View Full Version : Greek Temple Pour and More WIP

09-11-2013, 08:48 AM
Our instructor on Monday's Watercolor Class has been challenging us to try new things and become creative with our art. So, I decided that I haven't done a pour in a long time or painted on a large sheet of paper. Then I thought I'd triple the "danger" and do it as a WIP here. :angel:

First step. I poured the background before adding the drawing. This on a half-sheet of 140 lb Arches cp paper. The reference is of the Temple of Athena Afaia on the Greek Island of Aegina which we visited on a one day cruise out of Athens on one of our visits.

Colors used were MaimeriBlu Cerulean Blue; DS Raw Sienna; and Daler Rowney Quin Magenta.

I wet the entire sheet of paper first, then started with the blue on what I thought was going to be the sky. Then I added the red and finally the yellow in the corners. After it dried, I decided I liked the look of the yellow and red for the sky and the blue for the temple instead. So that is how I drew it.


In my art class, I began to add colors to bring the building and its surroundings to life. For the bushes I used Undersea Green; Sap Green and Perm. Green Deep. I added some of the same blue to the background mountains to bring them out a bit.

I then used the same three colors from the pour plus some DS Moonglow to begin shaping and shadowing the pillars and other parts of the temple and the foreground rocks and soil. I am going to work on this with many glazes so it still has a way to go, but the shape and overall color scheme is beginning to happen. This is where it stands now:


:crossfingers: I can continue to develop it without ruining it. ;)


09-11-2013, 08:59 AM
Looking fantastic Sylvia. The background pour sure is working well with your subject! Nancy

09-11-2013, 09:13 AM
This is looking lovely, Sylvia! good choice to switch the pour colours.

09-11-2013, 09:27 AM
Thanks Nancy. I don't know why I don't use the pour technique for the backgrounds in paintings more often. ;)

Lynn, Didn't switch the pour colors, just turned the paper around and made what was going to be the sky the bottom instead. :D


09-11-2013, 11:14 AM
You're developing the stonework very nicely - great idea of a pour

panama deb

09-11-2013, 12:03 PM
Beautiful color harmony...love it!

09-11-2013, 02:46 PM
Looks great Sylvia, the pour really suits the subject.


09-11-2013, 02:47 PM
Sylvia, wow, it's sure looking GREAT so far. I think you do pours superbly. You have such nice soft colors that blend right in. Your columns are looking good. Thanks for sharing your steps on this one.

09-11-2013, 09:22 PM
Thanks for the encouragement Panama Deb, John, Doug, and Darla. :D

Didn't get to do any work on this today. :o Hope to make some progress tomorrow and will post what I do. Promise. :crossfingers:


09-11-2013, 10:13 PM
Very beautiful. I am going to be taking Linda Baker in November and am thrilled about learning this technique.

09-12-2013, 03:34 AM
This is looking magical, Sylvia :clap:

09-12-2013, 03:42 AM
And inspiring!

09-12-2013, 06:38 AM
Love it Sylvia - One of these days I'm going to have to give pouring a try. I doubt that you will ruin this. You have such a good drawing and beginning.

09-12-2013, 04:13 PM
Kay, I think you'll have fun learning to do pouring. :D

Thanks Annie, Teaberry, and Jan. Do give it a try, Jan. It is a fun way to do something different. ;)

I worked on this some more today. Started by deepening the tones on the left side of the temple and adding golden tones to the interior columns and bits and pieces. I also added a bit more yellow on the upper right side of the sky and a bit of magenta on the upper left because I want the light to be hitting the temple from above and in front.

Still have lots more to do, but I am a slow painter, so it may take me a while to get it done. :angel:

Here is where it stands today:


09-12-2013, 04:30 PM
Looking good Sylvia, I like the rosy yellow glow of the upper left corner; and I can see those columns taking shape.

09-12-2013, 09:54 PM
This is coming along beautifully. Lee

09-13-2013, 12:57 PM
Thanks Darla and Lee. :D

I worked on the columns and steps on the left (shadowed) side of the temple this morning. I am going to leave it there for now and move on to the front part of the temple. May revisit this, but for now I have a value to work against.

I used a glaze of DS Moonglow over all the elements on this side. Then when it dried, I put a thin glaze of Raw Sienna over all of it. I used the Moonglow to add lines in the columns and to differentiate the steps a bit. I loaded a sponge with paint that was on the palette (all the colors already used including greens) and dappled some texture on the ground area and in the large block above the columns. Here is the way the whole painting looks now:


and here is a close up of the left side:


IRL, it is slightly darker than it looks here, but this is the best I could get with my camera. :angel:

Thanks for looking in and encouraging me. :D


09-13-2013, 01:20 PM
Very good call on inverting the paper and going with the warm sky, this is looking great! I love columns in architecture, and your point of view for this piece is excellent. Great depth in the background, I can't wait to see this finished :)

09-13-2013, 11:26 PM
Looking so good, Sylvia! You're absolutely nailing that moody twilight glow, when the sun is entirely gone but it isn't really dark yet :clap: :clap: :clap:

09-14-2013, 08:14 AM
Looking great Sylvia!!! The colours are just lovely!!!


