watercolor paints, care of supplies, & how to paint with them. Preparation: Copy Basic Watercolor Techniques Worksheet onto cardstock or watercolor paper-. You will create a watercolor of an accident at a landmark, experimenting with a variety of techniques to create a dramatic, abstract setting. You will need these. Fully load or "charge" your watercolor brush with paint and starting at an edge of your paper, start painting a winding line of paint across the.
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painting with this heavier medium very helpful in watercolor painting. You can buy watercolor paints in a vast array of colors, which can vary in form and quality . GOALS-Objective Student will learn basic watercolor techniques and application demonstrated techniques and includes a foreground. PDF Drive is your search engine for PDF files. As of today we have GOALS- Objective Student will learn basic watercolor techniques and application. RUBRIC.
Not only will cheap colors fade but, worse still, they are terrible to use. The wind, the flies, unwanted visitors asking questions like, "What are you painting? Maybe it's time for morning tea. Works like this are handy for noting the natural positions of the shapes so you can place them in your painting. Here, the tower suggested a vertical format. The only way to charge your creative batteries is to go to the great studio outdoors. I left some white paper spaces for the groups of highlights.
This is certainly better than having bands of smudgy marks left by an eraser. If you must use an eraser please use the softest one you can find, the kneadable type used for charcoal is best. Brushes Just like the tyres on your car, brushes are probably the most important part of your painting equipment.
Even the best, most exotic motor car will not handle well with bald tyres. Likewise, you will never do a decent painting if you are using brushes of dubious quality. First of all, just like your pencils, your brushes must have perfect points. You are better off with two good brushes than 20 useless ones. They need not be the most expensive in the shop, there are some wonderful nylon brushes on the market today.
Actually, I find sable brushes too soft and they lose their points quickly. Even your largest brushes must be pointy. How will you cut around any square shapes if your brush has a round tip? Have a good range of brushes, but please throw out those tiny brushes under size 8, which are next to useless because they hold so little pigment. Always relate the size of your brush to the size of the shape you are painting. Large brush for targe shapes, medium brush for medium shapes and small brush for small shapes.
It's all so logical. There is just one way to hold a brush correctly! You must hold it lightly and as far back up the handle as possible. You must never grip your brush in a white knuckle fashion close to the tip. The only time you may want to hold the brush fairly close to the point is when rendering. Most of all, your studio must have as much bench space as possible. I find that I always end up using the floor as well as all the tables for my references, photographs, books and all the other bits we seem to collect.
All this material must be easily accessible because it is so easy to lose inspiration and momentum at the best of times, let alone while searching for that elusive sketch or photograph. By the time you have found what you are looking for you will probably be angry enough to tear it into a thousand pieces!
Which is certainly not conducive to painting. Ultimately the studio has to suit the artist's personality and it must be comfortable. I have collected many bits of memorabilia while on painting trips and I like looking at them from time to time and reminiscing. For instance, my prized possession is a clock in the shape of. Elvis Presley. My studio is also fairly modern and has little resemblance to the old-fashioned, rustic studios of yesteryear.
Easel Your easel should provide a flat surface with a variety of angles, like a drafting table.
It should be sturdy but easily maneuverable. If you prefer to stand while working, the table should be the right height. I like to sit most of the time and have a comfortable drafting chair on wheels for that purpose.
I stand up when doing major washes or large paintings. Pencils Your pencils should be of medium hardness such as 2B or 4B because pencils that are too soft tend to smudge and produce dirty drawings, particularly on rough paper. On the other hand, hard.
You should always paint without touching the paper with your hand. The brush should dance freely across the paper without ever losing freedom of movement and dexterity. Never dab or puddle! Use confident strokes with the outmost economy. Never ever think of watercolor as paint. Even the word itself describes it as "water color", it consists of two separate ingredients: I believe watercolor in tubes is best because it can be used liberally and is gentlest on the brushes.
However pans are great for travel and for making small sketches because they don't spill. Whichever you use don't be too stingy - buying good quality will pay off in the end. Not only will cheap colors fade but, worse still, they are terrible to use. They will not flow or mix on the paper and you will miss out on that wonderful watercolor translucency. I think most artists own too many tubes of various colors. After all there are only three colors red, blue and yellow - with hundreds of variations on the theme.
So you need not own every tube ever known to man. Four or five variations of each primary color are enough.
