Monday, February 25, 2008

Lesson 4 - Glazing

Glazing in watercolor refers to laying down a thin film of color which will subtly influence colors underneath. Because of the transparent nature of watercolor, glazing is a very useful tool and can create beautiful effects.
An interesting exercise is to make a series of vertical stripes of various colors, dry, and paint horizontal stripes of glaze colors over. The edges of the vertical stripes should not be disturbed and the new glazed colors created should be apparent.

Some pigments are easier to use than others; for instance, opaque colors will tend to lift. Also papers with a lot of sizing are more difficult to use. But most people have success if you keep three things in mind:
1. The paper must be absolutely dry before you glaze.
2. Use lots of water and a light touch.
3. Only go over an area once - a second stroke may disturb whats underneath.

Here is a simple landscape.

Here I've used glazes in various sections to:

1. unify an entire area by glazing with yellow
2. dull the orange and green by glazing with the complements, blue and red
3. cause the hills to recede by glazing the hills and sky with violet.

Here are examples of other artists using glazes.

Ellen used glazes on the sky and mountains to create a sense of depth.

Bev created interest in each of her shapes using a series of glazes.

Karen used glazes to create transparent reflections.

Selma used glazes to unite sections of her landscape.

Barbara used a series of glazes to give her piece a luminous glow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Lesson 3 - Reds

Red can give artists problems because you have to use so much paint to get an intense hue. A full strength red may seem dark because of all the paint you use, but it is only a mid value if you reproduce it in a gray scale. Here are some red papers and their corresponding gray values.

In this lesson we first made a collage using pages torn out of magazines. These were small because it was hard to find a lot of any one color. (This one is roughly 4" x 4".)

One of the problems of working in working in watercolor is that you begin with a lot of white paper and are often judging colors against white. By experimenting with collage it is easy to play with color against color.

Next the challenge is to copy the collage colors in a painting. This is the painting I did from the collage ( it's about 10"x10"). And here are some other artist's paintings based on their collages.

Joan used bright reds against neutrals and her painting has a real feeling of depth .

Bev's painting has a range of warm to cool red hues with blue accents.

Jan used more muted tones and played red against its complement, green. She created a wonderful feeling of movement.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Avian Odes Reception

Last weekend I hung my solo show, 'Avian Odes', with the help of a friend. I was thrilled with how the paintings looked and we were able to get a few photos of the framed pieces before it got crowded.

This is a portion of one wall.

"Two Sparrows"

"Greeting the Day"

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lesson 2 - Windows

Windows can make an interesting subject for a painting and they are fairly easy to draw. However there are a few pitfalls to watch out for. Here is a boring and a more interesting window study.

These are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Break up the symmetry of the areas surrounding a window.
2. Try and find a connection between the window and the edge of the painting. This could be a shadow, architectural detail, foliage or even a crack or wire .
3. Try and make each window pane different using reflections, shadows, curtains or objects inside.

The challenge in this lesson is to make an interesting composition based on a window or windows using the blue/brown color scheme discussed in Lesson 1. Here are the ways four students solved the problem.