Tag: Watercolor Landscape

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Watercolor Techniques: painting water

Short and quick today.

Observing how water can be painted using watercolors.

 

 

Painting Water

In the samples shown,  I’ve created the impression, the illusion of water on paper.

Cobalt teal blue in watercolor helps, of course.

But, so does understanding the tones, the feeling, mood, and which of the common techniques to use.

 

 

watercolor techniques for water, beginners watercolour secrets for water, debiriley.com
Techniques for painting water: watercolors

 

 

We learn as we go.

Practice… repetition until a technique process becomes second nature, was the secret key to my own improvement.

 

 

Using dry brush, washes, charging, splatter, leaving White of the paper… they all combine to help with the illusion.

In the first demo,  you see a background a mid ground and foreground, along with a focal point.  These help guide the viewer and make the image understandable.

 

Whereas in the second demo, a mere wash of a couple colors,  we must engage more.  There is still enough information, but its less tight and structured.

More free flowing and carefree.  Perhaps, in holiday mode!   But you will observe more warmth in front, the White cresting wave in nearby, and there isn’t much action in the back.

Our minds, have decided yes, it is water we are looking at. And,  Most likely, the beach.

We’re good to go.

 

 

follow up posts

watercolor beginner basics 

11 fun water techniques 

watercolor easy techniques 

depth   via splatter

depth 

tonal value   Into the Light

 

 

Impressionist Watercolor Landscape (artistic license)

Impressionist Watercolor Landscape (artistic license)

Its about artistic freedom, artist license.

The joy of expressing in paints, brushstrokes, color, the things you’d like to say with words… but can’t.

 

artistic license, impressionist watercolor landscape, Daniel Smith watercolors, limited palette, debiriley.com
Artistic License Impressionist Landscape

Communicate Through the Arts

 

Perfect

If I was a singer, maybe the words would be clear and perfect.

And elegant, eloquent, full ranged.  Sounding lovely and lyrical.

But then, maybe not.

 

 

Bruce Springsteen

” A great singer has to learn how to  Inhabit a song. 

You may not be able to hit all the notes.    That’s OK.

You may not have the clearest Tone.   You may not have the greatest range.

But if, you can Inhabit a song,  you can communicate.”

 

This is a quote from Springsteen’s December 19, 2016  PBS interview.

 

 

 

 

As artists, in any profession, in any media….. that, is a very fine goal to take to heart.

 

 

 

Inhabiting

(Living, Abiding in the place)

 

I feel that in this landscape watercolor I do inhabit the painting.

It typifies me.  It is a signature Debi Riley artwork. Unique to me.  Created from my memories.

 

As I paint, I remember…. the Pages River in Murrurrundi.

The tall vertical poplar trees that dot the area.

 

I recall, the hill across from the Emirates thoroughbred stud farm, paddocks filled with gleaming broodmares.

The many times I’ve visited there and the soft spot it holds in my heart.

 

 

This location means something to me.

This subject –  has meaning.

And so, it is easy for me to inhabit the artwork as I create.

 

 

We can All… do this. 

Beginners, yes,  right on to the advanced.

Singers, chefs, writers, composers, painters, whatever.

 

But,  what we must do, however, is dare to

be our own selves,

to inhabit our songs… our creations.

 

 

John Olsen

Fred Williams 

Watercolor Hills 

Watercolor Landscapes and textures in color …. 

Trees,  in Color

Trees, in Color

Outdoors, fresh air.

Wandering through the woods.  Its lovely out there!  Inspiring.

I’ve combined two of my favorite things,  painting and nature….  trees.

 

Inspired

As I mentioned in my last post, zen strolls,  I’ve been working.

Creating.

Inspired by the trees, in color.

watercolor mixing chart, landscape colors, debiriley.com
Palette 1 for Tree Bark

 

watercolor color chart, watercolor swatches for trees, painting trees, debiriley.com
Palette 2

Watercolor Charts

Two Basic color charts in watercolor.

Easy.  And fun to do, well worth your time!

 

 

You only need 3 paints.

