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View Full Version : Bassackwards - Trying something different


Undergoose
09-13-2013, 08:32 AM
I've been playing with Daniel Smith paints this week after finally getting around to procuring some. One of the colors included in one of the triads ('Hydrangea', I think) that I bought is Nickel Titanate Yellow, which, as near as I can tell, behaves about the same as pale-yellow tinted titanium white. The stuff is totally gouache-a-matic, and I'm not sure if it's considered kosher to use by the purists. Feels like 'cheating' to me, but works pretty well as I do a LOT of glazing with warm transparents, and they lay nicely over the nickel titanate highlights.

Until I find out it's not allowed, I've been abusing the heck out of it, doing several paintings this week with opaque/impasto highlights. Nope...not using white...nothing to see here...move along... :p

I was quite happy with the way this painting was progressing, but the entire foreground was completely covered with light, bright raw sienna. I rarely sketch or plan anything when I'm testing paints and just playing around, so I hadn't really thought the composition through.

Since I went full noob and basically divided the picture in half horizontally, I decided to add some big break-up trees to the foreground. The plan was to add a nice, dark diagonal in from the left side flowing down to the right. I was getting all fiddly with it, lining up popsicle sticks and toothpicks trying to figure out where to put the trees without obscuring too much of the stuff I'd already painted, mainly the town and the more interesting parts of the mountains.

Instead of monkeying around laboring with the trees, I just loaded up with idanthrene blue and splashed a bunch of shadows through the whole mess to get moving, ala Virgil-slinging.

Now I'm getting fiddly again, wimping out about actually slopping the trees in there. I figured I'd post the WIP before everything goes either really wrong or really right.

Pretty much either way, I don't think I'll be adding shadows first on something this drastic again. Sometimes out of the box just feels cold, lonely and makes me sad. hehe

TODO:


Foreground trees and low bushes, working around things I want to keep
Detail the creek
Add a fisherman or something lively to the focal point lower left
Add more NON-WHITE :p opaque highlights to the mid-ground trees on the right.
Pepper in some complimentary colored doodads throughout


C&C welcome, the picture's a little blurry in the upper left, but you get the idea.

Arches Natural White CP, 140# 16th sheet
Daniel Smith watercolors

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-Sep-2013/1234321-WIP-20130913-01.jpg

WthrLady
09-13-2013, 09:27 AM
Delicious karl!

LynnM
09-13-2013, 10:36 AM
Incredible mood Karl, I'd be tempted to leave it right there! Will be interested to see how far you get.

maryinasia
09-13-2013, 10:52 AM
beautiful

panamadeb
09-13-2013, 11:22 AM
Very dramatic shadows - I'm always timid with my shadow colors but your painting demonstrates dark is better - I would just add highlights to the mid-ground trees and sign it

deb

DaveCrow
09-13-2013, 11:53 AM
LOVE the darks in this. I always make mine too light.

Add some. Highlights and sign it.

indraneel
09-13-2013, 12:19 PM
Spectacular and such a tiny size! Amazing. It really looks much much bigger.

painterbear
09-13-2013, 12:51 PM
Gorgeous, Karl. Love the mood you've captured in this piece.

Sylvia

Brindle
09-13-2013, 02:59 PM
Nice work! I have this yellow in my palette as a staple; it offers some fantastic granulating effects when mixed with other colors and particularly for skin tones when mixed with warmer colors. I tend to use it well diluted because it is definitely opaque (but not as opaque as gouache, which I've also been playing with recently). If you like this color, you should try Buff Titanium, too. Similar opaqueness and granulation; makes great tints "with texture".

Cyntada
09-13-2013, 10:41 PM
Ooooh, Karl, just stop. It's fabulous just like you have it... LOVE the light in this. I have been dazzled by the very same color all this week on my westward-facing drives home.

If this yellow is similar to Buff Titanium, can anyone say how it compares to Naples Yellow? That one's also rather opaque.

Undergoose
09-13-2013, 11:19 PM
Ooooh, Karl, just stop. It's fabulous just like you have it... LOVE the light in this. I have been dazzled by the very same color all this week on my westward-facing drives home.

If this yellow is similar to Buff Titanium, can anyone say how it compares to Naples Yellow? That one's also rather opaque.

