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Tag Archives: little people

Carole Smith5

James Toole

Joyce Racine2

Linda Gerbers

Loren Bergren2

Pat Bassett5

Sharon Smith4

The above paintings were completed by the students in the Exploring Watercolor Beginning class that just ended.

This is the most difficult class I offer because of the magnitude of information and skills that are covered in a short period of time.

Many of these paintings are painted with student grade paints because I don’t want anyone to invest in the artist grade until they decide they are going to continue painting.

We learned basic strokes such as wet in wet, wet on dry and dry brushing. We learned how to soften an edge and the difference between a soft and hard edge. We studied value and how to create a dark by mixing several dark colors together. We learned the difference between opaque and transparent and made a chart of our own colors in order to determine the ones that were more opaque. We learned how to use salt, a sponge, masking fluid, splatter and how to make a rubber band brush for grasses and texture. We learned to grid and measure a format so the grid will work on the surface of our paper. We painted trees, skies or water, and little people. We spent one night discussing color and learning the color combinations that work well for artists.

If you would like to see all of their paintings click here. Thank you to all the students who shared their work here.

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I ran across a night scene in a photograph from wet canvas that caused me to pause. I had only attempted a couple other night scenes since I began painting and decided to give the above a try. How to do the red dark and still get the sign in the foreground to appear as though it is green in sunlight?  I think learning to make rich dark washes is one of the most difficult skills to learn.

Prior to adding any color to the drawing of the above scene, I went in search of a reference to use for the guy walking past. He is actually from a beach scene photo I have. I put a hoodie and jeans on him and had him carry a small bag instead of a picnic basket and added him to the scene. I used liquid friskit to save his image and  the lettering and neon lighting on building and parking sign.

My first wash of color was aureolin and I applied it in a watered-down wash over the entire scene. I allowed that to dry. On a scrap piece of watercolor paper, I worked some oranges, reds and then greens to experiment with different combinations and values until I got a feel for the colors. I used no browns in this piece other than what was created from the greens and oranges and reds. I like the deep dark colors I was getting from hookers green and fire engine red.  In the deepest dark areas, I would add alizarin crimson with those two colors.  I slowly added washes of orange and red and worked wet-in-wet as I approached the darker areas.  Some areas just had the yellow and orange washes and others, as I moved outward, had the green added to the wash. I was very careful with the amount of water I used as I did this. I did not want the paper to become over saturated.

I painted the municipal Parking sign with green, then red, then green again so it looked a little more green than the other washes.

I waited for all the above to dry. I had to go back in to the deepest dark areas and lay in deeper dark colors and softening edges where the dark colors met the lighter areas. I allowed that to dry. I then took a damp brush and smeared some of the colors from the dark areas over the double windows on the upper left so they did not appear to be in bright light from the Hotel sign.

After all of that dried, I removed the liquid friskit (masking fluid) and painted the areas that required colors, using a small brush. I smeared the dark color of the green sign over the lettering and lighter rectangle beneath that sign so they appeared darker. There were some blues in the neon around the windows and I used that color in the man’s jeans to subtly draw the viewer’s eye to him.

This was a fun painting.

Below are the other night paintings I have tried.

 

Thank you to wet canvas for the reference photos for the above paintings.

 

 

I recently tried a new paper, 140lb Khadi Rough. The two paintings, above, are my first attempts to feel the paper and explore how it took the watercolor. It is very soft. Large areas of liquid friskit will damage the surface but I have used it on small areas with no problem. The paper remains wet for a long time, so I had two paintings going at a time. While one was drying, I’d work on the other. I love the texture of the paper and the imperfections in it. There are bumps and particles that appear throughout as I paint. Once a layer dries, I can lift most colors. by scrubbing back with sponge or bristle brush. The paintings look soft and have a glow. I feel like I can complete a painting faster on this paper. The color is more vibrant from the beginning.

 

The next two paintings are much larger. To begin each of these paintings, I painted in gray scale with Paynes gray to establish values. I spritzed each gray scale painting with water to blur some of the edges. I then painted on top of the gray scale. In the bottom painting, I added white gouache glazes to the background and sponged where I wanted to lift some of the mist.

