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Old 07-31-2005, 01:56 AM
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Realism Through Techniques—AUGUST 2005 Classroom

Hi folks, and welcome to the August 05 Watercolour Classroom Thread. And can I say before we start, a big thanks to Shelley for leading the July Classroom. There was quite a lot of learning there, thanks for your commitment Shelley

So what are we doing this month? Well how's this for a title? .............


Realism Through Techniques.

OR

Spatter - A Technique to Paint Trees


I know, I know you've just spent the whole of last month painting trees, and you want to paint cat fur this month (thanks Andrea!! ), well tough!!

Don't put that green paint away 'cause Trees it is But!! with a difference, for the most part, your brush won't touch the paper.


First of all if you don't want the watercolour fairies to visit your house and take all your brushes then:


Please do not post comments or paintings here - these should be posted in the Homework Thread!!

SEE HERE

The reason I am here? Well I have used these techniques a couple of times most recently when I completed a picture, a woodland scene, in back lit conditions. It was posted in the Challenge Thread that I am involved in, A Year of Paintings with Mr Sandbanx and Strider, and it aroused a little interest.

So I offered the idea of turning this into a lesson to our Headmistress, Char, and she snapped my hand off!! And wanted to hug me!!

SO


Want to know how to do it? Then join me as we paint two woodland scenes, but first a warning.

Health and Safety Warning: Painting these pictures may damage your furniture, floor coverings, clothes and relationships!!

So please make sure you have the space to hurl paint at the paper, and you have something to cover your clothes!!

Pay Homage to Joe

I thought I would run this session in two parts, I thought I’d call them Part 1 and Part 2. Good names I thought, not original, but then again what are these days. And whilst I’m on the subject of originality I thought I’d better let you know where I learned most of this stuff from, the vast majority of the techniques I will use here I picked up from a book called, ‘Two In One Watercolour,’ by Joe Francis Dowden. He calls this method of working ‘Bio-mimickery,’ it is a method of replicating what you see in nature, in an 'abandoned' and 'chaotic' way. I’ll explain more later.


What are we going to do? And How?

Rather than you choosing a variety of pictures I would like you to have a go at the two pictures I have selected. As this is going to be new to most of us sticking to the 2 images will allow us all to learn together and the 2 images have been carefully selected to allow me introduce you to the techniques we are to use in a planned way.

The first image is a simple one with very little perspective, and when that is complete we shall advance onto the 2nd image which is a little more complicated, but we can take and use the skills learned from the first painting.

I make no bones about it, the two pictures I have planned to paint here are to be painted with over 80% technique, something which you can learn here and then paint a picture straight away. But let me tell you now, it does come at a cost. It is very, very messy.

I will try my best to act like I know what I’m talking about and, you can try to catch me out by asking questions that I had not thought about. What I can assure you of is, if you have a go, it will be different and it’s going to be fun, so let’s first of all look at the two pictures we are going to paint.


The Pictures.

Part One ………….. The Bench in the Park.


Larger Image HERE

Part Two ………….. A Woodland River, with Reflections.



Larger Image HERE

Both these images were taken by me a couple of weeks ago on a walk through the woods near to where my mother lives. They are from the Cuerden Valley Walk, Bamber Bridge, Preston, Lancashire and the river is the River Lostock.

I came to know the River Lostock very well; I took most of the photos that day wading through it in my trainers and socks, and was stung by nettles on several occasions.

OK, safeguard those brushes from the fairies and Please do not post comments or paintings here - these should be posted in the Homework Thread!!

Be back in a mo
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Old 07-31-2005, 03:02 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Warning!!! If your thinking of packing up and getting out of here now because these pictures look too complicated ……….DON’T ….Please, please stick around I am going to show you how to paint most of this without ever touching the paper!!!!

Materials for I used Part One


All of the items in the photo are listed below, see brackets to right, with some extras.

Ľ sheet Winsor & Newton 140lb Not Watercolour Paper.
Wooden board with above paper stretched onto it.
2b pencil (1)
Putty Rubber (2)
Typing Paper (For masking)
Masking Fluid (3)
Colour Shaper (For applying Masking) (4)
Ruling Pen (For applying Masking) (5)
Wax Candle
Masking Tape
Finger of the other hand.

Brushes (Round, No’s 8, 6, 4) (7)
No 9 Squirrel Mop
Rigger (8)
Old Brush for masking. (6)
Toothbrush. (9)

Paints
For the spattered trees
Lemon Yellow
Cadmium Yellow Light
Cadmium Yellow Deep
Naples Yellow
Pthalo Green
Cobalt Green
Indigo

For the painterly bits

Raw Sienna
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber
Indigo
Cerulean Blue
Ultramarine Blue

Sketch

A look at this picture will show us the tones in this painting.


The 1st thing I did was to do a pencil drawing of the piece, this allows me to play with the composition, it doesn’t need a lot of adjustment as I took the photo with a painting in mind, but there are things which need looking at.