You can see my list of colors on the opposite page. When you set out to buy a palette you'll find there are plenty to choose from. However, a lot of them have too many color wells and not enough areas for mixing color, so choose one with generous areas for color mixing so you can return to those mixes as you paint, and not have to continually remix them.
Water container. When I first began to paint so many years ago I used a white dinner plate as part of my equipment. One day I went out on a painting trip and discovered I had left my palette behind. I had to use one of the hubcaps from my car instead! Another time when short of a palette I picked up a milkshake container from the trash bin and fashioned that into a palette!
Nowadays I keep one palette exclusively for outdoor work. Most of my students seem to have reasonable palettes but I have seen some amazing things, like the green colored plate I mentioned before, as well as egg containers, tiny dishes and other. When you are painting it is essential to continually wash out your brushes perfectly clean in order to mix different colors. I have seen countless students trying to work with tiny water containers that barely hold a cup of water. You need a large water container that will hold at least five pints or more.
That will give you plenty of room to swish the brush around. You might consider two containers in order to have access to clean water. Paper Paper type is your choice entirely. The style of painting will determine the type of paper. Some artists prefer a rough surface, which is better for impressionistic, looser types of work. Others use a smooth surface to create highly detailed work. The surface I seem. This gives me the flexibility to range from broad washes to relatively small details.
For outdoor work I simply tape the paper down to my board with some masking tape. Or I use block paper which is already stretched. Before I paint larger scale work I stretch my paper by soaking it first and then I tape it down with gum tape.
The board you use to tape the paper onto must be primed or sealed in some way to prevent staining. Buy a light board which is easily maneuverable and keep different size paper to suit it. Miscellaneous items There are other numerous bits and pieces we use when painting and I have certainly seen some peculiar equipment in my time.
There was a student who had a full set of dentist's tools by his easel which he used for tiny details. Some people just can't leave their work at work! If you need to use that old credit card for scraping, or the garden water spray for special effects, so be it! Whatever makes you comfortable and makes the difficult job of painting watercolors easier, doit!
It's a case of being in the right place at the right time, If I had to name one single factor that lifted my work away from the ordinary it would be my journeys into the Great Studio Outside.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of working on location. It is crucial. Initially I did it out of sheer ignorance. I watched artists in the movies and thought that was how it was done. Thank goodness for the ignorance of youth.
If you don't do much work on location I strongly advise you to start. Watercolor is a perfect medium for this because it is quick and portable. When I judge art competitions it's easy to see which paintings were done exclusively in the studio or done in the studio from photographs. In my opinion. It is a good idea to park your easel well out of the way of pedestrians. It is also important to position your easel where you will be safe, preferably with your back against a wall.
For instance, on this narrow footpath in Venice I had to be careful that over-enthusiastic backslappers did not inadvertently push me into the canal.
Many people work from photographs, but it is important to realize that the camera merely records a flat visual pattern, It cannot discern mood -unless you are an extremely competent photographer. In photographs the tonal values are totally skewed, with the dark shadows simply black and showing no recession of tone with distance.
Photographs also give a false impression of color. To give just one example, when you look at a grassy field in real life you will see a myriad of colors and tonal values, whereas a photograph will merely record the field as a monotonous green color. So make on-site sketches and drawings and only take photographs for reference and to jog your memory in the studio. But when you do take photographs, compose them as if you were composing a painting and you will be introducing a satisfying artistic element.
As usual, in all aspects of art there are constant contradiction. Yes, it is much easier to produce finished, competent work in the studio, but without an injection from Mother Nature we soon find ourselves producing stale, useless paintings which lack the magic touch of inspiration. It is imperative to work outdoors from time to time to keep that magic touch alive. Be happy to take home the sizzle and not the steak!
You can always add detail later in the comfort of your studio. It is also easier to see your painting in its own right in the studio and judge it on its merits and not against the subject.
At first I was very self-conscious when doing this, so my early sketches were totally devoid of people. I would run a mile if I saw somebody approaching. Nowadays I meet many people this way because for some reason everybody has to see what you're doing and, worse still, wants to give advice or ask numerous questions. It's interesting that nobody would think of bothering the plumber or any other tradesmen while they work! The drawing You require very few items of equipment for drawing outdoors a sketchbook and some pencils, and a stool if you can carry it.
