Tag: watercolor techniques

Impressionist’s Approach …painting water

Impressionist’s Approach …painting water

Rules. Basics. Secrets. More rules…..

For the beginner watercolorist, it can be, all very overwhelming to try to remember it all!

You don’t have to.

 

 

Painting Water

My thoughts on painting water.

 

Keep it super simple.

For Beginners:  Short easy sessions,  that you focus on just one technique at a time are the key.

 

Just one process you want to get down.

Not the  whole shebang at once. 

You can have a lot of fun, keeping it simple,  learning to paint water. 

 

 

 

Impressionist Approach

Keep it nice and loose.

Carefree.  Fun.

In an   Impressionist’s approach. 

 

 

 

impressionist approach painting water, watercolor land and water easy techniques, debiriley.com
Impressionist Moods of Water

 

Its really about Your impression of the subject you paint.

Its more about how you are feeling about the subject that makes the difference.

Its how you personally are interpreting it, what dialogue you have between the two of you… that counts most.

Just let us know,  show us.

 

 

paint emotion, impressionist watercolor, mist on water, Northwest inlet watercolor landscape, debiriley.com
paint emotion

 

 

Sometimes the water appears bright and tropical,  fun and summery. Light and easy.

So.  Paint it that way.

Utilise white sparkles of the paper shining through,  to accent and highlight this point.

Don’t allow it or yourself, to get all bogged down and tight; the work filled with hard edges won’t capture the fun loose and carefree vibe.

 

 

 

Sometimes the water appears dark.  Choppy.  Moody and Sullen.

Well,  paint that feeling!  cool, stormy colors with short choppy strokes will evoke this sensation.

 

beginners impressionist watercolors, painting water in watercolours for novice painters, debiriley.com
practice…water techniques

 

 

 

Leaving white of the paper is a big help.

Painting a few squiggled lines for ‘ripples’ is another fast and simple method that works quite well many times.

Graded washes,  light -mid – dark tones in your water,  is another key factor to remember.

 

The other thing to remember about water, is that the farther away it is –   white waves will be ‘greyed off’ not stark white,   and the less detail, the less color intensity,  the less contrast,  the less strong dark deep tones it will have.

That right there,  is worth jotting down!

 

 

beginners watercolors painting water techniques and ideas, debiriley.com
water techniques

 

Beginners Watercolors

Beginners at watercolor,  may find it useful and easier,  to begin with simpler designs.

Simple basic easy shapes.

Starting right at the beginning.

 

Nothing too complicated or complex, no matter how much our minds are leaping to do so.

I know.

We are yearning to…. paint that busy harbour scene filled with action.

Boats, sailors, shipping lines, cargo carriers, seagulls in flight, reflections shimmering, sailboats flying in the wind.

 

 

But,  I have discovered, small steps.

One thing at a time, works.

Sinks in.

 

So that week by week,  month by month we do see incremental improvements.

Then, we can paint the more involved scene.

Such as the shadowed fir trees reflected in the misty early morning waters of the Pacific Northwest.

 

 

 

 

follow on posts….

Watercolor water 

Watercolor loose and free and easy 

Watercolor Impressionist  –   John Peter Russell    

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

The World of Watercolor: Loose And Free!

Do you love watercolor?  Love its translucency, its soft melting edges?

Love Colors that seemingly flow together to create something that the hand, the brush could not quite have dobbed or dabbed into being?

I do.

 

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world of watercolor loose and free

 

Impressionist watercolor flowers, bright colored flower painting, debiriley.com
Loose Colorful  Patio Flowers

Watercolor Loose and Free

Freedom of Expression

What purpose such looseness and freedom serve, we may wonder.

Wouldn’t crisp, tight, defined, “control” over the entire process be much better?

Maybe. Or maybe not.

Wouldn’t it better … “to bend; not break?”

 

My privilege as a teacher, while adhering to the described course title, theme topic,  is to overview the group’s needs and then tailor the agenda to that.

Diversity within the group, of course means we will all take in the skills, the information at varying rates, the different things presented.

Its just like here, in these posts.  At different times, we will be ready. For new information.

 

I liked the concept of Loose and Easy, as I believe its one of the most effective ways to  become confident and successful with watercolors.

 

Scary at first, yes,  I do remember being a ‘beginner.’