Sketch 1

Pencil tone sketch, done with 2b and 8b pencils, the composition at this moment rests on the verticals being repeated, i.e. the tree trunks. But I don’t think that that is enough to carry the painting through. Notice also, that if we read the picture from left to right as we normally do, we start on the path and walk straight out of the picture, there is nothing to stop the eye and it takes the easy route out and away.

Sketch 2


So, if you look here, I decide to add in some extra length to the tree on the right, there were loads of other trees in the area, but just not here. By extending the tree down through the bushes across the grass and over the path we have put in an instant roadblock for the eye. Then add an area for the tree to grow from and we’ve added a little to make the picture read better as a painting.

We are saying, ‘Get past here if you can.’ And, ‘Now that you have stopped why not linger and look around at the nice bench, and oh look at that nice canopy of trees.’!! I also add a branch from that tree that goes back into the picture, cuts across all the verticals and forms a triangle shape with the tree to the left, and at the base of the triangle, a bench. The bench should now become much more pronounced and will help it be my centre of interest.

Please do not post comments or paintings here - these should be posted in the Homework Thread!! .........HERE
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Last edited by Roun2it : 07-31-2005 at 03:06 AM. Reason: to put link in
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Old 07-31-2005, 04:03 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Homework

Yep, sorry folks but we got homework. Well what did you expect, you can't just walk in here slosh a bit of paint around and walk out with a masterpiece. Nope you gotta earn it first!!

So before we unleash the colour onto the picture I need to explain how to get the realism into spattering paint at the paper, and YOU need to practice.

If you just look at the photo again you will see that there is no depth of field after the bench, it is just like a wall of trees. So as such there is no perspective in this painting. But there is an up and down feel to it, dark at the bottom, mid tone in the middle and light at the top. So when we start to spatter we must keep this in mind.




Size Really Does Matter


In the picture above you will see that I have placed 3 brushes on the painting, the represent the areas of the picture, bottom, middle and top. So the idea when spattering paint is to use the large brush (No. 8) for spattering onto the bottom, the midsize brush (No. 6) for the middle and the small brush (No. 4) for the top.

So how do we spatter.
Well fully charge the brush with paint, flick the excess liquid onto the floor, or a spare piece of paper, DO NOT flick a fully charged brush onto painting, all you will get is a mess!!

Don't just flick the paintbrush, use some control.

Tap the brush quite firmly against your finger, or you can use another brush. Hold your finger or brush about 2-3 inches above the painting and strike it, quite hard against the finger or the brush. Move your finger or brush around at different angles so that the spatter goes in different directions.

A gentle way to flick.

Here we see a gentler way to flick paint, useful to exercise control of the spattered paint, holding the loaded brush in one hand and then gently tapping it with the finger of your other hand, you will see that the marks on the paper are smaller and you can determine where you want them ......ish

OK Then, Here's What You Need To Do
Your homework then is to try this on some scrap paper. Note that the colour is more intense the bigger the brush, well as making bigger marks, this helps to give the illusion of perspective. Bigger marks more intense colour to the front, smaller more subdued colour to the rear.

Here are examples of the different sizes of spatter achieved by using different sized brushes. Please note this is on dry paper.






Let's Now Try Wet into Wet.
Now try the same on wet paper. See how the marks change, that is because the paint will mix and merge with the water giving some hard and some soft edges, and that is just what we want in order to achieve the randomness of nature we want.

Another word about spatter, when you hurl the paint at the paper don’t do it from directly above, hurl it at an angle. I think it also works best if the painting is kept flat, and not raised at the normal angle.

How to Make Realistic Leaves
There are three different tones of paint here all spattered on wet paper and then let it dry. First roughly wet the surface allow to dry a little and then spatter Cadmium Yellow onto it.

Let it dry.

Then using plain water spatter the surface, leave for a minute or two and then mix a little Phthalo Green with the Yellow.

Allow to dry, then repeat the process with the clean water and this time add Indigo into the mix.

(Other colours can be substituted, but make sure that they are strong bold colours.)

You will see that in the top example the paint has been spattered from directly above, and the marks aren't that interesting.


Now isn't that beautiful, in this picture the paint has been hurled from an angle and you can see that as it hits the surface of the paper it separates and goes off into little jagged edges, and these look leaf shaped. And that is the look we are after.

We can see here thousands of marks on the paper in a random and chaotic way, but also controlled. I hope that you can see that by placing the paint from light to dark makes the yellows come forward as highlight on green leaves punched out by the dark shadows.

Keep practising until you can achieve something like the bottom image, with a little control and a few trunks and branches added, you can see the makings of a tree here.

In Brief.