Avoid erasers at all costs. Every line is precious. I believe drawing is an art form in itself and is very much neglected. In fact, I often regret having to cover a lovely drawing with pigment.
It is important to draw as much as possible because time spent observing the subject will result in a well-composed picture. The on-site painting The third and I have to say the most important stage of painting outdoors is trying to complete a presentable painting there and then. It is by far the most difficult but also the most satisfying painting you can do. For this you will need some kind of easel and most of your studio equipment but, of course, in reduced quantity.
After many years of struggling with easels primarily designed for oil painting I decided to design my own easel specifically for watercolor painting. This is a neat briefcase with fold-out legs. It holds the paper and all other equipment necessary, and a small camping stool as well. I carry water and my camera in a small shoulder bag. The color sketches The second stage of outdoor work involves coloring those drawings or completing rough sketches in paint only.
For this you will need a small paint-box with a few brushes and a sketchbook. I carry a briefcase wherever I go that contains all I need to execute a quick sketch. Many of these sketches have "grown" to become prize-winning paintings. Some are done sitting in a car or cafe and others while simply leaning on a lamppost.
If the quality of the light is bright you are likely to end up with a vibrant painting full of color and sharp tonal contrast. If the quality of the light is dull, you are likely to end up with a somber painting with gray colors and subtle tonal contrasts.
He is a true eccentric and makes me laugh endlessly. This time however, he just simply served as a prop for my painting. I never meant to include Herman but when the painting was completed it desperately needed something in the foreground. The true subject of this painting is the morning light. You'll see the same cottage in the middle ground in my mood scale demonstration. I will go into this in more detail later.
You must avoid working in full sun because this will dry your painting way too fast. Working in strong sunlight will trick you into painting too dark because you will be compensating for the bright light. To prevent this problem you could do as I do and carry a small white sun umbrella to provide shade.
Don't use a red one, like a friend of mine did once. When he got home he wondered why his painting looked so cold. Don't wear sunglasses, and don't wear brightly colored clothes either because they will reflect their colors onto your work.
A hat is a must not so much to protect you from sunburn but to stop your eyes from being blinded by the light. How will you see the subject and its detail if you are forced to squint? The wind, the flies, unwanted visitors asking questions like, "What are you painting? These excursions will not only produce paintings of high artistic merit but will also inject special qualities into your studio work. I call it recharging the creative batteries. Here, the tower suggested a vertical format.
When I paint on location I never paint larger than half-sheet. I chose a quarter-sheet for this one because it was a good manageable size, given the warm weather. I taped the paper at its perimeter with masking tape onto my Z-easel. I don't stretch paper less than full sheet size. The easel has a work plane that can be adjusted to allow me to paint at several angles.
W hen you paint into the light the objects are reduced to a silhouette. This is particularly handy when you are painting extremely complicated shapes, like these Venetian buildings with their windows and complex architectural detailing.
Backlighting allows you to eliminate the detail to a great extent. This not only saves time but it allows you to concentrate on the mood. On the other hand, if you paint "down the light", with the sun shining directly onto the major shapes, objects present themselves in a solid manner they are not floating in a soft haze and quite often they have a lot of sharp, dark tones which I feel are more suited to oil painting.
The other advantage of painting into the light is that your work will be shaded. If you paint down the light, with sunlight shining directly from behind you, the paper becomes so bright that you tend to overcompensate and apply excessive pigment. As a consequence, the painting will look dark and dirty when viewed in normal light. As soon as I feel it's good enough, I start to paint. Here my water, tube paints, palette and atomizer are by my brush hand so I don't have to risk dripping water or pigment onto my painting by reaching across to the other side.
Towards the bottom'l increase the strength and color of the wash to resemble milk consistency. This is used for sustaining the buildings, water and the footpath. I leave white highlights for future use. I let this dry. When you paint things like this tower, don't be too neat with your lines or you will end up with straight lines with little character. On the other hand, you have to make sure that the shape is right. Any corrections can be done while the wash is wet; you cannot correct the shape once the wash has dried.
You also have to hint at the architectural shapes and darker values within the major shapes while the wash is wet or damp so that these details melt into the wash.
If you paint such details may have a "stuck on" look about them. All the shapes must be joined by the flow of the same wash or you will end up with an unrelated and unconnected series of shapes. Once the major shapes are in place the "jewelry" the birds, lampposts, small figures, car headlights and taillights is added to create interest.
