Watercolor 101

I believe I will have a window of time to continue working on this watercolor,  it is quite large. Which is obviously taking longer to work the entire composition, but taking more time and patience on my part. I wanted to finish this and enter two watercolors instead of one for a juried show in New York, but I realize if I rush it will not turn out like I expect and envision. So, the mature thing is to wait, not get frustrated, finish on a timely manner and look for another show to enter. There will always be shows to enter somewhere. Why add more stress to already the stresses that come with each new day? Just do the best you can today and let God handle the rest.

This watercolour had been a challenge for the size like I said before and I decided to paint the two boys a bit older when this photograph was taken. I don’t know why….I drew it three times and I realized the painting was coming out that way so I went with it! Maybe a bad idea? Sort of has a new level of challenge. I have too much time in now to toss it….and never just put a piece of artwork to the side and think you will finish it sometime,,,,,later never comes.  I like the way the forms are starting to define themselves in the legs for example. This wc has a long long way to go. As you can see in the photo the background is a bit busy, I need to tone that down when I sketch that out. I like the idea of the fence on a diagonal, it adds to good composition. You want objects in the composition taking your eye through the painting. So, the diagonal fence I will sketch in and some blacked eyed Susans, other than that I am stuck. If I raise the fence in the background I can add more grass and less sky? I don’t want to paint trees in, the subject matter is a more up close view. Always look at the distance in composition and how the foreground subjects are. Awe….this needs a lot of work. This new show called Splash 15 has a deadline Dec. 3rd., so that works.

watercolor and water….

Saturday: I did paint a bit more and I have come to the conclusion that this wc I won’t be able to rush and place in an upcoming juried show. There just isn’t enough time to finish the way I’d like. If I rush then it will not host the skill level I wanted respresented. There will be other shows……awe.

This is how far I was able to get so far today. Now I need to come up with a background….I have something in mind  just need to draw it out.

watercolor painting continued.

This is as far as I got tonight……awe! I only have a week to finish this. It’s all about layers of color. I want to work the entire composition and then I will come back and work the realism…..

watercolor painting

I got pretty far last night and than this morning. Watercolor is all about adding layers of the same color to create form. In realism it is hard to just jump to the darker forming colors at the beginning. You must paint the form first. I want to work the entire picture first; then I will go back and put in the major details. I’d say the top child is about 70% done. The darks or darker values will go in last. I like to work the composition to a certain point, let the paper rest and go back with more dry brush wc. If you are impatient then wc realism will kick your butt and it will frustrate you. You must play by the watercolor’s rules. Watercolor is not to be feared….you can paint with any medium…you must respect the medium and learn how to use the paint and what it can do. Keep working on your skill and learn the medium.

It is extremely difficult to paint abstract anything until you know how to draw it realistically. How can you paint abstract  if you can’t draw it first? Start by working in life drawing; work on drawing skills and values of graphite. Start by drawing a sphere, if you don’t have a sphere [ball] get an egg and draw that. More later.

watercolor painting

LOL! This doesn’t look like the people in my picture….augh. At first the hair didn’t look like it should, then the highlights! Remember the highlights when painting, not after. Adding lighter highlights  afterwards is harder and the paint [watercolor] looks thick then. Plus, the flesh color layers of color are really sun-kissed and that is throwing me a bit too. Just remember to paint the face as form and normal color first, then add the tan rosy hues. I only had about an hour to work on this late last night, so once a background goes in I hope it starts to resemble Adam better.

It has taken me until to now to realize I rather paint up close realism, but I need to expand my artwork subjects and not get stuck painting the same subjects just in different comps. If I do that my work will get boring even though the skill is top-notch. This wc is large and hard to arrange the board to hold or put the board an angle to actually paint. The size is a bit overwhelming at first. I drew this three times! Once it came out too small for the subject matter and the second I had it drawn larger and beautifully….I had spaghetti sauce on the back of my hand and didn’t see it and I even washed my hands very well! Guess where the sauce went? If that isn’t a kick in the ass…..I drew it again. Understand, this is what it is to “keep pressing through” the situation you’re in. Here I have this great composition to paint, which I think has a good shot at least getting a mention in a show if I paint it well. Then here is the devil coming against me trying to destroy me through stupid sh** like the spaghetti sauce. He knows the Great things God has for me and if I give up too quickly or don’t keep trying I will lose and he wins. Thought for the day; Don’t give up and be defeated….keep pressig through”.

Sometimes in your drawing or painting  [and the actual artwork skill is good] but, something just does not look right to you? Maybe it is the size? Are you drawing it too small? Some subjects need to be larger drawn to “MatcH” the subject matter. For example; when I drew this smaller it didn’t look right to me. When I drew it again larger it “Fit”. But don’t overwhelm yourself at first with size…..work your way up to sized compositions.

Thank you to Gabrill and the office mates for all the kind words and checking out my artwork…….God Bless.