Find a place you can slosh paint.
Cover your clothes.
Lay a rough wash of ‘sparkle’ colour on your paper.
Start at the bottom and work up.
Build up from light to dark.
Use plenty of pigment in your mixes,
Use at least 3 different types of brushes.
Use different types of force to control spatter.
Spatter from differing heights.
Always Spatter clean water on the painting before applying paint.
Work around the picture at different angles
NEVER SPATTER WIYH A FULLY CHARGED BRUSH



Please do not post comments, questions or pictures here, use the Homework Thread.
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Insanity is hereditary ............ you can get it from your children ....or Grandchildren

Last edited by Roun2it : 07-31-2005 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:12 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

OK the next instalment.

Just a word here about consistency of the paint, Gail asked in the Home work thread about the thickness of the paint. You need to mix a lot of pigment into the palette as intense colour is what we are after. I would recommend a consistency of between cream to milk. This is because most of the time you will be hurling this mixture at a wet, or mostly wet surface which will disperse the colour. Thanks Gail

Onto the Paper

Now lets transfer the image onto a sheet of watercolour paper. I have used Winsor Newton 140lb Not surface. A quarter sheet, measuring 15” x 11” (38 x 28 cm). I have used the portrait format, this will enhance the verticals at play in this image. I like to stretch my paper, I like the tight surface with no chance of cockling. I have used staples to stretch this paper, but I often use the brown tape. As I have done here, I often like to keep a nice white border around my painting and in the photo below you will see blue masking tape placed over the staples to give me this edge in the finished painting.

If you use a rough paper surface, but be mindful of the amount of masking you are going to use, as some rough papers are not very receptive to loads of masking.

Transferred to watercolour paper.


Note I have used a heavy pencil line so that you can see it, but don't worry about the pencil lines, the paint goes on quite thickly and will cover most of them, plus the use of masking often takes the lines with it when it's removed.

Note also that the tree trunks are different thicknesses and the shadows of the trunks have been placed on the ground across the path.

It’s never too late here are a couple more minor adjustments, just to help make the picture a little more like a painting. I have widened the path out on the right, this helps to bring a little perspective into the work. The tree that I brought into the foreground I have shifted over a little and given it a little friend by adding another.

O.K. Let’s Get to Work.
I then apply the masking fluid using the colour shaper for the bench and places where I want a little precision and I use the old brush to apply masking to the tree trunk, and to put masking into the ‘sky holes’ at the top of the page. You can be as rough as you like here, it won’t matter. I then used the ruling pen dipped into the masking fluid to draw long grass around the base of the tree and the foreground area at the foot of the paper. If you don’t have a ruling pen you could use a toothpick dipped into the fluid. Take some of these grasses up and across the path. I have also reserved a couple of lights on the ground on the path and grassy areas.

Masking Fluid applied.


Sorry but I seem to have lost the picture of the masking fluid applied by hand, and will have to use the next shot along to show you. Just ignore the spattering on here with masking fluid, we will do that in a little while .......ooooops!!

Let the masking fluid dry completely before doing anything else, use a hairdryer if you wish.

In this image you can see not only the masking applied to the image but that I have also made a template out of the torn, ripped typing paper.

So how do we make the template?
Start by ripping the typing paper up into large-ish pieces, then start to then fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle. The idea is to cover the grass and the path, but leaving the trees and bushes on both sides of the path open to later spattering.

It is important to rip the paper and not cut it as the ripping action produces rough edges. Make shapes while ripping, this will make your edges much more believable. Use masking tape to hold the pieces together.

Template


The template is taken of the painting every now and then, to allow the paint to dry and to check for paint runs. Don't forget to put it back on each time you apply spatter. If you look closely at the picture you will see pencil marks on the edges where the template meets the asking tape I have applied to the edge of the painting. This allows me to replace the template easily.

Please do not post comments, questions or pictures here, use the Homework Thread.
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Old 08-01-2005, 03:22 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

A Toothbrush Adds Sparkle!

Now that we have made the template we now need to get more masking fluid onto the paper but this time using the toothbrush.

But before that a couple of things need to be done, 1, make another small template to use only once to keep the masking fluid off the small dark area to the left.


Again note the rough edges, you could use masking fluid, but this is much cheaper AND it also keeps the direct human touch off the paper.

And 2, another little bit of preparatory work is needed to show you how to get good marks on the paper, and not large splodges. You WILL need to practice this on a spare piece of paper, the typing paper will do.

OK it may seem daft spending time on this bit, but it is important that you get it right, and a little practice will save you ruining as many paintings as I did.

Pour a little masking fluid into a small pot. A measuring pot for medicines or a small plastic milk pot rescued from your last visit to the coffee shop. IF your masking is thick then add a few drops of water in and mix with the fluid, just to thin it down a little. Dip in your toothbrush and as you take it out scrape it on the side of the pot to take away the excess.

Toothbrush and pot.

Be careful as you do this the brush tends to spay the liquid around.


Before you use the toothbrush to spatter onto the paper you need to get rid more of the fluid from the brush.

Take the brush to a scrap piece of paper and with the head pointing down, about 2 inches from the surface, tap the toothbrush once, on the finger of your other hand, or use the handle of brush. This will get the excess out of the brush and the big unsightly splodge will stay off your water colour paper. See below.
Toothbrush tapped other finger with Splodge.