These details come last and I am using a rich mix of pure color. I avoid using too many colors because I want to avoid disturbing the harmony. When I feel I have put in enough, I stop. I have ruined too many paintings on location by continuing to paint every bit I see. One could spend hours doing this and it's an easy trap to fall into. You can always add more detail when you return to the studio.
I am beginning to regret selling paintings done on location because each one has a particular memory of the time spent painting it. This time a barge pulled up in front of me and, to my amazement, there was a grand piano on its deck! This was unloaded with much shouting and help from passers-by.
For a moment I thought I would become a part-time piano mover as well! However, it was promptly winched up to the third floor and soon all was calm again. No photograph could tell that story. I made another painting of this scene back home in my studio.
You'll see how I did this on pages I rely on photographs a great deal but I refuse to copy them. Although they can never capture the atmosphere and mood the way our painting does, they can be an invaluable reminder of what the scene looked like at the time. There is simply nowhere one can set up an easel without being in everybody's way.
If you do find a quiet place it means there is nothing much to paint there! I came upon this painting spot one day and couldn't believe my luck because the road workers had left barriers to protect an area of wet concrete which had dried days ago!
Italy is not known for being too organized. I was able to sneak in and I only wish I had a photo of myself painting with a barrier separating me from the throng I imagined people thought the barriers were purposely placed there just for me. After a while a huge crowd formed to watch me! Maybe I should have passed the hat around when I finished? It is very important to mix with other artists otherwise we can become "a legend in our own mind" and become very mannered in our style.
Every winter I indulge in a wonderful painting trip with my five artist buddies. We are known as the "Winterlude 6". We work hard all day painting. We also play hard and have an amazing time together. The practical jokes never stop. We sing, we laugh, and we have endless discussions about art and life in general. I can honestly say that we are better people and artists because of our friendship.
My companions also make good painting subjects. Quite often the landscape is bereft of figures and having a couple of artists painting in the scene certainly changes the message. By the way, that artist on the sand is Alvaro Castagnet, author of "Watercolor Painting with Passion! It's a subject that has been tackled by many Melbourne artists because there is an observation deck on the building's top floor.
I was lucky on the day to have this beautiful sky. It was painted in one go while the wash was wet, because you can see all the edges are soft. The only hard edges are around the white paper, which was left dry. The horizon was also created into the moist wash. It takes m e back to m y childhood, I guess.
This was painted on one of the Winterlude trips with my five best pals or, as we call them here, "mates". The trouble with this trip was that it was in the middle of wine country! Talk of opportunity making a thief!
Nevertheless, we managed to do some lovely work due to wonderful weather and location. Throughout this book you will see other examples of work created on this trip. The only way to charge your creative batteries is to go to the great studio outdoors.
The late afternoon light created soft warm highlights on the branches and the workers' backs. I managed to get most of those by cutting around and leaving gaps in the second wash, however, quite a few were done with opaque paint. There is a lovely Mother Color of Cadmium Orange permeating throughout this painting. I'll tell you more about Mother Colors later on. It is so easy to overwork them and end up with the wrong message.
Reflections are simply a flat repetition of the objects causing them. They must not overtake the major shape in the painting which in this case is the old wooden bridge over the Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai. This painting was done on location and by the time I had finished it the sun was fully out and the scene looked nothing like this.
When you see a subject and start painting you must continue the theme and not change your mind, even if the scene improves. In which case, you should really c om pl et e t h e fir st vi sio n a nd do another version after that! Whatever inspired you to paint that subject in the first place should stay in your mind's eye, no matter what.
That's why it is somewhat easier to paint from photographs because they don't change. Most of my outdoor work is polished up at home and in this case most of the figures and much detail were handled in the studio.
When you bring your painting to completion in the studio, in its own right, with no competition from the subject, it can look spectacular. Don't try to compete with the subject, it will always win! While the great studio outdoors provides ample inspiration it is also very restrictive in terms of the size of the work and because of changing light and time limitations.
The studio provides a comfortable environment with all your references at hand and, of course, the coffee machine and music! All my large-scale work is produced in the studio and, after all, it is this major work that carries your exhibitions and is noticed by the judges at art competitions. In the studio you can plan the painting process much more carefully and change your mind in an instant by choosing a different subject from anywhere in the world!