Juried shows

Entering juried shows today is so easy compared to the “Olden days” before heavy use of ordinary people computer usage. I have found two kind of juried shows so far; a show where you are only required to enter online by submitting digital imagines without being matted. Other juried shows where you first submit a digital imagine and then if you make the first cut you will need to take the actual artwork to the show location. Make sure of the rules before you enter; you don’t want to enter a show half way across the US. I guess you can mail an entry, but you better check with the show before you mail. Most shows will not be responsible for the condition once received and or returning the art to you. If you are looking for art completions to enter the best way is to get an art magazine such as The Artist’s magazine or American Artist magazine and or go to your local book store; most will have several to choose from.

TIP: When taking a good photograph take the picture in natural light if you can and not in direct sunlight. Direct bright sunlight will wash the colors out in the picture. Do not add color and change color or whatever in a photo program!!! If the show requires art submitted created in the past 10 years for example don’t change the date and enter. Firstly, it is cheating, dishonest and simply wrong. God can’t and will not take your art to the next level based on a lie and you want to be Blessed for the get go!.

 I entered a juried show today for the first time in a long time. Honestly, who has an extra $100 just lying around? It cost $60.00 for three entries which was the cheapest I have come across compared to some other shows. What are you gonna do? If you want your art to be “Out there” you need an extra $100. Bucks!

Watercolor completed and the Elements of drawing 101.

When I first started to paint this watercolor I really thought and considered not finishing it! At first it was overwhelming in size and felt intimating to paint. I rather paint closer up realism vs. in a large busy composition. It is a good thing really; signs of growing as an artist! I am working outside my comfort zone and the only way to grow as an artist is to work and challenge yourself in scale or subject matter. At the same time though you need to be able to admit the challenge may be too much out of your reach at this point. Now I need to figure out what I need to do in order to enter this in a juried show? Need to cut a matt and framing. Do read the rules prior to entering, which I did…but now need to actually take a moment to understand and carry them out. Wish me luck! Where’s my old drawing prof now!  *******Notice the edges! Neat and clean. That is what artist tape does for ya! I could matt about a quarter inch bigger to show the edges off if I wanted too.******The neatest part taking off the tape!

The Elements of drawing:

1. Line: gestural line, contour line, construction line, cross contour line and lines of shading. Line, shape, shade, form, color, value, space and texture.

In order to understand value range in scale and shape, form and line you need to have a strong foundation in understanding these elements and drawing. I suggest starting in graphite, a black and white medium. You need at least three to five solid compositions under your experience in order to start to understand value of shades along with solid composition. If the composition doesn’t work then the entire drawing will not work neither. There are several drawing exercises you should practice as well. These I can teach you. As soon as I get an extra moment I will post pictures of these exercises that you can follow. If you think you do not need them….then your wrong. You need a strong foundation of principles. Once you master these principles on all the elements your work will come more easily to you. Plus, a Life drawing class is the strongest foundation you can start with. You will learn to see all the elements with out too much pressure when working on a composition. When you are working on a drawing or any artwork you want the artistic magic to flow and it will with a strong foundation. Trust me on this. I am sure you have seen still life set-ups with circular shapes, sphere, cylinder, and cone shapes? These still life  are to teach you basic shapes that can relate to all things found in the natural. This teaches you the elements and how to draw them, but how to see the changing light on one object and how they affect each other in light. The following pictures may help you understand what I am saying when I say elements. One picture is from a drawing book [ Drawing the creative process by Seymour Simmons III and Winer] the sphere is one of  mine from college. These are great drawing exercises to practice.

“His first car”

Almost finished. Next day: now that this has had a good night to dry [in natural air not ac.] I will go back and detail and fine tune the realism. I could leave it at this point, but I want to showcase my skill and knowledge about painting realism. {plus it bothers me if I don’t!}. It has to be REAl to me. ONly certain art can be left unfinished or not realism.  See what today brings?

If painting or drawing realism is your goal then you must follow a simple rule; take lessons with me or follow the law of layering color or graphite. You can not just simply put down the last vivid hue of color first,,,,,must be a layering building process to form the shapes. Go through all the prior post on this picture and notice the building of color.

So far……

This has been a crazy watercolor painting so far. I still need to fine tune the realism and finish the bumper sticker in the background. Not sure if I will enter the wc juried show with this one yet? IDK…. I need to take down the value of color of the reflection in the car. It needs to be toned down in the car color when it dries well. I don’t want it to smear and blur. Plus the shirt needs attention….

Anyway, this is it so far.

Watercolor reflections…..

This is what my wc looks like at this point. There is a long list of work yet or hours before I can call it finished; not even close. I usually do Not work this way, I usually work in a smaller format. This is a bit large for me, about 16 x 20. Once I get the tire detail in it should begin to come together for me. I am going to give my eyes a rest and let this dry. I want to fine tune the face in the reflection and make sure my angles are correct, then I will paint. Please give me your feedback.