If you do get a big splodge on your painting then wait for it to dry and rub it of, don't try soaking it up with a paper towel, from experience I can tell you it doesn't work.

Toothbrush Primed
Your toothbrush is now loaded primed and ready for action. But incorrect use of a fully loaded toothbrush can cause danger to your watercolour paper and surrounding objects!! So please take heed of the Government Warnings for The Safe Handling Fully Loaded Toothbrushes. Circular No 43590/AD3.

There are now 3 ways of applying the masking from the brush, do them in this order and you get perspective in your painting.
1) To get large dots, hold out a finger from your other hand about 2 inches from the paper surface, and tap down the charged toothbrush in the foreground areas. This will eventually give the large flashes of light reflected off the leaves.
2) When the large drops stop falling move the brush to hover over the mid-ground areas. Now move that other finger to about 4-5 inches above the paper and tap the toothbrush a little shaper on that finger over the mid-ground. This gives the little light reflections from those mid-ground leaves.
3) Now is the time to add those little sparkles of light. With your thumb hold the toothbrush just above the surface of the paper and with your thumb drag it across the bristles of the toothbrush and spatter tiny little droplets of the fluid onto background and mid-ground areas.


You can’t go to step 3 direct, otherwise you will get too much fluid in the area, and you’ll end up with splodges. If you need the fine spray of 3 above, then go through at least Step 1 on a scrap of paper before moving over to the painting.

In Brief
So again the tip here is to do the larger marks when the brush is wet and the smaller marks as the brush loses fluid.


Even More Masking Fluid.
Looking at this image there is a large amount of light colour in the bushes just behind the bench and this light needs preserving. So with the old brush apply the masking fluid in small random dabs and ticks to indicate leaf shapes. Looking at the photo you can see that this is where the lightest lights and darkest darks collide, so at the tops of these bushes take the fluid up into this area in little pointed shapes to represent the angular shapes to the tops of the bushes. Make your marks bigger at the bottom of the bush and smaller at the top.

Please do not post any replies here, a Homework Thread is available in the Gallery.
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Old 08-03-2005, 03:01 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

So sorry about the delay, but with WC being down for upgrades I was unable to post on Monday and Tuesday was so full of commitments for me I was unable to visit the site.

OK for those of you in for the ride here is where it gets bumpy. I think in painting the creation of the image on paper always go through an 'Ugly Stage' The problem with this type of painting is that it remains in the 'ugly stage' for quite some time.

WARNING: There are times when you will think all is going wrong and will want to pack it in, or you will be driven with a desire start to fiddle with your brush. Please don't, this is a process of building up paint in layers and the painting will grow as the layers are expertly placed by you.

What I do when I feel like this is put the brushes down, pick the painting up and prop it up somewhere go and make myself a cup of tea, and then look at the painting from a distance. It's then when you can see it coming together. It's then when you can decide where to map out your dark areas.

If that doesn't work for you try looking at the painting through a mirror, this will give you a completely different view of the image.

Add Some Glow.
After filling almost a 1/3 of the paper with masking fluid we can now move onto a doing a little painting. But only a little, we need to add the glow from underneath the painting, so mix up some Cadmium Yellow mixed with some Lemon Yellow. You will notice that we are using strong colours, and in part opaque ones. They are not the normal colours we would chose for transparent paintings, all I can say here is be bold, mix very strong colours, the pigment will be dispersed by the water you have already hurled.

Now before we start to chuck paint, we must get the paper wet, so using he brush you would normally paint skies with I use the No9 wash brush to paint over the surface of the paper.

Aways work with spatter on a flat surface, we don't want runs.

Brush water very roughly all over the paper apart from the path and grassy area near the bench, there is no need to be precise and careful, just wazz the brush around, don’t bother about making strokes, just get the water down.

Brush sizes are so confusing, below you can see the difference between my No. 8 Sable brush and the larger No. 9 Squirrel brush.



Now place the template over the path area.

Allow the water to seep into the paper a little and then using the larger brush spatter the yellow you mixed earlier. Just hurl the paint and cover as much as you can, but allowing some whites to show through. Don’t forget, shake the brush before you take it over the painting to get rid of excess paint, and start at the bottom of an area, and work up.

First rough wash.


If you look carefully here you can see that I have kept the yellow paint away from the very top of the painting, as this is where the blue of the sky is going later. I have also indicated the areas where the larger sky holes have been masked, these are not trees, but the gaps in between.

Allow to dry, if you don’t feel that you have enough masking fluid on you could now on put some more over the yellow to preserve those highlight, especially in those bushes at the back of the bench, but I have decided that I have enough lights reserved, I intend to paint most of them yellow later anyway.

Lets Paint.

Lets Paint.
Right now let’s get mixing paint and have some fun.