Thanks guys. Just stopping hadn't even occurred to me, but I like the idea now that you've all mentioned it as an option. I always seem to keep making things too busy. I'll highlight a little on the trees and call it done. Thanks for pulling me back from the edge of the fidget abyss. :)

As for the color, I'm glad you mentioned that, I was thinking about Naples Yellow when I was posting earlier and was going to compare them, as people are much more familiar with Naples. This is very similar, but much more lemon hued, and feels a little cleaner, if that makes sense. Less muddy, but still opaque. I've got it next to Mayan red in my palette lid and have been using them together to make all sorts of peach and orange colors. Mayan Red is nice for mixing with the lighter yellows, because it feels pretty anemic to me compared to pyrroles and perylenes, even quins.

I've ordered a tube of Da Vinci Nickel Titanate, and will compare it to the DS stuff when it gets here. I'll likely use it to replace the cad lemon I keep in my Da Vinci palette for opaque yellow, as this is much more versatile to swing warm or cool as needed.

Yorky
09-14-2013, 01:31 AM
Nice work Karl. The perspective on the fence line seems way too pronounced to me.

Doug

doppler
09-14-2013, 02:36 AM
WELL have you done Karl!!! :clap: :clap: :clap: Stunningly beautiful.

Undergoose
09-14-2013, 03:09 AM
Nice work Karl. The perspective on the fence line seems way too pronounced to me.

Doug

Yeah, I noticed that, too. I'm assuming you mean the fence where the posts get too close together too quickly for the amount of linear distance they're covering, yeah? I've been trying to freehand them instead of messing with lines and diagonals, but I need to do some technical drills to get my head right again. Another 25 paintings and I'm going to be full-on Grandpa Moses.

"What do you mean why is it crooked? It's ART, man!"

"Okay, but why is the entire farm in the air?"

:D

Without using all my little gadgets, a lot of stuff in my perspectives have been crawling around a little.

Pretty soon I'll be able to bang them out wholesale, though! Just gotta keep practicing. I think I'll leave this one alone...if I fix a fence post, I'll have to fix another. Then come the popsicle sticks and toothpicks again. hehe

All my drafting tools are just hanging here looking forlorn since I broke away from the illustration side and have been trying to be more artsy. I feel bad, though. I didn't say anything at the time, but I'm pretty sure my compass was crying the other day. It was really awkward. :p

CharM
09-14-2013, 10:11 AM
This is beautifully dramatic, Karl! The green in your sky isn't my favourite element, but the light and dark in your foreground is drop dead gorgeous.

ErnstG
09-14-2013, 11:26 AM
Wow Karl, das sieht hoch dramatisch aus -
mit Licht und Schatten haben Sie alle Register gezogen!

Karl Wow, that looks highly dramatic effect -
with light and shadow you have pulled all registers!

Ernst

portalhome
09-15-2013, 08:57 AM
Great, now I have to have that color! LOL

This has some wonderful passages, it's exciting to look at. As for the rules, who cares? Learn them, understand them, then break them. That's where personal style begins.

Undergoose
09-15-2013, 12:07 PM
...As for the rules, who cares? Learn them, understand them, then break them...

I couldn't agree more, although sometimes I probably shouldn't skip over that silly "understand" part in the middle as much as I do. Don't wear white after Labor Day? Pfft...whatever...I just got a great deal on all these white clothes, I'm wearing them! :rolleyes:

I was wondering who was going to notice the sky, and Char wins the prize! That thing's an overworked disaster; I had to scrub and work in a bunch of the opaque yellow for like a half hour of blotting and tweaking just to bring it back to where it is, which I'm just sort of ignoring. Definitely not as clean as I like. After the first sky debacle when I put quin gold with indanthrene blue by accident, I tried it on purpose in this one because I don't like losing. Now, I've effectively verified that A) I'm a loser, and B) for myself, those two colors don't work well in skies. :p

portalhome
09-15-2013, 03:26 PM
I actually like the sky.

As for the loser part, isn't it wild how filled with despair and or euphoria you can be over a painting?? Sometimes both in the same painting! I can go from jumping up and down and shouting, "I'm a flipping genius!!" to laying on the floor banging my obviously stupid head on it.

Upward and onward!

