Thursday, February 6, 2014

Watercolor Class 2-11-14

Great class last Tuesday, everyone started on the pink rose and progressed pretty far along. To get and keep the pink clean can sometimes be very difficult, this is one of those paintings where it's really important to have clean water when painting. When doing a large flower with many petals I wet each petal with lean water before putting any pigment down, the first wash of color is very light and then progressive layers of color until the depth of color I want is reached. It is also important to remember to leave white paper where there are highlights. It is surprising sometimes to find that even the lightest wash of red is impossible to take out I can't wait until next week to see the finished pieces. I will take some photo's to share in next weeks blog.

This coming Tuesday the flower we will be starting is a yellow hibiscus with a bright red center. The photograph the painting is being done from was taken by Bertha Moore on a trip to Hawaii, very well done. When you look at the flower it looks to be fairly simple, unfortunately it is a bit more difficult. I started out using two yellows, cad yellow and new gamboge. If you look carefully at the photo you can see the areas on the petals where the lighter yellow fades into a yellow that is a bit more golden yellow, if needed a small bit of cad red can be added to get the color to the golden hue. Before the yellow was completely dry I laid in a light wash of cad red in the center of each petal all the way to the bottom. On the bottom of the petals I added cad red, alizarin crimson and a bit of paynes gray. These petals are very thin, and the shadow of the dark green leaves shows through, that is achieved with very light washes of paynes gray. Be very careful doing that, leave an edge of cad yellow along all the petals. The center stamen uses the same colors as the petals. Put a light coat of cad yellow light on the whole stem, add a small amount of cad red at the bottom while the yellow is still a bit damp to let the colors blend, then a light wash of paynes gray for shadows. Mix a small amount of cad yellow and cad red to get a bright orange, apply to the 3 pollen ends, and use new gamboge with a small amount of paynes gray to darken it enough to make the other pollen ends stand out against the petals.

The green of the hibiscus leaves is a very dark and shiny green. I used sap green as a base and then added paynes gray for the darkest areas and sap green and ultramarine blue for a lighter green. To give the leaves a feel of good dimension I left the edges light. The photo has 2 buds in it, I chose not to add any for this piece, but if you choose to do so feel free.

Have fun with this one!

This session of the drawing class we are concentrating on drawing portraits. The first class we worked on doing eyes. As you have probably heard me say over and over the most important part of the portrait is the eyes. The ancient Egyptians believed the eyes were the windows to the soul  and I have found that so true when doing portraits. If you can capture the personality of the eyes the portrait is successful. The critique at the end of the class showed that everyone did a great job on the eyes. The last class we worked on rendering on tinted paper with graphite and white charcoal. This as a bit of a challenge because you have to think a bit differently. The tinted paper is the mid tone, the graphite the darks and the white charcoal the highlights. I think everyone is doing a great job and I will get photos of the finished pieces next week and post them. As an example I am posting a self portrait from this class.

I haven't  done a self portrait in over 30 years, rather fun to do. I do like the results of the tinted papers. This was done on Bordon and Riley, Pastel/Charcoal paper with a 6B, HB and white  charcoal pencil. Toned paper does not have to be gray, but that seems to be what you see the most of.

Have a creative week!

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