  1. cobalt blue pb28
  2. permanent rose pv19
  3. winsor lemon py175

 

Combining these 3 Paints, in various ratios & blends,  create wonderful new colors to use.

I’ve only shown these two charts, but I’ve created over 200 mixes from the 3 paints.

 

The color mixes shown, are  great for trees, bark, foliage, branches, and earth.

For more, on Color Mixing,  see color mixing foliage,   browns,  color  mastery, charts.

 

 

 

forest stroll zen meditation, nature inspirations, watercolor lessons, debiriley.com
Zen Stroll

Zen Stroll  – The inspiration.

 

morning nature walk, inspirational watercolor ideas, debiriley.com
a beautiful morning – another inspiration

 

From Inspiration, to studio and the processes.

painting watercolor trees from nature, debiriley.com
a quick demo  – Ink over watercolor washes

 

The unifying line work created by the ink,  brings the image together as well as helps to emphasize the texture of the bark in this quick demo piece.

 

 

Contrasts

In Art, its all about Contrast.

 

Showing one demo example of “rough” texture is good;  but showing the opposite,  is even better.

 

Below: the silky, fluid washes flow downwards as the pale golden colors stream towards earth.

Its appearance of smoothness, of silken soft bark,  is in direct contrast to the “rough textured” image above.

 

easy watercolor trees, Tree trunk watercolours debiriley.com
Tree trunk – a study of smoothness – charging technique

 

 

tree bark dry brush watercolours debiriley.com
Dry Brush Technique for  rough  bark

 

 

What’s Next!?

I’m thinking…..

 

Watercolor Skies in Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet

Watercolor Skies in Ultramarine, Cobalt Violet

Wet in wet watercolors. Perfect beginners’ techniques to loosen up!

Let the paints, do their thing.  and You…. Allow,  accidents to happen.

 

 

watercolor skies, cobalt violet, wet in wet techniques, luminosity in watercolor landscapes, debiriley.com
watercolor’s horizons

 

Wet in Wet Technique

WHY I love showing and sharing the Wet in Wet Technique:

 

  • creates soft beautiful edges
  • its great for Depth, and backgrounds
  • helps to teach us about tonal values
  • we learn about color mixing, mud avoidance
  • helps us to loosen up, to lose the tight rigidity
  • fabulous process for creating a series of skies

 

 

Materials Used

 

Paints

Ultramarine Blue

2  Cobalt Violet

Both belong to the Granulating Category; creating sensational moody, atmospheric textures with their dense particles sinking into the deep hollows of the paper fabric.

By holding back, limiting my palette to two colors, I can be more confident that I won’t get mud.

That I will successfully get better tonal value ranges.

That the overall unity will be Great!

 

Paper

Arches Rough 100% cotton rag watercolor paper

Please note, this paper was  ‘pre-used.’

I’d previously painted on it.  However,  I didn’t care for it and so rinsed it off until nearly all color was gone.

You will still see remnants.

Ghost marks upon the page… I don’t mind these so called imperfections. 

 

 

Brush

Rekab #2 320s  squirrel mop brush

 

 

I chose Cobalt Violet to complement Ultramarine. It would soften the sky,  the cloud shadows.

It would create a sense of mood and atmosphere into the water to deepen the feeling of the painting.

It would help me, to communicate … More.

 

I paid particular attention, to making certain that I did not cover up all my white paper.

Especially in the areas that would help to guide the viewer’s eyes Inwards.

 

I jotted notes down to myself, ‘leave whites.’ 

Little post’its on my table, in front of my eyes, as I painted.

 

 

Writing notes,  giving myself  clear, sequential, Basic Instructions…. comes in very handy.

Because,  sometimes as I get to painting  – I get so enthused I forget things in my exuberance.

Perhaps, you do this too?

 

 

My Process of Working….

When I was doing this image, I set about it, like most of my other works.

 

I lined up about 7 -9 sheets of watercolor paper.  They are there, ready.

Waiting.

 

I need, to do this.

Or else I will over work, spend all my exuberant energies on the one image.