It's just a matter of looking through your references and deciding what you want to paint. There is also no urgency to complete your work due to the changing light or weather. The studio provides constant light and your reference remains static and can be analyzed at will, which allows you to plan the painting process much more carefully. You can even return to your work the next day, or whenever. The major benefit of working in the studio is the ability to concentrate on your work.
There are no interruptions just when you are in the middle of a major wash. Mind you, there is always the telephone. Therefore the studio is a comfortable and safe environment in which you can produce larger, more sophisticated and much more complex work, which should be inspired by your outdoor experience.
All my preparatory drawings are similar to this. They are fairly light and not too tight. The drawing should have character already and feel right. It's the very beginning of your painting on paper and if it's not satisfactory there is no point going any further. No amount of painting will disguise a bad drawing! This was a major painting because of its size and complexity.
Large paintings require a lot more information or they can appear empty. Reduced in a photograph like this they can appear too busy! In real life size this work has just the right amount of detail. Note that texture in the foreground. I used a sprinkling of salt as well as some water droplets to create this. I was particularly pleased with the background the shadows running across the foothills create an interesting pattern. I had to be careful not to overwork this and bring it too much forward and lose depth in the process.
It was imperative to make the foreground as strong as possible That is why I painted the cows so prominently in the foreground. The color is not important as long as you keep it really pale. I just pick up a bit of any dirty leftover pigment on the palette!
I assure you that as long as you apply the wash quickly, and with a large brush, it will have a beautifully translucent effect, no matter how dirty the original mix was! You can see the introduction of the next stage at the bottom of the picture. I make use of the dry paper and leave highlights for the future.
I also gray-off the footpath, making the wash stronger towards the bottom. The water is quite simply a wash of Cobalt Blue. The thin strip of white paper keeps it from running onto the footpath. You must leave quite a few highlights all over the painting as required, otherwise your painting will appear dull. If you are left-handed I advise you please to start from the right side to avoid smudging the work with your hand.
However you are probably used to this obstacle and know how to overcome it. Some of them are my own interpretations of knowledge gleaned from art books and some are direct quotes from my artist friends. They all make sense and provide good advice to the beginner and accomplished artist alike.
It's a pity that I tend to fall on my own sword and sometimes forget to listen to my own advice. Painting should tell you the story of light, atmosphere and mood. The location of that story should be secondary. You start painting the moment you look at the subject, not with the first brushstroke. Be true to watercolor and let its intrinsic value shine. Don't make it look like an oil painting. It's far better, and so much easier, to learn the one and only correct way to paint, rather than hundreds of fix-it techniques.
This painting was made into a limited edition print, one of the few I have ever done, and it feels strange to have all these identical images floating around. The subject was truly magnificent. All those buildings nestled on the water's edge, with the business of the fishing port taking place. There was a wonderful, soft atmosphere. England provides perfect conditions just made for watercolor painting. It's never too hot so the paint doesn't dry too quickly; there is always a slight haze in the air; all the buildings and trees seem to be in exactly the right place for the perfect composition no wonder it's called "the home of watercolor painting".
I made a small sketch of this scene at the time, however it was very cold, around three degrees! Needless to say the paint would not dry and I was frozen. I decided to run up and down the jetty to warm up and by waving the painting about, dry it in the process! Within minutes the archetypal English "Bobby" arrived and asked me to desist because I was alarming the locals!
This is the only time I have ever nearly been arrested for painting watercolor. In the same town a friend of mine was given a parking ticket for placing his easel on the double yellow line!
Very efficient police work! The distant buildings are cooler and contain a variety of blues as well as Permanent Magenta, Burnt Sienna, Light Red and anything else that takes my fancy. When you do this you must use a fully loaded brush and let the colors run into each other and mix on the paper. Don't forget the highlights! The main buildings including the tower are painted next using a milky wash of all the colors I previously mentioned.
These give sharp contrast to the light footpath tone. When it's your turn to try this painting, don't be frightened to go quite dark with some detailing in the buildings using cream consistency paint and use a small brush for this please!
The waves are mainly Cobalt Turquoise. They have to be painted quickly and elegantly. No second chances! The jewelry is next, including the boat, which I make almost black to achieve the highest contrast possible with the adjacent light footpath area. People, birds, street lamps and anything else that creates that Venetian look.
