But wouldn’t it be just a little bit boring without a challenge or two?!
So far in my “Master Color” course we’ve been proceeding along in segments.
It makes it easier.
While I’m purposely creating this post for my Tuesday class, “MASTER COLOR” don’t let that stop you from joining in the fun today!!
Watercolors – The Real Basics
We’ve found out how to read the labels and, why that is so relevant.
(Pigment identification numbers, lightfastness ratings, series, names, brands, single pigment paints vs multiple ingredients.)
Plus, what opaques, granulators, stainers, transparents are and how you can use them to their best advantage, avoiding their liabilities!
Which ones are good social mixers and which ones, like to be the solo artists.
We also are discovering, how the differing brands of the same paint name, can make or break a color blend on your painting.
Last Term Blues Featured
2017 started off on the Cool side, focusing on the magnificent Blues of watercolor.
Daniel Smith Indigo, cobalt pb28, the 2 types of cerulean, prussian blue pb27, ultramarine pb29, phalo blue pb15.3 and indanthrone pb60 were the featured paints. We combined them with the lovely Daniel Smith Naples Yellow and Winsor Lemon py175. Totally fascinating!
Term 2 Warm Colors of the Earth
This term we’ve focused on Warms and the Earth colors.
Permanent Rose Pv19, Winsor and Newton Permanent Alizarin Crimson Pr206, Raw Umber PBr7, Burnt Sienna PBr7, Light Red. Now we are integrating these with the Blues in Landscape themes.
It has been a great fun challenge so far.
Especially trying to keep in mind, Keep it Loose, Keep it Simplified. And, Don’t get bogged down with “replication.”
ah yes…. easier said, than done.
Its a Challenge!
Weekly Watercolor Workouts
Each week, I suggest a little something for them to do at home.
Making sure they all feel free to Ad Lib. To change the recipe to suit.
Weekly Watercolor Works (WWW)
This week it is about depth. About aerial perspective.
And we will be mixing from only the colors we have from Term 1 and Term 2 to obtain the illusion of depth.
The aim is to enable the viewers to ‘walk through’ the paintings smoothly.
Not rough or bumpy, but a beautifully even and smooth, stroll through.
It is a Challenge……… Join Us?!
I mentioned to my lovely friends that I’d share some helpful visuals on my next post and title it The Challenge.
The landscape photographs you see here, you are welcome to use as references for your watercolor paintings too, as part of The Challenge. I’d appreciate it though, that my paintings, not be copied/used as reference. Its important, as many of my images are for sale in my shops…..Thanks!
Suggesting …. Depth and Perspective
One of the dilemmas, new artists face is how to create depth.
How to avoid that ‘flatness’ that happens so often. As it did to me, for way too long!
Is the simplest key. But it is, The second on my list actually.
The first is, of course tonal values. (See the Burnt Sienna landscape above)
If we make sure that the foregrounds are very warm (reds, oranges, terracottas, yellows)
and the middleground areas are less warm (greens – lime greens, grass green, blue greens)
and then the backgrounds are quite cool (grey greens, blues, pale grey lavenders) Well!
Then we will have a lovely smooth stroll through the painting.
The painting will have depth and perspective.
HOW? You ask.
Always, mentally divide the photo, painting, subject into sections.
Background. Middleground. Foreground.
Assign each, the ‘temperature’ of colors that is appropriate for its location.
Lets say I have mixed up a lemon green for a field that is closer to the front. Maybe it was a canola field? Anyway, to make the back part of that field recede like it needs to, all I need to do is add increments of a blue to the mix and paint away.
Lets say I’ve some bushes, shrubbery that are in the foreground, middle, background…..
Something like this, might be the way to go.
Some Reference photos, that I thought might be helpful are below.
What you’ll want to do is to simplify.
Mentally divide the image into the 3 sections back, mid, foreground.
Assign each area the appropriate color temperature and textural effects and tonal value.
Never try to ‘just duplicate’ a photo. They don’t tell the truth, anyway!
Use the photos as guides.
Suggest….. the details. There is truly no need to reveal, expose it all.
Go for a close approximation and do your best to put your own spin on things.
