View Full Version : Village Lane

07-13-2001, 01:20 PM
This 8.5" by 11" watercolor was done on Arches 300 pound paper. It is based on a lesson in William Newton's book "Painting with Watercolours"; however, I did not follow the lesson very closely, that is why my painting doesn't look like the lesson's painting.


I have been looking at some of Charles Reid's videos and tried some of his suggestions -- that is why you see the light red paint splatters on the painting. I am trying to loosen up, because I paint like a man on a tight rope. The splattering according to Mr. Reid is used to help one to loosen up.

I would really like you to talk this one up, critically critiquing the good and the bad to see if this is going to take me anywhere.

Thanks in Advance,

07-13-2001, 03:09 PM
Javier, this is again another nice painting.
The first thing I noticed is how opaque the leaves on the tree appear. This is not a fault, just a statement here. Good choice of color as they "relate" to each other. Composition is good. About your trying to loosen up... I am curious on how you will ever achieve that on 300 lbs paper... if you find a way I'd be curious to know how ...(I never use 300 paper myself as I find it extremely frustrating for the results I want to see in my work)
Yes, that loosening up leaves me perplexe...

Still another good painting


07-13-2001, 03:30 PM
Hi, I like your painting without the red dots! I don't understand how that will help you loosen up.
Ya look pretty loose to me.:p I was getting into a rut of trying to make my water color look like an oil painting (never happen). I read someplace to practice moving you hand, wrist, arm, entire body. Sounds funny but it helped me. I used it in my children's art classes and got 5 and 6 year olds to open up. They had fun wiggling to music and painting in a much more open way. Try it, it might help. But no elevator music please.
I love the yellow trees/bushes on the right.

07-13-2001, 03:50 PM
Originally posted by Gisele
About your trying to loosen up... I am curious on how you will ever achieve that on 300 lbs paper... Gisele

Javier, I do not understand this quote. Do you? How would the thickness of the paper have anything to do with the painter painting loose or tight??

I like your painting. I'm no critic, but if I had to say something I'd say add some shadows, make it a little darker in the foreground.

About the spattering, try it with a toothbrush (shake off excess paint first, then run a finger along the bristles) to get fine dots instead of big drips.


Editing my post here: I would vary the green on the path a little. I am assuming these are patches of grass or weeds. And there is a darker streak of color running across the middle of the path; looks like a shadow but of what?

07-13-2001, 03:51 PM
You have done a great job on this Javier. I think the dots of colour are great too - they do help to open up the painting away from a more realistic approach. I am a great fan of Charles Reid and have quite a few of his books. The only thing that bothers me about the painting is the strong puddles of colour along the middle of the path. For me the are too positive - I would be inclined to tone them down a little.

The same soft cream/yellow theme seems to run through your paintings. Do you stay with one set of colours and if so what are they? You seem to have a real feel for watercolours - keep up the good work:)

07-13-2001, 04:21 PM
I like the composition and the overall feel of the painting.
It seems quite loose to me!
The sky is wonderful and has movement.
The drive takes my eye nicely into the painting and the far trees give it depth.

I don't like the splatters very much. Maybe because they are so dark. (My monitor shows them as Indian Red)
The real question is how do you like it?

07-13-2001, 04:48 PM
Looks like you loosened up for sure, nice painting.
I've watched a Charles Reid portrait video where he has flicked a fully loaded brush and the paint has gone splat on the paper :)
One point in regard to the 300 lb paper, most artists are worried about wasting a piece of paper so they tighten up and paint with care. #00lb paper is expensive a lighter cheaper say 150lb would be cheaper and hence help the loosening up exercises,

07-13-2001, 08:08 PM
Great response, and I thank you all for taking the time to reply.

To all Replies: Thanks for all the nice things you wrote.

-- About the 300 pound paper, I assume you are talking about the cost -- the cost doesn't bother me, not while I am learning at least.
-- The splattering to loosen up -- it is just something that Charles Reid does so I tried it. I found that it did make me feel more relaxed.

-- Yea, I think I over did it with the red dots.
-- Your moving around idea -- maybe that is why many artist stand while painting.

-- I followed Rod's lead on the 300 pound paper and answered above.
-- I agree about the shadows in the foreground -- there are shadows in the lesson painting.
-- The shadows you see are of trees off paper on the left.