First you need to remix the colours from the first wash, add a little more pigment. Then with the large brush spatter clean water onto the image and the slightly stronger yellow. Lift up the template to look underneath to see if the paint has run down the masking fluid into the reserved area. You also need to mop up the little puddles of wet paint sitting on the masking fluid. Allow to dry.

OK here is another opaque colour for you, Naples Yellow, ( If you don’t have it you could mix up some Lemon Yellow and a little raw sienna with a little white added to it) always use a good mix of colour, a cream to milk consistency, as the spatter is only tiny drops of paint and needs a strong mix to show through. It also dries very fast too.

Replace the template you may need to use something to weigh down the edges as when it gets wet the ends start curling up. I use tubes of paint, coins anything to hand.

Using the big brush first, spatter clean water onto the paper in the areas you want it, in this case randomly all over, ALWAYS start at the bottom and work up, that way you keep the bigger splashes of paint at the bottom of the section you are working on. Change brushes for the mid-ground and do the same, spatter water starting at the bottom of the section and work upwards and lastly get the smaller brush and do the same.

Now charge your brushes with the Naples Yellow and get spattering. Mix in a little Lemon Yellow to change the colour a little. Changing brushes as you work up the paper. Remember always go back to the bottom of the section you are painting when you put more paint on your brush. More control of the paint is gained by the strength in which you hit the other finger. The harder you hit it the bigger the spatter marks.

Work around the picture, spatter from the top, the bottom and the sides in order to create angles, it’s random, but it’s also controlled.

Leave to dry.

Now add a little Phthalo green to the mix you have, this should produce a bright but milky green. And repeat the above process.

Let it dry.

Here is where we are at with the first green applied.


Now add a little more green into the mix, with a little Lemon Yellow and Cad Yellow, making it a bit brighter and repeat the application water then paint.

Leave to dry.

Please do not post any replies here, a Homework Thread is available in the Gallery. Click HERE
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Insanity is hereditary ............ you can get it from your children ....or Grandchildren

Last edited by Roun2it : 08-03-2005 at 03:32 AM.
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Old 08-03-2005, 05:07 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

The build up of the picture moves on at a pace now, and it is very easy to get carried away and forget what we have learned. So let’s not forget the tips.

Start at the bottom and work up.
Build up from light to dark.
Use plenty of pigment in your mixes,
Use at least 3 different types of brushes.
Use different types of force to control spatter.
Spatter from differing heights.
Always Spatter clean water on the painting before applying paint.
Work around the picture from different angles.


OK add Cobalt Green into the mix, if you haven’t got it a turquoise type colour will do, if it’s transparent then add some white. Make it strong in pigment.


Keep adding Phthalo green to the mix to make it darker. Think about the areas you want to keep bright, and control your spatter.


Use different mixes, dark greens add some cerulean blue, you don’t always have to wait until it dries now, some interesting dark shapes can be obtained by spattering wet on damp. Most of all have fun now.


In the image below I have added a touch of Indigo to the mix, Whist the brush is loaded with paint put the Indigo mix into the darkest areas, as the brush begins to lose the liquid begin to add the darker mix into the lighter areas. Very shortly we are now going to make more paper templates to save areas so before doing that just a few well chosen darks need to be added there, so concentrate your very controlled spatter on the lighter areas, it just adds that little bit of definition.


Dry Completly

More Masking

A Candle to Light the Way

Now get your wax candle and gently rub it over the bushes just above and behind the bench, don't block out the whole area, in fact using little dab strokes would help to make leaf shapes, as the areas with no wax on them will allow dark paint to go behind and throw into relief the lighter areas. If you have an area that you fear is going too dark then add a little of the candle wax there. In this painting I have only applied the wax to behind the bench.


More Ripped Paper

Use more of the typing paper to mask out areas of the sky, at the top of the painting, this area we want to avoid placing too many darks. Make interesting shapes between the trees. Rip the paper, make jagged edges.

Replace the template for the path, add more Indigo and spatter away, remembering to add clean water first. Don't just use Indigo on it's own it is too dark and too blue for this stage. Use it in varing mixes of the different yellows and the two greens. I just have a dark colour mixed up and keep adding different colours to the edges of the mix, eventually you end up with a really dark mix, but you have added a number of different and interesting colours to the painting.

In applying the darks you begin to push out the lights, and as you go around the painting you can see dark areas developing, try and concentrate your spatter to thses areas, look for where the darker greens are and place your darks underneath, this will add to the realism as you go from light to dark. It is important here to say do not be tempted to use your brush to paint with, we are trying to achieve the randomness of nature here, keep the human meddling hand out of this, at this stage at least.


Remove the templates and check you work, now is a good time to stand well back, or check it through a mirror. If you need to add more dark tehn replace the templates and continue.


Even More Darks


We now need to get the dark area defined over the bench and under the trees on the left of the picture. To do this we must now cover the rest of the painting, ripping out a nice shape from the typing paper to expose the area we want to paint. You can see I've added little weights to hold down the paper mask. Now uou are free to spatter the dark paint at will, keep moving around, keep thinking shape, there is still form in the shadows.