I use some opaque paint here and there if I find a good spot to liven things up. This is probably the most important section in my book, Please take the time to read it carefully because once you are familiar with the Watercolor Clock you will never again wonder how to leave a particular brush mark or achieve that special effect, You will always find the answer somewhere on its face! When I began to teach watercolor I found myself having to put into words concepts that up until then had been purely instinctive.
I looked at numerous instruction books on watercolor techniques only to find complicated diagrams, charts and statistics, and most were incomprehensible. They simply contained many tricks using everything but brushes. I decided that I had to come up with a simple and easy to understand "driving manual" for watercolor painting. This elusive, all encompassing diagram finally took shape after many years of refining.
Because of its circular shape and dependence on timing. I decided to call it the Watercolor Clock. It has been an invaluable teaching aid because it covers just about every possible watercolor technique using brush on paper. It is my hope that the Watercolor Clock will help you conquer what is surely the most difficult medium of all. Properly understood, the Watercolor Clock holds the key to the magical world of watercolor.
Indeed, if you take the time to absorb each section of the clock, you will never again wonder how to leave a particular brush mark or achieve that special effect. You will always find the answer somewhere on its face and, eventually, you will no longer have to look!
However, when it comes to mixing varied consistencies of watercolor there is a tendency to mix something approximating the consistency of milk, and paint everything with it! Needless to say such a painting comes out lacking depth because everything has the same tonal value. We will now look at the physical quality of the pigment and what happens to it when we place it onto dry, damp, moist or wet paper Read the following pages carefully and you will soon understand the way the Watercolor Clock works.
Drawing, scraping and make lines. The time to do sharp effects. Best for misting effects, shaping and for blending. Here's how it would look on the watercolor clock:. Throughout this book I will give you examples of the Watercolor Clock so you can see the best consistency pigment to use at different stages of the painting. Will move only a bit, if at all, on a tilted palette.
Cream wash will not bead. Not for the faint hearted! Australian artists will know what I mean when I compare this mixture. Weak transparent colors are suitable for those gentle misty paintings. Think of a nice weak cup of English breakfast tea. No milk or cream.
This is your weakest wash. If you lift your palette and tilt it from side to side, it will freely run and form a puddle in the corner of your palette. It will bead readily and spread easily.
Great for luminous skies and other light areas in your painting. Perfect for soft wispy clouds or barely discernible shapes in the mist. It is rarely used to paint individual shapes unless they are surrounded by a darker value to define them.
Because it's very weak it will dry much lighter in value than it appears on the palette. You cannot dry brush with it because it will hardly leave a mark. A good strong coffee has much more substance, as we learn every time we spill some.
A wash of such consistency will leave behind quite a tone. If you do the tilt test with your palette, this mixture will also run freely, but will leave behind a thin film of pigment and will appear much darker than the tea wash.
It will not lose much in intensity when it dries. Coffee consistency can be used for many shapes of reasonable presence. Painted on damp or moist paper you can create distant ranges, clouds, misty shapes or, for that matter, anything within your painting requiring one-quarter tone. In lighter key pictures the COFFEE consistency can be a predominant wash and when contrasted with something much darker can provide most of the atmosphere. It is strong enough to create a contrast with white paper.
It is perfect for backgrounds and gentle shading. It can be dry brushed to create wispy lines. You cannot go any stronger or richer with your pigment than this! Quite simply, this is pure pigment with hardly any added water, virtually straight from the tube. It will stick to the palette like honey and should not move even if the palette is vertical. It makes the transparent washes appear more so and adds strength to a gentle medium.
It serves as a foil to large areas of weak washes and can provide tremendous contrast when placed against lightest areas. Don't dry brush it too much. It must also be used sparingly and directly or it will look dirty. Butter consistency pigment is good for solid color in small doses, such as stop-lights and small figures. It should be reserved for the very darkest darks when finishing your painting with those last magic touches.
Great for pure color statements when creating strong, colorful images. This is your old-fashioned full cream variety forget this new trend of white colored water. Here we are talking about a half-tone wash that will move on the palette in a much slower manner and will leave quite a coating of pigment behind. Shapes painted with this mixture will be relatively solid in appearance. When a MILK wash dries it will hardly lose any of its strength and can be used for most landscapes in the middle distance and foreground.
A MILK wash has to be handled carefully because it will quickly become muddy if brushed too much. It also creates a medium contrast against white paper and is probably one of the most frequently used washes. Over larger areas it will form those wonderful granulating effects and rich, yet transparent, colors.
