watercolor

menotice how by adding a background starts to change up the appearance of the figure?  How the shades change in hue, how light and dark values play against each other.018 - copyright

I found some time to paint today, rainy day all day east coast. I was able to paint about an hour past this image. The background needs to be darker in sections and a long way to go, but I really like the environment starting to develop. Remember watercolor is about layers especially realism.

If you notice the header has the same painting…..my first wc ever. Here I am painting it again some 2o plus years later.  Interesting to see skill and artistic concept.

self portrait

003This is how far I was able to paint. Two colors Ivory and Lamp black; warm and cool tones. I have a lot going on at the moment and haven’t had the time to sit down and work, but I will once I get things out of the way first. I am really enjoying the process of this painting and the strong light source with-in the composition.

The absolute best way to improve your artwork is to create a self-portrait! I know that can be scary and you may even think you can not because you don’t know where to begin. Start photographing yourself at various times. Set up a tripod with camera and when the spirit moves you just take a few pictures. Don’t worry about how you look and all of that, just shoot pictures and then regroup.

In the header of my website houses the first watercolor composition I ever painted and who knew? I see many mistakes now…..lol. The material is cool and painted well for the first time. I started a new watercolor from the original picture in a much larger size. I wanted to see how much I have grown as a painter in skill and technique since the first painting was created. I have about four hours so far, I hope to be able to make some time in the near future So far the foundation of watercolor is solid. 007

acrylics

002So far Rose was able to get this far. The wall needed to be separated or to look as though there are two walls. Painting the wall coming towards you in a few darker tones allows the bend to take place. Adding purple to gray paint will allow a natural recess in distance space.

The problem with acrylics is they dry extremely fast. Unless you are looking for fast drying paint then you are in luck, but for artist that need more blending  from the paint then try to use a blender extender in the paint. The extender has a shine to it though even when dry. So, play around first to see the results for yourself. In the following pictures these are Rose’s acrylic painting she wants to finish from years ago. The problem can be in matching tones and values of the colors used in another time. It can be done if you can read value and tone in color. I suggest using glazes to add the realism. Use this technique for oils as well. If you try to match existing  colors you most likely will be repainting the painting. This is where I can teach you to improve your artwork.

Okay, lets break it down:

1. Use the blender extender to equal parts to a paint color you want to use. You can use water but the color will dry flat and a value lighter.  For example;009

We worked on the bottom of the urn. we added a thin layer of a terra-cotta color with blender mixed in a shade darker than the urn. You can even use two shades darker to start to shade and develop depth to create more form or realism. So the darker color went into the cracks and around the sides of the urn. The value of the lightest will be on the highest closest part of the form and the values will reverse in paint; lightest to darkest in value and color.

REMEMBER:  the dark values are towards the back/sides or the parts of the forms that are the most far from you. Anything cool tone color will sink in space and appear away from you. Light values will come towards you in space. This is physics, law of the universe and the way God designed it!

In the above picture you can see a shine which is the blender. It does settle a bit once completely dried, but you can steal it once dry with a protective  acrylic spray and the blender wont be seen. In the  picture below look closely at the bottom two leaves against the urn. These two have been glazed with paint and blender to start to create form and shape of the leaf itself. Look at the upper leaves they are flat and need realism. Stay continued to see this painting develop.

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TIP: You can place a wet paper towel over the paint, cover with tin foil and place in the refrigerator. Should last a good twelve hours.

TIP:  If your canvas becomes rippled because of being sketched from leaning on something all you need to do is water the spot on the back and use a hair dryer to tighten up canvas. That should work, may need to do twice.

learning composition

This is a friends artwork, Karen’s artwork, color pencil  and oil pastel. Really nice job Karen!001

God answers

I must testify how great Our God is; as today’s world is…. most people have many issues, circumstances on their plates. We all need a bit of divine help and God in our lives. God loves you and He is not mad at you, any of us! I have been praying about a situation that needed much clarification and after praying with John Haggerty on TV yesterday within twenty minutes God had made a path to reach the right person to answer and help.