That is it, you have spattered your first painting. We do not intend to spatter anymore here. The rest is boring old painting with a brush!!

I have removed the masking from the top half of the painting, just above the seat of the bench. I have left the remainder on so that we can paint the grassy area and the path.
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Old 08-03-2005, 07:39 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

OK here we go for the painterly bits, don't blink or you will have missed it. You can of course go your own way now. I have shown you the spatter, the rest is just painting.



Here a sky wash of weak cerulean blue has been added. Some of the darks have also been touched up a little with criss crosses around the edges just to help them blend in. Greens and yellows have been dropped into some of the white areas that had been reserved by the masking.

Add the Trunks
A good technique here is to do small areas at once, when the sky is dry add some clean water to the area in a squiggly horizontal motion. When we add the trunks the paint will disperse along these lines of water and, hopefully make some branches for you. See below where all I have done is apply lines vertically, but the paint has run out sideways. It also makes the distant trunks go fuzzy and allows them to blend into the distance more.





Here the tree trunks have been added into the distance, don't just paint solid lines, and take the trunks behind some of the foliage, especially when you get lower down. See how I have placed bits of trunk in short lines in the lower parts. They are all different thicknesses and colours. Use thin watery paint for the distant trunks.



Take out some of the colour in the dark area, to give the light against dark of the trees as the trunks pass through that area. I use Proxa Brush, like above, but you can use a bristle brush or a watercolour brush. Use clean water and dab off with a piece of kitchen roll. I use blotting paper, but it is difficult to find now.


The grass is added in 3 stages, first a wash of Lemon Yellow at the point under the bushes, then I add a little Phthalo Green to the Yellow an apply that in the mid-ground, then add a little Indigo and place that in the area nearest the path. I use the same method with the little wisps of grass across the front of the bench. Flick up at the edge to add blades of grass.



I have removed all the masking fluid and have painted the large tree in the foreground. I use Naples yellow as a base it is opaque and will give the milky glow I want for a tree that is not directly in the light, don't forget this is a back lit image. Into the Naples yellow I throw all sorts of colours, red, blue green but concentrating on keeping that glow of the opaque yellow. I've added raw sienna to the path with a dry brush.


And now the finished painting, yellow and green have been dropped into areas that needed that little bit of sparkle, I've painted the bench with Naples Yellow with added colours as I went along. The shadows on the bench were added with a mix of Burnt Sienna and Ultramarine Blue. And the cast shadows have been added with a large No 16 brush, stops me fiddling, with a mix of Cobalt Blue and Permanent Magenta (Alizarin Crimson will do), warmed up as they get to the front with a little Burnt Sienna.



I do hope you enjoyed this, it is difficult at first but if you follow the instructions and take heed of the hints and tips I am sure you too can end up with a painting something like the one above. Because over 80% of this image is down to technique and not skill. The spatter technique leaves thousands upon thousands of individually shaped and sized marks on your paper that you just can't get any other way. When it is combined with a few strokes of paint and other thing to make sense of the picture, the controlled randomness of the painting gives it a 'Realistic' feel to it.

Thanks for looking and taking part. The next Image, below I will start on Wednesday of next week, that will give everyone who painting Part 1 time to catch up.



Please do not post any replies here, a Homework Thread is available in the Gallery. Click HERE
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Last edited by Roun2it : 08-03-2005 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 08-25-2005, 02:57 PM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Well I may regret this, the painting is not finished yet, but I'm gonna start!!

Part 2


OK I think I’m feeling good, so without further ado we shall start Part 2. Anyone thinking of coming in here and starting from scratch, don’t, turn around and go back to Part One. I say that because I am going to assume knowledge here, if we have all done Part One then there will be no need to repeat myself, I say, there will be no need to repeat myself!!!

Just in case we get some miscreant who never reads instructions and wants to start here let me give out the warning I gave way back on the 1st of the month

Health and Safety Warning: Painting these pictures may damage your furniture, floor coverings, clothes and relationships!! As well as your cat!!

I hope the shoulder holds up though this, anyhow here we go…………….

Part Two ………….. A Woodland River, with Reflections.



Larger Image HERE

The major difference we see here, apart from water, is that the trees recede into the distance giving us perspective. We just considered up – down perspective in the last one, now we must think about front to back.

Here’s what I mean:

Lines of Perspective,


See how the foliage forms lines diminishing to the vanishing point in the distance.

Ariel Perspective.


Note here how much more detail there is in the leaf shapes, twigs and sticks can be seen at points ‘A’, there is less detail at points ‘B’, and no detail at all at point ‘C’.

So if we think back to the brush sizes we were using to spatter, it falls very nicely into large brush for ‘A’, medium brush for ‘B’ and small brush for ‘C’.

Let’s Get Going.

I’m doing this on a half sheet of W&N 140lb paper, stretched on a board, and I’m putting masking tape around the edge to preserve a white border.