It can be dry brushed effectively. Fantastic for the strongest color notes in powerful, rich paintings. I am referring to a fairly runny variety, not thickened, rich cream. This mixture will move lazily on the palette, if at all. It should be sticky enough to completely cover the surface of the palette but runny enough to easily spread over the paper.
Paint with this mix as you would with thin oil paint or gouache, because this mixture is too thick to bead. Cream mixes are generally reserved for large dark areas such as shadows, dark trees, rocks, dry branches and anything else of substance. Great for broken edges and foreground shapes. Still not strong enough for the darkest darks but will make light areas appear lighter and create great contrast with white paper. Cream is the best mix for dry brushing.
Simple isn't it? However, two incredibly important elements are missing! HOW to pick up the pigment. HOW to brush it on. Study these pages for the answers.
Instead, use a brush that's "almost too big". This is particularly true when you are applying major washes you must use a decent size brush to be able to build up the bead of paint to take the wash down the paper. The opposite is true for small shapes. If you need just a small amount of pigment, for dry brushing or whatever, pick up the pigment with a small brush. Always use an appropriate brush for the size of the object you are painting and hold your brush correctly, That means holding it well back up the handle.
Never hold your brush near the hairs except when you are getting into the tiny details and even then there should be a good inch left between your fingertips and the follicles. You must apply paint quickly! The quicker the better! Never dab, always stroke. Your brush should dance swiftly and elegantly across the paper just as if you were an expert ice skater. The bead can be compared to a necklace of large teardrops It allows the paint mix to flow on the paper.
If you do not paint with the bead you will end up with dry, dead looking watercolors. The bead is responsible for granulation, for gradual change of tone or color and large, flat, translucent areas in your painting. It is imperative to work with your paper on an angle of approximately 35 degrees.
Never change the angle while you work!. The angle of the board makes the paint run towards the bottom of the picture. So there it is! See what happens when you apply any of these mixtures at different times of wetness. You will acquire a range of brush marks which will become a visual language for your storytelling.
You will never get to tell the story properly while you are struggling with the language. Let's study my painting, "Furling the Sails, France", and identify the relationships between the paint consistency and the moisture content of the paper,. I added water to the wash at the base of the mountains to create a much lighter value to suggest mist.
The small figures in the middle distance were also done in this fashion. This was placed onto DRY paper. This created a foil for the soft sky, which appears even softer.
By placing them next to the lightest areas I created a sharper contrast which gives the illusion that the foreground is closer to the viewer. This also allows me to paint more freely because I am not fenced in by a tight drawing. It is merely there as a support for my washes. I reserve some white paper for highlights. The colors are kept weak and I use a large brush to create a big bead to wash down the paper.
It is important to keep the wash as smooth and clean as possible. Just before it all dries I splatter some stronger MILK consistency Yellow Ochre to create leaves and generally loosen the wash to avoid becoming too pedantic, which can result in a tight painting.
I throw in some other colors as I go along to vary the work and prevent it becoming monotonous. The brushwork is kept loose and I paint as quickly as possible but without being messy. I try to place the darkest tones next to the white paper to create the effect of sunlight.
I blend the bottom of the bridge into the water, adding some Yellow Ochre for warmth. This is an important area because it is actually the foreground and serves as the lead in to the painting.
It's important to achieve the correct pattern of waves to create a realistic water surface. I keep the brushwork very light and quick to avoid overworking and therefore killing the freshness. I do use a bit of Opaque White gouache for highlights on the areas that have been "lost" during the process. It's best to use white paper for this, but I always justify the use of gouache by saying that the end justifies the means. If you can create a good painting, who cares how you go about it!
Many watercolorists refuse to use opaque paint and that is perfectly within their rights, but I do think some purists should not take such a high moral ground about it. Live and let paint! This scene is quintessential Melbourne and the bridge itself is an icon for many artists a bit like the Eiffel Tower or Sydney Harbour Bridge.
It can be painted in many ways but can look a bit "kitsch" if you are not careful. You be the judge of how this version works. The first TEA wash established the sky, the hill in the background and the foreground. I left some white paper spaces for the groups of highlights. Most of my paintings are done in three steps: I apply the major ground wash first to establish the principal shapes of earth and sky.
Then the second wash establishes all the shapes placed on ground. The third stage is the addition of detail.