I am sold on this paper. I do not know if it will hold up to the abuses of gouache resist or collaging but will try both techniques on it. Arches may be the better choice for those techniques. I know I could use ink, elegant writer and gesso techniques with this paper.

Thank you to wet canvas for the photo references for the horses and cat.

 

 

 

This is my second attempt of the Granddaughters at our favorite swimming place, Jury Pool. I wanted to try and capture the bright light and the feel of being at the pool in the summer. Also wanted to try and capture the landscape of the pool, people, umbrellas and building in the background. Before my advanced class left for our winter break, I asked them to create a painting with three or more people in it. They will share this painting when we start up in February.

 

The above watercolor sketch was done as a demo for painting little people in my landscape and beginning classes this fall.

I just finished teaching our fall session of Beginning Watercolor.

Kay Byerley4

Lizzy Smith3

The first thing we worked on was learning wet-in-wet, wet on dry and dry-brushing strokes. We practiced brushstrokes and painted a back-lit scene for our first assignment.

Lizzy Smith

Carole Smith2

We talked about ways to create texture and foliage and trees. We also discussed greens and adding other colors to them.

Jennifer Howey3

Kay Byerley3

We discussed ways to create skies, clouds and that similar washes could be used to create water.  Each student created a large sky or a large foreground painting.

Carole Smith4

We talked about how to paint buildings and learned to grid reference photo and size our format and grid it. This helped us to get the perspective correct on the buildings.

Jennifer Howey

The fifth week we talked about color combinations and specific colors that fell in either the light, medium or dark tonal ranges.

Carole Smith5

We finished by learning how to paint little people into our landscapes.

Thank you to all students who shared their paintings here. If you would like to see all their paintings click here. You can also scroll to the top of the page and click on Student Art: Beginning Watercolor.

Ruth Karau3

Henn Laidroo2

Cindy Guzik2

The above three paintings were created by artists in the Advanced Watercolor class this session. I chose them because they fit the season. The students who work in this class have completed all the classes I offer in watercolor and wish to continue working as a group. They must finish three paintings in a six week session. They work on individual projects of their own choice. If  you would like to view all of their work click here  or scroll to the top and click on session 2 Advanced Watercolor.

The Watercolor Landscape class also ended this week.

Tammy Enrietto2

We studied composition and where to place a center of interest.

Carol Spallone

We studied division of space and value contrast.

Meghan Mills5

We painted either a big sky painting or large foreground painting.

Kara Morris 3

We created a painting on a grunge background and discussed the benefits of using the technique for certain subject material.

Janet Nichols2

We learned to paint little people.

If you would like to view all the art work from landscape class click here. 

You can also click by scrolling to the top of the page and clicking on Watercolor Landscape.

Thank you to all the students who allow me to post their art here.

I am trying something new again! This technique is one that will keep me trying for years to come. I always like techniques that take time and that don’t allow me to be so hasty as to ditch what I am working on. This technique satisfies my desire to explore and to fix things in an existing watercolor that has taken a wrong turn. The above painting is my first attempt.

I learned about this technique from an article I read in the February 2017 issue of Watercolor Artist. There was an article about the artist Nadine Charlsen. She shared a step-by-step tutorial of one of her paintings, so I tried it. Please understand that my first attempts probably leaves out a whole host of things she does that I have been a bit hesitant to jump into in this first try. I strongly encourage you to look for this article or watch how she works on a few You Tube videos. I think this technique lends itself to a whole host of individual ideas as to how each artist may approach doing the same thing.

My first step was to draw the image I wanted to paint and wash in my darks with paynes gray. I think you could use sepia or van dyke brown in this stage, too. Whatever you think lends itself best to rendering those darks.  Nadine Paints her paintings on easels, so the paintings are upright as she paints. I was chicken, so this was painted with only a slight tilt.

Once the first step was dry, I dropped large puddles of water all over the painting. This breaks up some of the hard edges and softens the background. I wait for this to dry. I took stiffer brushes and rubbed out some areas where the color bled too much to my liking and to save portions of the painting that I wanted to appear lighter.

