the work.

The lights and the string lights were pretty simple. for the big ceiling lights after I removed the masking I did a bit of lifting right around the area that was masked. If some of the color remains, that is okay, it just needs to be a bit lighter not paper white. While it was still wet, I flooded the area with a mix of yellow and orange to create a golden color, when it was dry I suggested the fixtures. Don't get nit picky with this or it will look over worked. The string lights I just took a dark color on my 1/4" angle brush and just touched the chiseled end to - once again - suggest the wire holding the lights.

While this was a complicated scene once we broke it down into manageable pieces it came together quite well. 

Finish this to whatever degree of detail you want for your needs but all in all everyone did a great job and I hope to see you all next class. 

Keep painting.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Watercolor Spring 2017

Class Project: Farmer's Market Week 5

Because this project has so many little areas to paint, it takes time. It also teaches you to work in, around and through your painting because it can cause problems painting next to a wet area without worrying about getting back runs or blooms. It is also rewarding because you can continue to paint skipping around the painting while waiting for things to dry before you go back in to increase value and/or color intensity.

The first thing I did in the last class was I put masking fluid back on the string lights behind the counter. I really needed it to be darker so not only would the lights show up better but also so that the plastic bags in the front would also show. Remember that you heed to use contrast - light against dark - to create a sense of depth. After the masking dried, I went back over the area - the entire area - with a thin mix of blue and a touch of crimson. Now you can see how the plastic bags stand out against the darker background.

I started the pineapple and finished the oranges.

The pineapple is interesting because the two sides of it's leaves are different. the under side has a stripy variegated look to it almost like chevrons in a pale blue/green color and the top of the leaves is more a solid green. 

While I hadn't intended it to happen, once I got my oranges painted in I realized that because I had made them bigger than the apples by quite a lot, the oranges appear to be on a closer table than the apples, not wrong just a happy accident because it gives more depth to the painting.

Everyone was curious about what I was going to do with those blank tags in the fruit in the front and the tags in the back, well, write on them of course!

Here's the trick when putting written words in a painting especially if they are very small: Find one of the closer tags and write all or part of an actual word or number (see the peaches tag in the front?) then the rest of the smaller tags in the back only need to suggest letters and numbers, the viewer will fill in the rest.

I still have work to do on my painting so I will continue bring my painting up in color and value, adding detail...I probably have a week or two before I am finished.

Keep painting and I will see you in class.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spring 2017 Watercolor

Watercolor Class Project: Farmers Market Week 4

The next couple of weeks will be rather repetitive because you will be working around your painting bringing up the intensity (color) and value (darkness) in select areas, as well as adding detail in the foreground.

This is an important thing to understand as an artist: By creating things that have more detail in the foreground, you only need to suggest things in the background. The viewer will see oranges and apples then shapes and color and will assume that you have a whole market full of fruit, when all it really is is shapes and color.

I took a bit more time with the oranges using, napthol red with cad orange for the shadow parts of the orange, then adding yellow to the orange for the light areas leaving some of the very light first wash as the highlights. You can work the oranges without stopping by choosing oranges that aren't next to each other so they won't bleed into each other, though it wouldn't be wrong if it did.

I did the apples the same way using the napthol and crimson and made just general shapes or apples.

The plastic wrap is just light and shadow in don't make it any more complicated than it is, just look at the values and shapes before you start to paint.