Materials will be the same as in Part 1. But due the paper being bigger my big brush this time is a No 12. I will also be using some Gum Arabic.

Here is the pencil drawing. The lines are heavey so that you can see them, but with this method of painting you get lots of paint on the paper anyway so it doesn't really matter. I have also added the masking in places I see relevant. I have made no dramatic changes to this image, but I have made greater play for the dead branch on the right. Also remember to put in the sky holes and don't mask out the trees, they will be dark as the scene is backlit.



Remember to mask off areas going into the water to allow contrast, twigs branches and the like.

Please do not post comments, questions or pictures here, use the Homework Thread.

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Last edited by Roun2it : 08-25-2005 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 08-26-2005, 02:57 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Next Bit

Get out your scrap paper and make the template for the sky and the river, remember to rip the paper. I've tried using a roll of Lining wallpaper this time as it rips really well and gives nice rough edges. As the templates fit nicely to top and bottom edges I have also made little taped hinges on the templates to allow me to fold the paper back to examine what is happening underneath.



As you see the wallpaper is a bit difficult to keep down and needs some makeshift weights to keep it close to the paper.

Add the Glow

Dash a wash of clear water all over the tree foliage area, be rough, criss-cross and scrub. Then a mix of Cad Yellow and Lemon Yellow is washed on very loosely, leave to dry a little, then just as the sheen is going off add more Cad Yellow just dot dashing all over the place and then paint in some of the main tree trunks, getting some of the edges close up to the sky holes you have masked out previously.



Allow to dry, and on this occasion I have added spattered masking fluid, using the toothbrush tapped onto finger.



Time to Spatter

Replace template.

Now mix up some strong pigment, remember the consistency of between milk and cream. REMEMBER at the beginning spatter lots of water before you spatter paint.

With a loose mix of Cad Yellow, Lemon Yellow and Naples Yellow start with your big brushes and at the foot of the page and work up, swapping brushes as you get into the distant trees.

Allow to dry and then start on the greens, spatter water, then add a little Phthalo Green to the mix of yellows, spatter and add a little more green. Building up the colour as you go along.



Using various loose mixes of greens, start adding Cobalt Green, allow to dry, and then re-spatter fresh clean water.




Start to add a little indigo to the mix. And as you darken you can start to work on part wet, part dry paper. Think about where you want your darks and control your spatter. If you need to block out areas with more paper templates.



Don't worry about how it looks, these painting stay in the 'Ugly' stage for ages!!!!!! It will all pull together in the end, honest.

Please do not post comments, questions or pictures here, use the Homework Thread.

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Old 08-26-2005, 06:43 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Almost ready to put the water in but first of all we want to add the darks to make the lights stand out. If you look at the ref you will see how there are layers and layers of light and dark trees going into the distance. We could duplicate all these but there is no need to, just selecting a couple of areas where we want to add some shape to the tree canopy will make the rest of the area look more complicated than it is. Another one of those tricks of the eye.

So it’s back to the ripped up paper to add some more shape. Make some nice shapes in the trees, good shapes help you to make good paintings.



And with the dark paint spattered, and the templates removed. Keep building those darks.



This is a close-up of an area on the left of the picture, There is no way you could paint like this, and no sponging or any other technique will give you realism like this. It’s just a labyrinth of leaves, twigs and greens.



Lets Tackle the water.

I am going to use Cobalt blue in the sky area so we need some in the water too, but whatever blue is in the water we need to make dark. Looking at the ref pic, there is hardly any blue in there at all and the immediate foreground is just a mish-mash of dark and light. But having been there and taken the photo, stood in the river with wet shoes, I know that the surface reflected less light than the camera says and there was much more blue in the water.
I am only going to put the blue in the middle of the river, to reflect the triangle of sky we have at the top of the page so I just wet the river bed with clear water, making sure I keep away from the river bank edges, they will come later.

Let the water sink in a little, wait for the sheen to go off, then reapply a little more water in the very middle of the river, this will help control the soft edges you are looking for. Now with a thirsty brush, one that is wet but squeezed out, pick up some premixed strong cobalt blue and paint roughly in the middle of the river, don’t worry about brush stokes just wap the colour down. Keep the stronger colour at the foot of the triangle shape you make. Keep adding more colour to the bottom. You will never add too much!! But make sure you keep washing it out at the top.

Now add some Indigo into the Cobalt, just add it to the paper, roughly wiggling the brush around, starting at the bottom and working up, don’t put the Indigo anywhere the Cobalt hasn’t been, or the colour will be too strong. Allow to dry a little and mix the too colours on your palette and apply criss-cross strokes to the blue.



Allow to dry completely. Now comes the difficult bit, the colours and the reflections. But again keeping it simple will add the realism you we are after.

We need to work quickly here so prepare your paint before hand. The base colour for the water is Cad Yellow Pale, with Lemon Yellow, same as the trees. We will be adding Burnt Sienna, a Burnt Sienna & Lemon Yellow mix, (or Quin Gold if you’ve got it) Cobalt Green, and two types of dark Indigo and a dark mix of Burnt Sienna and Ultra Marine.