But we ease in. Bit by bit we let go.

Step by step we open the doors.

 

watercolors, bright colors of natures, wet in wet watercolor technique, debiriley.com
Glorious Colors

 

Ways… to let go

Trying any of these, better still – making up your own ways, is a step towards free & loose expression in art.

 

Ultramarine acts as a dark anchor while Lemon blends with Cobalt Teal blue as they fall together.

The explosion of shapes created with Cadmium Scarlet eased into Indanthrone blue, Prussian blue.

Or maybe the sedimentation and speckling patterns made by mixing Lunar Black with Quinacridone Sienna.

Cobalt Teal blue finding its way downwards, as gravity controls its descent in a lovely scene, reflections along the water.

 

creativity includes cropping an image, debiriley.com
Cadmium Scarlet on Blue

 

 

 

There is a time and place for all types, all styles, genres of painting approaches.

Botanical, Impressionist, Surrealism, Illustrative, Cubist, PhotoRealism, etc.

 

bright bird of paradise greeting cards, debi riley art, flower cards for Mothers day, Society 6, debiriley.com
Bird of Paradise Greeting Cards

 

Each artist, will have their own unique personality.

With specific preferences.

 

These preferences,   evolve with time.

Our tastes, change, as we gain more experience.

 

As we gain confidence, step by step, we put our ‘stamp’ upon the things we do.

Just like our clothing, our home decor, our landscaping, our favorite cooking recipes.

And this, is exactly what we are aiming for!

 

 

zen of colour: forest in cobalt teal blue pg50, debiriley.com
‘Zen in the Forest,’    …. a loose interpretative approach

 

 

 

Tips & ‘Guide Posts’  to Painting Loose!

For us to be able to paint and create Loose and Free,  there are some helpful ideas that make it easier for us.

These guide posts serve to inspire us, to lead us in the direction of our goal.

 

 

viridian green watercolor, viridian green pg18, watercolor mixing greens, debi riley watercolors, debiriley.com
Loose and Free!!    Viridian green and Ultramarine  22×30  Abstract

If you like, you could replace the words need and must, with “suggest”  it does, sound nicer on the ears.

 

  • we must be willing to paint loose
  • we have to….  Want It!

 

  • we need to practice,  frequently
  • practice with such repetition, that it might annoy us at times

 

  • we need to Think differently
  • think thoughts of big bold, loose! Free!

 

  • we need to let go
  • we need to open the closed doors

 

  • we need to stop,  all,  miserly thoughts
  • penny pinching  defeats,   Loose & Free

 

  • we need to think laterally
  • creative problem solving  for such issues, IS Possible

 

watercolor beginner flowers, easy purple iris bud, step by step, debiriley.com
Control –  serves a purpose, at times.

 

 

The World of Watercolor Loose and Free, though, is one where we can relax.  Let go.

Enjoy the colors, the music, the tones, the movement.

 

 

watercolor abstract simplicity, light red, debiriley.com
Simplicity Wc Light Red

 

 

bold colorful impressionist landscape, loose and free landscape paintings, debiriley.com
Loose and Free,  interpretation of  W.A.  landscape.      “uncontrolled  ill defined”

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Basics 

 

 

 

 

Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Splash, Spray, Create … in watercolors

Deep ultramarine and hints of violet.

The explosions of light and color from stars and galaxies we will never see. Except, perhaps in our imaginations.

 

ultramarine blue pb29 watercolor, watercolor creative techniques, easy beginner watercolor ideas, texture in watercolor, debiriley.com
watercolor creative techniques

 

Ways With Watercolor

The magic of watercolor for me, is its ability to adhere so well to its specific pigment properties. It is obedient, reliable, consistent in the following of its nature.

Lending the artist a helping hand, with this knowledge.

 

A Granulator such as Ultramarine stays true to itself and creates wonderful textures upon the paper’s surface.

Stainers, like ….Permanent Alizarin Crimson will follow its nature. To run, explode outside the barriers.

 

I know what these ingredients, these pigments will do.  So then I combine them to do a job. To help me say what needs saying.

 

You could, in a way think of them as you do your cooking ingredients. Flour, sugar, honey, molasses, salt, vinegar, baking soda, milk, cream, lard, olive oil, coconut oil. Many times you could use any old oil or butter and it makes no difference.