God will always answer our prayers when we come to His throne with a pure heart. Invite Jesus into your heart, ask him to forgive you of your sins, ask Him to be your Lord and Savior  and watch what happens in your life.

Elvis the goat!

Here is the progression of Elvis the goat in graphite pencils; 4H {warm tone}, 4B {cool tone} and a HB Neutral tone. Notice how I only have an outline sketched and not set in stone. When you have trouble sketching a form out start with one shape such as an eye. Work from one eye out, therefore allowing it to be easy to erase an outside form lines. If you try to draw the outside lines first and then go back and “TRY TO FIT” in the eyes in later in an open space it will not work unless you have Mastered drawing and realism drawing. Work from one form such as an eye and work from the eye and outward.

Use the warm and cool tones of the graphite to set form in space; remember warms tones will come forward and cool tones will go back in space to help create form and shape. Without the darks there is no realism.002

In the following picture this is how far I was able to get in two hours.

001I can not stress enough if you are an over-sketcher on cheap paper of 140lbs. or less you are wasting value sketches turned into a drawing on CHEAP paper. You are not doing yourself any favors by doing this. Get yourself a really good drawing paper pad of 140lb or better. Even buy Illustration hot press drawing board this way when your over-sketched  doodle is over-sketched it can become a serious composition because it is on good acid free paper or board. Use the cheaper drawing pads of 140lb. or less for Doodles or thumb-nail sketches. You have better results from the graphite on better paper too. Cheap papers are not made to hold serious artwork.001

Mix mediums.

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This is Elvis the goat in color pencil and oil pastels.

Following directions.

 

Here is an updated picture of Joan’s goats.001

 

When you are drawing with graphite, color pencils or any other medium tools always follow the direction of the forms. Look at the following pictures below; notice the direction of the goat hair and draw it in that direction. .001003002

Notice the direction of the chin fur or hair.  Pressing with the “B” graphite pencils such as a 6, 7, and 8 Bs. will allow you to see realism sooner rather than later. If you draw in values of 5,6, 7 H range you will not see realism in your drawing. It will be flat with not much blending of forms and shapes. Do not be afraid of using the B pencils which are cool in tone and will “go Back into” in space. If you are having trouble using the higher B pencil because you are afraid or just do not understand how to use them I suggest practice sketching with a few higher numbered B pencils. For example; use a 6, 7 and a 8 B pencils and draw a few simple shapes such as a sphere, a square, an apple. Use the number 6B as the lightest in the three range. Getting over your fear is the only way to break through to realism.

Being an artist.

The first mistake is to declare you have no talent! Don’t set your mind and yourself up for failure. With the right teacher you can learn how to draw. You need to start and understand how to draw realistically before you can draw surrealism for example.  Look through my previous post for examples of shapes to start with such as a sphere and then cylinders, squares. I know there are people with different skill levels, but maybe you never were taught basic techniques to start out right. Do not get “Stuck” in using a grid technique. You need to rely on seeing and transferring on your merit. You will not learn proportion, drawing shapes, weighted forms and learning to understand drawing elements.

If you really want to improve your skill level start figure drawing in charcoal. I know that everyone does not have access to a Life drawing class, but most of us have someone who will sit for you for 30 minutes or so. If nobody will sit for you we all have a family member whom sleeps in a chair, draw or sketch grandpa from different angles. One newsprint tablet later you see much improvement. There will be improvement in the way you draw, see objects and form. You ability to transfer from life to paper, still-life will improve. There is No magic pencil, you must practice and press through. My father always said to me, “You only get out life what you put into it”. How true is that? Hard work is hard work, no way around it.

Remember composition. Good composition provides lines taking you through the picture from one point to another. There is movement throughout either with texture, pattern, lines, shapes, balance and lighting.  A composition subject leaves the viewers with emotion and feelings; could be a memory provoked because of your artwork. Your artwork reminds them of an experience from their life therefore making a connection. Subjects that people can relate to; everyday life scenes, children and pets are a common thread.  If your drawing is busy meaning a lot going on you need a resting spot for the eyes. If the paper is completely filled the drawing can become overwhelming to look at for very long and just too frustrating to figure it out.  Be careful how much information you actually need to draw or include in the composition.