-- Thanks for the comment on the red splatters -- I didn't really understand the why before -- Thanks.
-- About Charles Reid -- I don't know how he can paint in all those puddles.
-- The green patches down the middle of the road are to green -- you're right, a very light green would have been better.

-- You said those magical words, "It seems quite loose to me!" -- Thanks.
-- The red dots -- maybe they should have been blue? -- maybe -- the light red is pretty strong.

-- Thanks for the words, "Looks like you loosened up ....."
-- Charles Reid shocked me the first time he flicked that fully loaded brush on to the paper.
-- Thanks for the heads up on the 300 pound paper -- for me the lighter paper is always try to get away from me, now that gets me up tight.

Thanks Again.

The Best,

07-13-2001, 08:30 PM
:clap: I REALLY enjoy seeing your work. Your openness to learn and grow encourages me to do the same.
I also feel the need to "loosen up".
You certainly did in this one and I love it !

My only notes: little darker in foreground.
and I would have limited my splatter to the foreground.

I use an old toothbrush. dip it in color...shake, then run your finger across. Works great...small dots..not blobs.

You're doing great..keep it up !


07-13-2001, 08:47 PM
Originally posted by Rod
One point in regard to the 300 lb paper, most artists are worried about wasting a piece of paper so they tighten up and paint with care. #00lb paper is expensive a lighter cheaper say 150lb would be cheaper and hence help the loosening up exercises,

Thank you, Rod. I could not figure that what Gisela meant, even though I have experienced this phenomenon myself.

07-13-2001, 09:19 PM
I just have to add my 2 cents worth. I pussyfooted around with 140 lb paper, I think I must have wasted a ream. Treating it like egg shells, can't make a mistake. I went up to 260 lb paper and had much better results finding I could be freer and correct a mistake. My advise, bite the bullet go for the gusto. Practice on the 140 stuff and paint your picture on 260 or 300. As we in the states say " Try it You'll like it.

07-13-2001, 11:25 PM
Hi J,

You have another good painting here. the compostion is nice, colors are good and there are good value changes...well done, I hope you like it and enjoyed the loosening up ideas (I desperately need the same!:D )

About the splattering, when I first saw the picture it wowed me, my eye followed the splatters on the right, thought they were smoke from the houses, right into the cloud. Maybe they were just in the wrong place, maybe across the bottom instead but then again I'm learning here, too.

Can't wait to see your next......:D You are painting w/ great confidence and that doesn't hurt either, good for you:D ...Karen

07-14-2001, 05:20 AM

I too completed this exercise a while back and I find it interesting to see how differently we both interpreted it.

I'm working on loosening up my painting. I've found that big brushes work for me because they stop me fiddling. (I'm sure you've already seen my references to the use of the Hake)

I like the painting. Are you going to do the second exercise? I was just looking at it today and tryng to decide if I would.


07-14-2001, 09:13 AM
Javier, I was not thinking about the cost of the paper at all when I answered your post. Although Rod has a point there and I agree with him. What I was thinking is the 300 lbs paper is so thick and absorbant that it takes forever to wet it thoroughly. I like to work on very wet paper ( depending on what I'm doing ) and I found that stapling is the only way for me to keep that sheet flat without buckling; when I tried to work with a 300 lbs paper, it would buckle anyway and still not be wet enough...hence the frustration I mentioned earlier...

Victoria, I take it you were refering to me when you said "Gisela"...there is a Gisela on WC but she and I are two different people...;)


07-14-2001, 10:26 AM
Gisele, thanks for clearing up the 300 pound paper problem. I am so new to watercolor that I have never worked with the paper that wet; therefore, I wasn't aware of the problems you pointed out.

The Best,

07-14-2001, 04:28 PM
Javier, nice painting, i think it would look just as well without the splattering, not sure how doing this would help you loosen up, but of course i have never heard of or seen Charles Reid's work.

07-15-2001, 02:34 PM
Originally posted by Gisele
Victoria, I take it you were refering to me when you said "Gisela"...there is a Gisela on WC but she and I are two different people...;)


Sorry, Gisele, for getting your name wrong. I should have gone back and checked the spelling.