Undergoose
09-15-2013, 04:44 PM
...isn't it wild how filled with despair and or euphoria you can be over a painting?? Sometimes both in the same painting! I can go from jumping up and down and shouting, "I'm a flipping genius!!" to laying on the floor banging my obviously stupid head on it.

Upward and onward!

Boy, and how! What I've noticed with myself is that I have no problem slopping the paint on in the beginning and being really bold. By the end, when things have gone well, I'm terrified of wrecking it, so I get all tentative.

I've been really trying to get over that inconsistency in attitude because people can tell the difference. I've been forcing myself to do what feels risky and drastic at the end. Then I end up with big bold shadows that look great but I'm too afraid to put the associated trees in, or another piece for the "gesso it for acrylics" pile.

Someday I want to make it from start to finish without having those pucker moments in between, but I hope that doesn't end up feeling like I've ridden roller coasters so much that the thrill is no longer there when I get on a ride.

The risk makes the successes so much more satisfying, but they seem few and far between some days. I'd be happy if I at least get good enough to be able to consistently beat the house odds when gambling on splashing the paint on. :wave:

portalhome
09-15-2013, 04:59 PM
I had a teacher tell me one time that I could figure one in eight paintings would be excellent. I hate those odds. Every one I fail at clogs my inspiration up and I question my ability all over again. My goal is to paint with excellence in much better odds, for my health if for no other reason!! I'm pushing myself to work past my latest landscape catastrophe currently. LOL ..feel like a drama queen.

juneto
09-15-2013, 09:41 PM
Excellent , First -Class .
June:thumbsup:

CharM
09-15-2013, 11:04 PM
Now, I've effectively verified that A) I'm a loser, and B) for myself, those two colors don't work well in skies.

Neither of these statements is true.

You can work an opaque yellow into your sky... it just needs a little dam of clear water around it to allow the blue to bleed in without actually touching the yellow. Generally speaking, yellow pushes *out*, so try this... it does work.

Anyone who ever lays a brush to paper is doing something creative. That makes you a winner every time.

As to the roller coaster... I couldn't agree more! I think that's one of the reasons why I study my theories so much... I keep hoping that some of it will sink in and I'll consistently be able to transfer the vision in my mind to the painting on my paper!

Undergoose
09-15-2013, 11:35 PM
Neither of these statements is true.

You can work an opaque yellow into your sky... it just needs a little dam of clear water around it to allow the blue to bleed in without actually touching the yellow. Generally speaking, yellow pushes *out*, so try this... it does work.

Anyone who ever lays a brush to paper is doing something creative. That makes you a winner every time.

As to the roller coaster... I couldn't agree more! I think that's one of the reasons why I study my theories so much... I keep hoping that some of it will sink in and I'll consistently be able to transfer the vision in my mind to the painting on my paper!

*I meant quin gold and indanthrene not working in the sky - the opaque yellow is what at least brought this one out of the trash bin for me, but I'll try your method, too :)

I know what you mean about transferring the vision! So many times that in my head I can clearly see what I want...then I grab a brush and it's like all of a sudden I've got seal flippers instead of hands.

I've been studying a lot, too, doing everything I can to wrap my head around all of it before cherry picking all the parts out that work best for me. It seems like I only use about 10% of the stuff out of 90% of the books I read and DVD's I watch. At least the gross exposure to so many different processes and materials has allowed me to start settling in comfortably to a tool set by exclusion, if nothing else.

With DVD's being so easy to create nowadays, sometimes it's hard to discern what to believe from various 'instructors', too. I was watching one the other day where the lady was explaining why cadmiums are opaque. "When they add the cadmium to the paint, it becomes opaque."... ?!:confused:...like they keep around a big sack of cadmium and just toss in a handful every now and then. :p

At any rate, I still regularly feel like tossing my cookies on the downsides of the rides, so I don't think I'll get bored any time soon. ;)

Cyntada
09-16-2013, 01:19 AM
Roller coaster indeed. For me it's like, "I know what I WANT.. but how do I explain that to the PAINT??" :lol: Some days it makes me look so good, and then there's all those other times it just mocks me.

Makes me thing that "mastery" in watercolor is about knowing what you plan to accomplish, and also knowing which paint/tool/method you need to do exactly that.