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thevaliantx
06-16-2014, 01:13 AM
I couldn't decide what to do with each painting in the journal, but I think that the pages aren't made to be torn from the book. That makes MY decision easier! What I have been wanting to do is take the journal with me, and sketch and paint while waiting for appointments or just out and about.

It just doesn't work for me when my wife says "you should go and paint". I have to be inspired or I don't have it. Last night I got the urge to create with them.

I had fantasies of the white of the paper creating all of these highlights, but that is NOT easy to do without having masking fluid or some such! I am mostly into still lifes. Last night it was the thistle. Tonight it was a pear and a jar. I like the thistle one better. Is there some way to blend the colors on the paper instead of a dark color showing through a lighter one?

If not, no biggie, I just need to know what I'm in for. Anyone else here like the smell of watercolors? :D

thevaliantx
06-16-2014, 03:30 AM
Here is my second attempt at a pear and a jar.

DrDebby
06-16-2014, 02:25 PM
I don't know the answer to your question about mixing paint on the page. But, I like what you are doing in your sketchbook. Really lovely.

thevaliantx
06-16-2014, 05:30 PM
Thank you, Debby. There is such a plethora of options available to artists, great for some people, very difficult for people like me who naturally want to weigh all the optioins on every little decision. Is there a cheap way to preserve watercolor paint on the palette? I'm limited on funds. Another question is how can I paint "en plein aire" if I have to wait for each layer to dry?

vhere
06-17-2014, 10:49 AM
Thistles are a lovely thing to paint

I take it you are using tubes? You could spray the left over paint with a mister to keep it moist. Some people squeeze paint into pans in their paint boxes. I use a mix of pans and tubes and do this a bit. If you haven't got a watercolour paint box you could use what here we call Dosset boxes - those compartmentalised little plastic boxes for putting out a day of medication.

Lifting paint off with damp brush, blotting when wet with tissue, using wax resist (candle or oil pastel or even crayola) are other ways of retaining highlights. Also painting around a highlight with just water and then dropping your paint in. It will only spread where the paper is wet.

Hope that helps?

vhere
06-17-2014, 10:50 AM
Thistles are a lovely thing to paint

I take it you are using tubes? You could spray the left over paint with a mister to keep it moist. Some people squeeze paint into pans in their paint boxes. I use a mix of pans and tubes and do this a bit. If you haven't got a watercolour paint box you could use what here we call Dosset boxes - those compartmentalised little plastic boxes for putting out a day of medication.

Lifting paint off with damp brush, blotting when wet with tissue, using wax resist (candle or oil pastel or even crayola) are other ways of retaining highlights. Also painting around a highlight with just water and then dropping your paint in. It will only spread where the paper is wet.

Hope that helps?


Ps. Picasso said that inspiration may strike, but it has to find you working!

thevaliantx
06-17-2014, 08:28 PM
vhere, I'm using tubes. I tried taping plastic wrap to the giant plastic palette. Next time around I'll see if I can find something similar to what you suggested. Watercolors seem 'bass ackwards'. Whoever thought of painting clouds by taking away the paint? :D

Here's one I did of an abandoned house just down the road from me.

snowsilk
06-20-2014, 11:10 PM
If you use artist quality watercolors from tubes, most of them can be left to dry in a palette and then rewet when you want to use them next. (The main exception is Windsor Newton.) most student grade watercolors (eg Cotman) can also be rewet, but they just wouldn't rewet as easily. You might need to use an old brush to 'grind' the water into the dry paint.

It's actually not advisable to keep your paint wet in case of mold!

Hope this helps :)

vhere
06-21-2014, 01:53 AM
W&N rewet as well as any other brand I find.

DrDebby
06-21-2014, 02:24 PM
Interesting architecture.

friesin
06-21-2014, 02:41 PM
W&N rewet as well as any other brand I find.

indeed!

As to mixing paints on your paper: just do it. There's nothing easier than adding some paint into another one, already applied on the paper. The only thing to keep in mind:
1. if you use more than 3 different colours they are going to be muddy-- either on the palette or on your paper as well
2. be sure to paint on heavy paper, at least 300g (140lb).

Good luck :thumbsup:

robertsloan2
06-30-2014, 10:20 PM
Mixing on the page is something I picked up from a watercolor video or two on Artist's Network TV. I used to have a full subscription and if they didn't have pastels ones, I watched watercolor ones. It's called "mingling" and you lay down a light color or plain water to fill an area on a sketch, then swipe brush into strong paint (or stir it on the pan a lot) and "charge in" stronger color here and there in the wet patch letting it spread naturally. You can get beautiful gradations this way within say, a flower petal.