09-14-2013, 08:44 AM
Thanks for the inspiration. The pour is an idea I'd like to tuck away for days when I need inspiration. Nice job!

09-14-2013, 09:51 AM
I haven't been in the Studio for awhile, so I've missed your wip completely... well not completely because I'm here now watching where you take this next.

It's beautiful. I love the harmony that a pour creates. Your subject is really suited to it, as well.

09-14-2013, 12:23 PM
sylvia thank you for the explanation ..
on the second picture of the project ...on columns ..the color was put to the brush or pouring?
you always learn a little more .... rendering is very beautiful ..

09-14-2013, 12:40 PM
That's one thing I've learned with pours, you have to go with the flow. Let the watercolor do its thing, then make of it what you will. :D

I'm hoping I can keep the glow as I work on finishing up the Temple structure. :crossfingers:

Thanks, Uschi. Funny thing is I started with the three primaries that I had that were almost finished tubes. Figured I might as well make use of them in pouring. :lol:

Alice, Hope you give it a try soon. It really can be fun.

Char, I picked out the subject before I did the pour. I didn't think I was going to do such a large version of it though. If it works out, I do have a mat and frame that will work on it. ;)

The pouring was just the initial step, then the drawing after it dried. The remaining steps have been brushwork.

Thanks all for cheering me on. Hope do to some more later today.


M.L. Schaefer
09-14-2013, 09:12 PM
Sunset in Greece! Just darn beautiful! I love it!

:heart: Margarete

09-15-2013, 06:12 AM
sylvia thank you .. very interesting .. I did not have a brush for a few months I will try now .. casting then drawing .. and brush step by step ..

09-16-2013, 07:56 AM
Very interesting the progress of this WIP, Sylvia.....:thumbsup::clap:

09-16-2013, 10:22 AM
Thanks Margarete and Pedro!

I worked on this yesterday so I could take it to my art class this afternoon for critique and to see if I need to do anything more before signing it.

Continued using all the same colors, but added shadows and lines to the columns and marks showing blocks on the steps. I'm happy with the effect of the setting sun casting a glow on the temple so far.



09-16-2013, 10:29 AM
The underpainting (pour) makes the columns glow... beautiful, Sylvia...

Dale Ziegler
09-16-2013, 07:43 PM
Great start Sylvia. I too, am experimenting with under painting.And find it fascinating, If I don't try a new technique every once in a while my work becomes boring. I took two workshops with Jean Grastdorf, who does incredible work with masking and pouring. You may want to check her book,in which she explains her technique
Also studied with Judi Betts (my favorite teacher) who does a lot o under painting. which gives her work a different look.
Keep up trying new things, it's the way to learn and establish a unique style.

09-16-2013, 08:59 PM
Thanks, Char. Took it to class today and got Nita's suggestions, so there is still a bit more work to do.

Dale, I've read books by both Jean Grastdorf and Judi Betts, and I agree with you that they are wonderful artists and teachers. Lucky you taking a workshop with them both. :D I agree, it helps to try new things out once in a while just to liven things up. Thanks for the kind words. :D


09-21-2013, 06:00 AM
I've added more darks and a bit of red and I am now finished I believe, so I will post it in The Gallery. (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1329808)Thanks for your interest in this WIP. :D



09-21-2013, 06:57 AM
Nicely done Sylvia, the darks give the columns more presence.


09-21-2013, 09:49 AM
Gorgeous finish, Sylvia! At the end of the day, it's always about the darks, eh?

09-21-2013, 10:14 AM
Thanks, Doug and Char. Yep, it is the darks that add the light. Why then is it sooooo hard to add dark enough darks the first time through. :rolleyes:


09-21-2013, 12:52 PM
Really beautiful, Sylvia, yes, the darks are excellent! The only time I've every got the darks right from the beginning was to start with gouache on black card....I always have problems with transparent watercolour. This is a good lesson on the transformation that takes place when one gets them right.

09-23-2013, 09:16 AM
Thanks, Doug and Char. Yep, it is the darks that add the light. Why then is it sooooo hard to add dark enough darks the first time through. :rolleyes:

ask the dark .. quite dark .. It is true that it is always a problem for me .. there is very beautiful high contrast .. bravo!

09-23-2013, 09:27 PM
Great piece Sylvia. I always forget about doing a pour, you are so good at them. I am glad I dropped by and found this thread :)

09-24-2013, 07:37 PM
Love the finish Sylvia, just beautiful.

09-24-2013, 08:58 PM
Thanks Lynn. It definitely shows the difference when you can see the before and after you get brave and make the darks dark enough. :D

I'm glad you stopped by too, Jacqui. Give a pour a try one of these days, they are fun.

Thanks, Lil. Glad you like this. :D