That is too much.

Too much color for just one paper.

Too many brush strokes, too much action, too much ‘energy’ for just one image.

It needs spreading out on several.

 

At what point, do I Move On?

When the paint on image #1 is at the ‘cranky’ pants stage (not dry enough, not wet enough)  to successfully accept more paint.

I move onto paper #2 and begin the next Technique.

 

Normally, I will do about 7, but there are times its less or much more.  With varying levels of ‘beauty.’

I save my ‘judging’ for the next day. Its a better idea I’ve learned.

 

 

And what did the other 7 techniques I did, look like?

 

Wretched, I say!!

But, of course, they are “resolvable.”

 

 

So, its alright, I’m good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Softening the edges …art and nature

Softening the edges …art and nature

As many things do…. it held,  Promise.

This old watercolor landscape.

It sat upon the studio table among 20 others, all needing further contemplation, further work.

 

 

 

watercolor techniques for beginners, soften edges watercolour, impressionist landscapes trees, prussian blue mixes watercolour foliage, debiriley.com
Soften the Edges, watercolor basics

 

Watercolor Landscape Painting

How old was it?

How long did I hold it in reserve?

I’m smiling…. it may shock some, but it is about 15 years old.

 

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but its so true;

when   I don’t know precisely how to   use my brush to resolve a thing – I Stop.

Pause.

Put it aside.

And go on to work on the other papers and canvases I’ve laid out for myself.

 

 

I’ve come to realise that there will come a day,

when … it becomes crystal clear, exactly how to resolve the art work.

And then, it is so unbelievably easy!

 

 

Beginners’  Frustrations

I understand the beginner’s frustrations.

 

The urge to shred the result that did not (YET) meet nor yet match the vision within one’s mind.

But,

it is key, to note the word …. “Yet.”

 

It is important to be aware that as Beginners, we can not possibly do it as we wish to, right now.

We can’t jump into the pilot’s seat and fly the plane, swooping and diving, rolling and performing the aero gymnastics.

 

There will come a day.

When each task, each skill, becomes second nature.

 

 

 

Back to Work…..

So.  I’m back to the old watercolor painting and deep in thought.

 

I consider the outer edges and have realised they’re far too sharp, abrupt.

Those outer bordering edges are too hard.

They need gentled.

 

 

Even though the painting is so old, with watercolor,  I can still soften the edges.

I’m in luck.

 

But, the paper I chose was a smooth hot press type, so it requires a more delicate touch.

Had I used Arches Rough or even Cold Press,  I could have been more vigorous in my approach here.

Knowing your paper, is critical for making those resolutions successful.

 

 

Once the perimeter edges are softened sufficiently to my eye, I rotate the image.

I decide that I’m pleased with it more with the weight being on the right and the bottom.

Rather than Top and left, as before.

 

 

The other change-up I’ve played with is the matting.

I wanted to see how it might look, if it was surrounded in white.

But moved towards the left.  I was ‘curious.’

 

 

 

watercolor impressionist landscape, softening edges for depth, prussian blue foliage greens, patience persistence, not fiddling with watercolors, debiriley.com
Reflecting Soft Edges

 

Promises

 

As many things do,

the painting, held promise.

 

What we do to and with that creation,  what our outlook, our approach is,   determines if the promise is realised or not.

 

I think in this case, at least,  I was able to exercise the “Goldilocks” approach.

Nothing was taken away to destroy the lovely enthusiastic promise the painting had from the beginning.

 

The subtle resolutions  that,  for so long I was blind to,  oblivious to….

Now, came easy.

Yes.  After a long wait.

 

 

When I think about it,   this process in its own way, is ……

softening our ‘own edges’ in a round about way.

 

 

 

Follow Along Posts…….

3 Edges of Watercolor – Softening the Edges

Natures Edges – so soft and gentle   

Prussian Blue mixing  and greens 

Impressionist Landscapes in Watercolor 

Relax,  but  don’t fiddle 

Resolving, altering paintings    –  changing the look of old paintings 

 

 

 

 

There will come a day.

