Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Painting Dark to Light

Begin this lesson at Step One Below

Here it is, just that easy. Looking for darkest values first than mid tones, than your lightest values. This poppy took me about an hour to paint. Using a 1/2 inch & 3/4 inch one stroke brush. Results you still keep the translucent, luminous effect and the glazing at the end results in a great combination of values and depth. Controlling your values through glazing is a traditional way to paint in watercolor, but if you want quick results and deep intense contrast, try this method, you may enjoy it. More to come...

Now I have painted in my darkest and middle values. The poppy is now ready to have the lightest values ready to be painted in. 1,2,3 just that easy.

Look closely, here I am glazing a middle value over my darker value, previously painted, and allowed to dry throughly. When glazing over my darkest values I use a one stroke brush which releases the paint evenly without much pressure. This brush is great for this technique because it won't disturb or move the pigment.

Next step for your dark to light method is to find the mid to dark values, mixing permanent rose with quinacridone gold and adding a bit more water, results my mid to dark values for this poppy.

This poppy was painted in a little over an hour, using the dark to light method. No more glazing and waiting for your darks to pop, painting your darkest values first is time saving and instant gratification for watercolorists. Tired of glazing and glazing to get your darkest values? Than this is the method for you. For my darkest values I mixed permanent rose, and quinacridone gold, with a hint of thalo blue, for a rich dark pink.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Iceland Poppy 3-day watercolor workshop at Gallery 2611

The results of our hard work, we left tired but happy and armed with many new and great techniques. The class will have the opportunity to complete this piece on their own, with new found confidence. As well as myself, I will complete and keep posting!
The stamens, what a fun area to paint, somewhat loose, using the wet into wet technique dropping in the golden yellow along with the transparent yellow. No matter which approach loose or detailed, it is going to look terrific. The secret to this is not to over work this area. "Put the brush down and step away from the painting"
Once we completed the red poppy we moved to the white poppy in shadow, this was another fun learning curve for those students that have never attempted to paint, this subject. To master painting the poppies, it is useful for any level student, it is believing in the process, applying it.
This is the beginning of our Iceland Poppy lesson with the green leaves and stems. The focus on this portion of our lesson is how to paint the cluster of leaves, stems and pods and get the depth of the "jungle" portion of this beautiful flower. Many techniques were taught to achieve this wonderful pattern. The students all agreed that this alone was the "icing on the cake, it is a huge learning curve that can be repeated in so many ways and on so many different subjects".
On the morning of day two we began painting the red poppy, this poppy was painted with three colors, and most of the brush work was with 1 - 1 1/2" brushes. Learning how to apply large and deliberate brush strokes was the focus on this portion of the lesson. Building confidence to load up your brush and paint the darkest largest shape of the pedals wrinkle. My students were tired but happy by the end of day two, a lot of new and interesting techniques as well as building their confidence to trust the process.
Here is Evelyn deep in concentration, if you look closely you can see her beautiful green pattern of stems and leaves just popping of the paper, good job Evelyn!!
Jackeye, Barbara, Monica, and Evelyn
May 2-4 I taught my yearly workshop at Gallery 2611, which is my home town. I decided this year to forego a still life and to go back to teaching a floral painting for this workshop. The above three photos are the students hard at work, and deep in concentration. Learning bit of confidence goes a long way.