The above step was the most time consuming. I painted the color of the items in the booths and and on the opposing side of the alleyway. My painting was becoming  full of edges, again, and looking too perfect and not at all atmospheric. After the color dried, I tilted my board and began washing white gouache over the surface, top to bottom. I dabbed areas of darks and some of the color areas so they did not become too overpowered and washed out. I allowed this watered down wash to trail down the surface of the paper. I did this three times until I got the above look. I waited for that to dry before moving on.

I thought the previous step had washed out too much of the roof area and softened some of the foreground too much. I went back in and touched up some of the colors, the roof and the foreground chair. I spritzed water on the surface to break apart some of the edges that were created by that. Once that dried, I tilted the board and washed white gouache all over areas where I wanted it to show up. I blotted some of that wash with a tissue and rubbed small areas with a stiff brush to further soften an edge.

In the final step I worked on the foreground chair and the people, brightened areas of color and filled in things that looked a bit unfinished.

I think the point of dropping and spraying water onto the surface of the watercolor is an attempt to bring out a mood and to soften the edges of a scene. I think it gives air and depth to a scene. I felt like I could do anything I wanted and still bring something worthwhile back to the scene. Sometimes it looked like it was destined for the trash. At other times it began to look better than anything I had ever painted before.  I will be teaching these things to my students in their next class. We will probably have a messy good time of it. I hope!

Oh! Nadine uses Khadi paper, mostly, and sometimes 140lb Arches rough. I used the Arches rough because that is what I had on hand. I will try the Khadi at some point.

greatbluewhale

The above painting began as an abstract. I applied alternating color washes and torn pieces of rice papers, allowing each layer to dry. After each layer dried, I rotated my board and looked for something realistic in the patterns that were created by the washes and papers. When I located the whale, I began layering and painting to bring that imagery forward. It is one of my favorite ways to work. Here is the one I did last year.

bateleureagle2

The above painting began with a detailed drawing of the Bateleur Eagle but took several layers of watercolor and rice papers to bring the image to completion. The head feathers, face and yellow beak are watercolor. The wing and back feathers are torn pieces of rice paper with watercolor painted into them. I thank wet canvas for the reference image for this collage painting.

beachwalk

I love painting “Little People” !

Beginning Watercolor class ended this week, too.

Jane Coffee

Jane Coffee

The first week included an explanation of supplies and how they were to be used. We practiced wet-in -wet, wet on dry and drybrush applications. We talked about how to create darks and that a solid color is always more beautiful if more than one color is allowed to mix on the paper rather than the palette. We discussed allowing the water to do the work and become our partner.

Megan Mills2

Megan Mills2

The second class was devoted to learning the color wheel and the basic color combinations. I taught them how to crop and then grid a photo reference and their watercolor format for the difficult perspective paintings.

Marilyn Bultemeyer4

Marilyn Bultemeyer4

The third week we talked about different ways to render trees. I introduced and demonstrated the use of liquid friskit, salt, saran wrap, scumbling, Pointillism, sponging and using a rigger for tiny branches.

"Kat" Franke4

“Kat” Franke4

Dawn Amstutz

Dawn Amstutz

The fourth week we talked about buildings, their perspective, how they are put together with shapes and to look for their cast shadows and how the foliage may fit around them.

Betty Bercot5

Betty Bercot5

The fifth week was devoted to learning to paint “little” people to insert into our landscape paintings.

On the last night of class, I introduced the “Elegant Writer” Calligraphy pen and how it could be used with watercolor.

If you would like to view other examples of their work click here or scroll to the top of the page and click on the Student Art: Beginning Watercolor spring 2016 page.

Thank you to all the students who participated and shared their artwork here.

 

 

 

 

 

thegiantblue

The above painting was created for an assignment I gave for my composition class. I asked them to create a flower like they have never seen before and ad a number and word or letters. It was designed to get them ready for our watercolor and collage class that began last week. I designed my flower from Fuschia and added things and decided to go giant with it. I need to do more of this. Those of you who follow my site might remember we had an assignment last year that was to create a tree like you have never seen before. You can view that here.