A solid title is important especially if you have a subject people need to figure out what exactly you the artist is trying to convey. If someone looking at your artwork does not understand your type of art they are relying on the title for direction. Look through out The Masters and compositions they provide a way out of the drawing either through a window or door in the setting. For a more this century contemporary artist look at Andrew Wyeth and his use of doors and windows in his paintings and drawings. Remember the light source as well. Light will help depict the time of day.

Work on 140 lb. paper or better! Tape a border edge because you do Not draw to the edge of the paper. You need an edge for matting, framing and or presenting.

Watercolor study.

This watercolor study by Joan is fruit and learning watercolor 101. In watercolor there are layers of color in a building process to produce realism. Depending how many layers you add and how controlled the layers are depend on how far you want the painting to be realistic. Here are several steps to reach this point of realism 101. I will add more pictures as this painting develops. Once the background is painted in the colors of the fruit take on a different appearance in hues; look at previous pictures and notice how the fruit colors change in appearance. Adding shadows will ground the work so the fruit don’t look floating in space. The box is a deep purple which plays nicely with the fruits.

Watercolor will usually stay and follow a wet surface, if you wet a section of paper the watercolor should stay in the wet areas as a rule.  Painting on damp paper will give you a bleed mark or the new color will blend into the other. It is important to play around with paint to see how the control works for you. If you stop in mid stroke the color will build in that area and will not be a solid line or stroke. If you want a solid section then keep pulling a one stroke move.

In this final watercolor 101 Joan did a nice job painting. In watercolor 101 there are about four layers of color to build an object. Next watercolor is on the way being drawn and I will post updates.

So far the table grain was made by painting the a warm sepia brown over a damp surface painted in the same color. First paint the common color with a wide brush. If you look in the upper left section in the above picture you can see how Joan was painting from the box, apple and pear  stopping when painting in the sepia on the first layer. If you stop and don’t pull the color all the way through you get a line/band or heaviness of paint. If you don’t want a band of color make sure to pull the strokes all the way to the edge or off the edge of paper.

Now notice the brush in the bottom picture the brush is older and has stiff bristles. Making the paint a bit thicker or same stronger richer hue drag the stiff brush across the surface to make the grain lines . Follow the pattern the first main layer that has been put down.

The grain lines are not in the picture below.  Fuzzing the shadows of the grapes working wet on damp paper will help the shadow blend the edges. The shadows from the objects should ground or start to ground the objects.

************Look at the next two pictures and notice how the color of the grapes change in the following picture compared to the picture after this one. Just adding a background color changes the entire appearance. Think about how and what color will change the environment.

COMPARE THE NEXT TWO PICTURES AND HOW THE BACKGROUND CHANGES THE APPEARANCE  OF COLORS. HOW THE BACKGROUND COLOR WILL AFFECT THE HUES OF COLORS OF THE OTHER OBJECTS. NOTICE HOW THE GRAPES CHANGE IN APPEARANCE AND THE PEAR IS BRIGHTER JUST FROM THE BACKGROUND BEING ADDED. THERE WASN’T ANY COLORS ADDED TO THE FRUIT AND NOTICE HOW THE BROWN WOOD SURFACE EFFECTED THE COMPOSITION. THINK ABOUT AND PLAN A PAINTING AND THE COLORS YOU ARE USING. THE BRUSH IN THE FOLLOWING PICTURE IS #6 DRAG OR LINER. I LOVE THIS BRUSH AND HOW MUCH WATER/COLOR IT CAN HOLD AND THE DISTANCE YOU CAN GET USING IT. IF I HAD TO PICK ONE BRUSH TO PAINT AN ENTIRE PAINTING THIS WOULD BE THE BRUSH!

When starting grapes remember to look at the shapes and placement of each grape. How they are attached to the vine. Actually get grapes and examine how they really look. Paint them as spheres in values as you drawn in graphite. Remember to keep highlights in place to relationship to the light source. This watercolor will end up being wc 101, the next study will be 102 level with much more detail and realism. Each added layer of watercolor usually demands more controlled strokes, even dry brush techniques.