Now re-wet all the water area with clear water, taking great care not to disturb the paint on the edges or the blue in the middle. Make sure you get plenty of water on the white paper. Now we need to work fast the water needs to be kept wet, we need blurred edges. In the area where there are to be darker tree trunk reflections add some Gum Arabic, dip your brush in the bottle and apply it to the already wetted paper. DON’T overdo it, just one maybe two applications of fluid on the water area.

Why Gum Arabic?
The Gum Arabic will hold the colour in place as you paint the tree trunks, but it will allow the edges to blur. It saves all the messing of waiting for the right moment when the sheen goes off the paper.

Too much of the Gum will stop the colours binding and could even make a sheen on the paper and could crack when it dries.

Starting with the two yellow mix, if you have Cadmium Lemon, then use that colour on it’s own, paint roughly in the riverbank areas, this will give the underwater glow to the riverbed through the shallow water.

Blurred and Vertical is best for reflections
Try now to keep working all around the river area, starting at the back first just paint long vertical lines of colour, Cad Yellow, then Burnt Sienna. Add some Phthalo Green, but be careful, not too much of this green it is so strong. Keep saying to yourself ‘Vertical –Vertical –Vertical’ , now move around put some Burnt Siena under the bank on the both sides. Drag out the colour on the left, painting the BS over the yellow, move to the right an put some vertical strokes of the various colours in, keeping away from the darks yet. Lay some colour under where the main trunk reflections are to be. Then start adding the darks, with one brush stroke add the tree trunks, with the BS+FUB dark mix, start at the river bank and come towards the front, make the stroke go thicker by adding pressure as you come forward to get the perspective right.

Now quickly back to the left area and add some Lemon yellow and BS and with the point of a good brush, put some criss-crosses on the gold area, to help show the reflections of the riverbed. Now while still wet, go back to the furthest point add some more yellow , BS, Phthalo Green, and now some cobalt Green, keep the blue area clear of these colour by washing back the colours, but be careful not to disturb the paint.

Before it all dries, add a few stokes of the dark colour into the wet mixes, and then with the darks, Indigo and alternate with BS+FUB mix place into the river bank and bring it out into the water as though it is being reflected into the water.

PHEW!!!!!!!!! Now let it dry we’ll go back later……………

It should look something like this, sorry I couldn’t stop to take photos but you really need to move around the painting quickly to keep all the area wet and free of hard edges.



And now it’s dry remove the masking fluid.



I know it’s still looking ugly, but it will now start to improve. We’ll do the sky and the tree trunks next.

Please do not post comments, questions or pictures here, use the Homework Thread.

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Old 08-28-2005, 10:39 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Sorry I've been delayed but my shoulder has been playing up again, but I despearetly want to get this done and dusted.

And Now to Finish.

I now wet the sky areas, including some of the sky holes and drop into it a mix of Cobalt Blue with Indigo, in the main triangle of sky I make some cloud edges with a scrunched up kitchen roll. Be careful not to disturb the spatter paint it is rich in pigment and will wash off easily.

Allow to dry. Just before you put the trees in wash some water over the tree lined area with the point of a brush in a diagonal direction, this will encourage a blurring of the tree trunks, and if your lucky enough the paint will run along the lines to make branches off the trunks without painting them.

Now mix up a dark and a dark brown and begin to paint the trunks, don’t forget to place the trunks behind the foliage in places dot dashing some of the trunks especially near to the tops of the bushes where they disappear completely. Use different colours and different strengths of paint, also vary the widths of the trunks.



OK Now is where the tricky bit comes in, I am still learning to do these strokes convincingly enough, but here goes. First of all zig-zag some clean water across the foreground to help defuse the colour when it is painted on. Now with your dark paint mixed, I’m using Indigo and Burnt Sienna, paint in the reflections of the tree trunks, I used the point of my No 16 brush to do this.

Now clean up add paint to the white bits that were saved earlier and some darks into the banking.



I must admit I’m not too happy with how the last bits went, but overall it’s not that bad!!

Thanks to all those who took part in this lesson, I will now go and rest my weary arm!!!

Please do not post comments, questions or pictures here, use the Homework Thread.

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Old 11-24-2006, 12:59 PM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

This was such a wonderful, extensive lesson. I just wish I had the internet at home so I could follow along with the lesson and refer back over and over. I will attempt to do a painting as you taught. (Hopefully I'll remember enough when I'm home. I can't wait to try this! Thank you.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:32 AM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Hi Kev

Great demo you have done here.. One of the best on WC as far as I can see.. Looks like it was a lot of work..

Thanks for doing this.. I for one learned a lot.

Johnnie
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:35 PM
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Re: AUGUST Classroom - Realism Through Techniques

Thanks Joan and Johnnie. it has been a long time since I did this. And yes it was a lot of work

If you want to have a go then post in the classroom thread and I'll come over and have a look.

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