Its just a piece of paper.
Watercolor Basic Posts you’ll find great resources:
The lively textures also, usually are placed in the foreground and the focal point area.
I resolved the dilemma.
With 2 strokes.
But, I had to pause. And think about it.
I needed to allow my mind to sort through ideas.
Such as: How can I balance all that texture? All that warmth? What about using the complement of the orange? Well, then… which Blue would work best? Which Brush, do I want to use? Which direction to move it in? Go bold, go lyrical, go with curves, go with angles?
That I am allowed to just explore the paints today.
This way, I can lessen the need for a finished product. Sometimes, the inner mind has one in store regardless, and it just emerges.
I enjoy these aspects of painting and having experimentation days….. I never know what Might Happen!
I chose to use a brush for my experimentations today in oils.
I wished to achieve the dragged, rough lines, the sweeping gestures, the short choppy motions that can be conveyed by using the brush.
I confess I did not use a regular art brush.
Instead, used a small used, old housepaint brush. A horrid little stiff brush….. which was really ‘just right’ for helping my create those textural effects in oils!
The surface was a canvas paper, relatively inexpensive. Perfect for a plethora of practice!
The goal was simply to create as much textural effects as I could with the brush in 2-3 colors.
To make the texture stand out more effectively, I need to remember to have plenty of calm, smooth, flat planes of space too. We know if we have too much action going on all at once, the impact is lost. Its the same as using color. Too many colors “bright and bold” all over, are not as effective as One Bold Color set amidst a field of calmer, ‘subordinates.’
In other words, we need to plan, and then create a delicate Balance of Calm to Busy.
A very simple, rough beginners’ tip for that…… I suggest about 2/3 Calmer and 1/3 Busy.
Feel free to play with that ratio. It depends upon what mood, what feeling you are trying to convey to the viewer, too. If you want an ultra serene vibe, nearly ‘naptime’ then try for 7/8 Calm and 1/8 Busy.
Or if you specifically Want the viewer to be in chaos mode…. choose a very high ratio of Busy.
Perhaps 3/4 Busy and 1/4 Calm; and certainly the 7/8 Busy and 1/8 Calm would do the job.
Location, location, location
Where does Texture really belong?!
We want to add excitement.
To get out of the rut, out of the same monotonous pattern and enliven our art.
Usually, my autopilot mind thinks first of using Color.
Color will do it.
So too will Texture.
Where…. does “Texture” belong?
What are the appropriate corresponding locations in your paintings?
Where should the most and the least go? From the background, middleground, foreground to the focal point?
What is the secret, the hint we can all use to help us out?
we want to place the Most detail and Textures on the Focal Point.
Next (usually) is the Foreground.
Then the Middleground gets less details/textures.
The Background normally receives the least amount of attention, details, textures.
Because as things recede further away from our eye, they become gradually more subtle. More indistinct. They are more blurred, faded, flatter in tonal value, with nearly no details nor textures left for the eye to see (at that Distance.)
This, is something every new artist really needs to jot down on their easel. So that they see it. Every time they paint!
It confuses the eye, when Every Thing is in focus and has so much detail/texture going on.
When the focal point, the foreground, the midground and the background all have nearly equal amounts of detail and texture……. our eye is confused about the Depth and Perspective.
With all of these examples, #1-6, it was all about trying to create Texture.
In #1 The brush marks seem to gouge through, leaving deep valleys and streaks. With the peaks creating shadows upon the surface.
#2 The look was much smoother, calmer. A high ratio of Calm. With the Foreground have the primary area of textural effects.
#3 A wild medley of sculptural effects. Thick layers plastered on over the top of previously textured areas. Wild.
#4 A fun little testing strip area, practicing figures. The Figures being focal point they received more textures than elsewhere.
#5 Brushing the oils on, then smearing with a piece of paper and lifting to create this look.
#6 lots of tree foliage texture, image from prior post but changed now into a long horizontal format
With the exception of #6 all the samples were absolutely ‘process’ based vs ‘product’ based.
#6 I wanted Texture and a landscape painting. The others were great fun and very informative for future work!