The trick is to paint just that one petal and leave the rest of the page dry while that dries, and work on an area that's not adjacent. It also works for gradated washes to get a lot of wet down in a larger area and start charging in more color here and there letting it spread naturally.

Painting over dried other watercolor is glazing, and it's mostly how I worked. I fool around with these wet in wet techniques sometimes but still prefer the control of wet on dry and almost go to dry-brush sometimes.

If you drop thinner watercolor, less color in it, into stronger color, it makes a "blossom" and spreads out a lighter area with a rippling hard little edge. These happen where you least want them usually but could be useful for certain types of plant features. Especially if you push it around a bit to fit the shape so its hard dark edge makes the form. I mean to do some of that for undersea things too like coral.

It's hard to get all the way back to white, but once a watercolor painting has dried, you can lightly go over a bit with water and quickly dab it off with a paper towel/kitchen paper, or a soft cloth. Then let it dry again and repeat the process. Just doing that can lighten a light colored detail enough or restore a crisp edge. How well it works depends on how stainng the particular watercolor pigment is. Pthalos and quinacridones tend to be staining, but colors like red earths and yellow ochre are very non staining and might come off entirely. One way to know that is test your particular paints in swatches by trying to lift out as much as you can from a streak or spot in the swatch. Or check the label codes for "staining" or "Non staining," the lazy way.

Tube watercolors usually rewet just fine in folding palettes. I have a metal one that's a bit large for hauling about and I was a bit too dainty in how little paint I put into the pans, some artists keep all the pans really full most of the time. I preferred pan watercolors for years and collected way too many different field sets because I liked the way they were so compact. Field pans sets are why I got into watercolor at all. I had this dream of doing travel journal style watercolors, little realistic paintings of things I saw and liked.

Thirty odd years ago I got a Cotman Field Box and fell in love with that. Did some really awful post card sized paintings with it because I'd concentrate on one detail painted carefully with the little sable brush and forget the rest of the scene. I learned better later on and still indulged in other kits but always had that dang thing with me till I upgraded to the WN Artist version. Artist pans are generally stronger, they have more pigment load so a little goes a long way. They also can be refilled from tubes of the same hue when they start getting empty.

The main difference with pans is that you need to swish around a bit on the dry pan to pick up color. What I like about using dried watercolor is that even if it takes a little longer, it means I have a bit more control of how strong it is by how much of that swishing I do while picking it up. If I only want a little bit of color I'll use a pretty wet brush but barely touch the pan, drop color into the palette an swirl it around till I've got the wash I want. I tend to clean off the pans after use because a bit of other color always gets on them while they're moist.

Folding palettes and paint boxes vary in cost. I like the small plastic ones that are about $3 or so from Daniel Smith or Dick Blick, they're different brands but about the same thing - it folds out and there's wells to put blobs of tube paint in and larger mixing areas in the middle, a thumb hole to hold it with. This can work as well as a pocket box. I started with pocket boxes but now have lots of those folding palettes because they were cheap and I left different colors in the wells to recharge as needed, especially after I started getting into Daniel Smith watercolors. Those don't come in pans so I had to get used to "let them dry in the palettes" to have my usual working method.

Probably too much information but I like what you've done so far! It's really great. Watercolor's weird. I've spent decades poking at it and still only feel like a newbie. You've got great form and detail and accuracy. I love the thistle especially, it has such powerful values and depth. The house is great, good perspective there and a sense of place. Beautiful color control and I like your pears. You paint a little looser than I do and that's awesome. Well done! I'll definitely be watching!

Dragoon
07-01-2014, 10:18 AM
Your thistle is amazing! Love it.

Yes, you WANT your watercolours to dry out and stay put. Easy to transport and easy to store (no mold). Don't worry, every bit of paint squeezed out is not wasted, it will still be as good if you store all your stuff and don't paint for the 20 years. Pull it out, dust them off, and you are good to go.

And I have found that when painting outside, your painting dries at rocket speed. The sunlight and breeze actually make this a problem...you wet an area, then go to drop in paint, and its half dried...its not as predictable as painting indoors, for sure!
Have fun,
D.

thevaliantx
07-04-2014, 08:17 PM
D, thanks :)

I created a thread over in the cafe about some things I bought the other day. One of them is a watercolor book "Watercolor School" (Hazel Harrison), another one is "Art School ... A Complete Painters Course (Hamlyn). When I go to a library or book store I look at EVERYTHING, lol.

When I am 'ready' to tackle those books magic is going to happen. Yes, Katy Perry :) Oh, and I picked up some colourless art masking fluid and some package of black 'magic erasers'.