If you keep the process simple you are more likely to succeed. Apart from St Marks square the lagoon is the only expanse of space. On this occasion the buildings of St Georgio cut such a lovely shape against the evening sky. I was particularly happy with the way the water surface came off in one wash. I caught the paint drying just at the right time to create those waves. I used Cobalt Turquoise and Cobalt Violet, alternatively handling them so they ran into each other. Subjects like this can quickly turn very kitschy.
Take care not to paint them "too pretty"! I painted this late in the day after many hours of driving and really wasn't trying too hard. Sometimes I do my best work when I don't try too hard. If you let watercolor do its job it will paint itself. Too much input from you and your painting will become tired and flat. This was transformed into the green fields once I reached the horizon. The middle distance trees were painted with a slightly thicker mix of the same colors. After we make the decision to paint a particular subject it is imperative to plan for how to execute the painting.
Remember, you begin each painting the moment you look at the subject, not with the first brushstroke! It's too late to think about composition after you have begun to paint. The first step takes place before you even start to draw. The way we see the subject is of utmost importance. An accomplished artist can decipher the important bits of information from the subject and turn it into a simple message.
Most students want to put down every tiny detail, thinking this will improve the message. All this does is confuse the viewer. If you paint small bits all you end up with is a collection of unrelated elements or, as I call it, "a junk drawer collection". What we are after is a plan that will set the "mood" we want to convey. This small "start" eventually grew into a number of major paintings.
I found this location while I was on a drive. I was looking for somewhere to stop because I had seen a great view but couldn't park safely. I thought I would park the car and walk back. Instead I found a quiet lane with this view! Notice the way the soft skyline on the distant mountains creates depth. This was painted while the sky was still wet. Also note the way the trees, buildings and the distance connected into one big shape.
The only bits on their own are the cows in the foreground. By using fairly strong tonal contrast I created the feeling of bright spring sunshine. Compare the tonal value of the fields to the tonal value of the sky! Look at the foreground in particular and see how much darker it is than the sky. This instant feeling of space was created by the two major shapes in landscape painting: The first thing you must do is look for the major shapes and then establish them on the paper.
Next, identify the medium-size shapes and place them, and when you've done all that, look for the finishing touches last.
Don't start a portrait by painting the eyelashes first. Unless there is no skyline, every landscape will have at least two major shapes: The sky might have smaller shapes within it, such as clouds or moon.
The ground of course has many shapes on it, however, they all sit on the ground. I challenge you to look out of your window this very moment and test the "two shapes theory". Ask yourself how many shapes you see. Begin with the. As I said, it must be two the sky and whatever is underneath it. Then you might start looking at slightly smaller shapes such as a distant mountain range, large trees, buildings, or whatever. Last, look at the details, such as those small buildings in the distance or the branches and leaves on the trees.
If you learn to look at your subject in that order you will compose your paintings correctly. Deciding on the planes The best way to compose any painting is to look for a foreground, a middle ground and a background. It may contain directional lines, texture or other elements that work as visual stepping-stones into the painting.
Many artists have a degree of difficulty with the foreground they either overwork it. Middle ground. The background gives the painting the illusion of depth. It usually ends up overworked because it is painted first. The temptation is to keep working on it and put in all those tiny buildings in the distance, or whatever. It's only a backdrop for your middle ground and needs to be quite simple and understated.
Handling the drawing The drawing is the skeleton that supports the body of the painting. Drawing establishes the relationship of shapes in terms of their size and position on the paper.
You must take great care to define the major shapes. A good drawing is achieved when the relationships are accurate. Here are 13 watercolor techniques and ideas you can use to bring your paintings to the next level! Watercolor Techniques: Join Jay Lee in this simple but fun watercolor painting activity that features bubbles and experimenting with easy painting ideas!
This is a great tutorial for watercolor beginners of all different ages, especially kids. How to Use Watercolor: Experimenting is the best way to discover how to use watercolor and its various techniques, and this quick watercolor painting tutorial is perfect for beginners. It finishes off with an easy portrait painting as well! Thinking about adding a bit of fun to your watercolor paintings? Experiment with these unique-looking watercolor textures to add that extra bit of sparkle to your next masterpiece!
Watercolor Calligraphy: Improve your hand lettering skills with these quick and easy beginner techniques brought to you by Jetpens.