When each task, each skill, ….softening edges …….becomes second nature.

 

 

 

Edward Seago: Inspirational Master Artist

Edward Seago: Inspirational Master Artist

Edward Seago,  what can I say?

Definitely he has been under appreciated.  We all know Monet, Picasso, Renoir.

Seago? Not so much.

But let’s  remedy that now!

 

Edward Seago by Ron Ranson book, great art books, masters of oil painting, painting ships and seas the impressionist technique, debiriley.com
Edward Seago, by Ron Ranson art book   painting of ships and seas

 

Edward Seago Inspires

Both the oils and watercolors go beyond the ordinary.

Beyond good.

His brush takes you on a journey.

 

Edward was born 1910 in the UK.

I fell in love with his story, with his sensitivity in handling the paints, papers, canvas and brush.

Seago had an easy mastery of both oils and watercolors I admire.

Perhaps, envy…..

 

 

Books

You will see a few of my favorite books on the studio table.

Margaret Coen, Realist Abstracts, Raw Colour with Pastels

and the Edward Seago book.

 

I have owned for a decade + this  lovely book featuring gorgeous watercolors and oils by the creative master Seago.

 

The book is available at Amazon.com  Edward Seago by Ron Ranson 

I hope you’re inspired to seek out his work.

 

painting winter and snow techniques, learn from the masters, Edward Seago paintings, be inspired by a master artist, debiriley.com
Seago, winter in oils… feeling the cold

 

Learn from The Masters

The Masters.

They are the ones who we truly need to emulate. To study from.  To look at Their Techniques.

They make the fewest mistakes.

And they,  tend not to pass off paintings with critical basic design flaws, as ‘ok work.’

 

And Seago was a master of both oils and watercolors, easily flipping from one to the other.

 

 

 

Learn.

Study.

 

Close viewing shows us the vigor of his brush movements.  The strokes are forever etched upon the canvas. Showing us his mood, his speed in painting, telling us a little bit about the man.

 

By looking at Seago’s paintings you can see how he used his hard and soft edges so brilliantly to create the depth and distance.

The subtle use of color, its nearly monochromatic, creates a far more powerful impact here than if it was littered with colors and hundreds of details.

 

He saw all the detail that really was there…..

He chose,  to eliminate.

He made the decision to disregard all the bits and pieces.

He wanted, he needed the message to come through look and clear.

 

Not the clutter.   Wow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Fire..like JMW Turner

Sky Fire..like JMW Turner

When life mimics art.

Over the Indian Ocean the the velvet clouds cloak the sky.

No paints in hand.

 

JMW Turner skies for inspiration, sunsets of the Indian Ocean Perth, nature landscape photography, debiriley.com
photo……. “Sky Fire,”     like Turner

Sunset Skies of Fire

A camera, to capture the thoughts I had while looking for that briefest of moments upwards.

Wondering…. what Turner felt when he gazed upon the setting sun.

How his spirit lifted within.

Wondrous. I almost think we might have shared the same sense of awe. Of inspiration. Perhaps.

 

 

Turner

JMW Turner 1775-1851 a real master of both watercolors and oils.

He, is the one to emulate.

If you wish to learn oils or watercolors….. he’s your guy. 

You can’t go wrong studying Turner.

 

His quote….

“Its only when

we are no longer fearful

that we begin to create.”

 

His skies,  remain  unrivalled.

10 magnificent Turner paintings 

Turner at Tate 

A Creator of Impressionist paintings – at times so wild and free.

 

 

 

I can dream.

Of creating, of painting,  of interpreting the subject before me in such a way.

 

 

 

The prior post, All things watercolor 

featured a simple landscape, not skies, but a shoreline.

Loose and wild. Expressive.

It was done in a similar spirit as Turner.

As much as I love Turner, I must stay true to myself.

To paint, to express from within.

But

I can Learn, how to do this…. from Turner.

watercolor beginner basics, tips and techniques for starting watercolours, everything you wanted to know about watercolor, debiriley.com
watercolor beginner basics