But, there are times when the ingredient must be pure butter for the recipe to work.

For the result to turn out…. delicious.

 

Not just – passe.

Heaven forbid…  inedible.

 

 

It is the same with paints.

Many ultramarines are fairly exchangeable. No worries.  So too with phalo blue.  And quinacridone rose, phalo green, quinacridone gold, burnt umber.

I normally,  don’t specify a particular Brand for most,  routine colors.

 

 

Critical Importance to success

Unless it is crucial.

…..   like  it is with Indigo and Naples Yellow.

(Daniel Smith’s are successful.)

Its all in “the ingredients!”

 

 

I mention this today, as I’d talked about it a little last week in class.

I often try make do, make something  I have on hand, work.

 

Why go and buy something…. if I have a product that will do the job?

Many of us might have ended up with 3 crockpots, 2 types of knife sharpeners and have learned our lesson!

I’m with you on that, definitely.

 

Having said that, I’ve also spent 25 years buying thousands of tubes of paints.

Experimenting. Testing. Researching.   Every single one.

So, my hope is always, that you let all my “losses”  be your gain!   That you  learn from my mistakes and save yourself time and money.

 

 

 

 

Process of Splash and Spray

This was done on dry Arches 100%  cotton paper rough.

The paint colors used were burnt umber (Maimeriblu)     Permanent Alizarin Crimson (Winsor Newton)  mixed with Ultramarine (Art Spectrum)

So that is limiting the palette to 3 paints.    And,  I’ve used a  Cool Palette.   Doing both  of these are great tips to avoid, mud.

 

Spray

I used a spray mister to lightly mist the paper surface.  Choosing to ‘miss’ some areas.

Then loading brushes and flicking the paints on.  Misting again, as needed.

The Darker Ultramarine and Burnt Umber, I used an old toothbrush to scoop up paint and flicker it on as the paper was drying.

This allowed for the darker tones I was hoping for, to create more depth.

 

This is a fast, fun, easy, loose watercolor technique.   

Perfect to release tension, have some fun, create some exciting work and some of these can also be used later as backgrounds for other works.

The soft edges are particularily good for depth.

 

 

 

This is a non representational image, abstract.

It simply is a  watercolor technique.

An exercise to demonstrate limited palette using cool colors; and how using a Spray Mister can be an effective way to add depth in your future works.

 

 

Pink and Crimson: watercolor inspirations

Pink and Crimson: watercolor inspirations

Singapore.

Inspired by the pretty and delicate pink petals found in the Gardens by the Bay.

 

 

Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, flower dome, debiriley.com, watercolors inspired by Singapore
Gardens by the Bay, so pretty,  Singapore flowers

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Techniques

I decided I needed to get in the zone, for my upcoming class “Watercolors – Loose, and Easy.” I think it should be a fun class;  laid back and keeping watercolor …simple and easy. Fresh, Free, Flowing And Loose.  Thats the goal.

 

So,  to keep this little technique simple, I chose only a few colors:   (white, indigo and alizarin crimson) and had a play.

 

 

White Paint Is Lovely!

The white paint applied first, acts like a soft velvety foundation that the other paints react to in beautiful ways.

For those of you who have not tried this before, it is a lot of fun.

 

You create stunning results by laying the wet white wash down first and then, while it is damp….. allow another color to merge into it.

(Especially The Staining paints!)

 

 

watercolor techniques, floral pink color mixes, debiriley.com
watercolor techniques in reds and pinks

Just simply ‘do.’

For fun.

I loved the experimentation aspect, with no pressure to create, finish, frame.

 

Still a bit lagged from the trip,  I was in no big rush to “Paint That Photo.”

Of course, those who know me by now, know I never do that anyway!

 

 

These are colors I do not usually use together.

(Indigo, White, Permanent Alizarin Crimson)

So, it was interesting to me to see how they responded to each other.

I had about 15 test squares I did fairly fast, that looked great.

I’ll be able to use this information in other work I do.

 

So for those who worry about spending all that time

and not ending up with a “Product”   –  it isn’t so bad.

 

You do end up with benefits.

I learn new things all the time doing this type of thing.

Learning new techniques, new color combinations, new approaches, etc.

These, can be then used down the track in your next paintings. 

 

 

 

 

Watercolor Techniques 

Watercolor start easy….