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  #16   Report Bad Post  
Old 10-13-2007, 03:39 PM
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Re: The Top Twenty FAQs

15. TREES AND BUSHES - HOW ARE THEY PAINTED?

There are many ways of painting trees and bushes, they have distinctive shapes. Conifers and evergreens keep most of their leaves throughout the year but even they have distinctive forms.

In winter deciduous trees and shrubs loose all their leaves and it is easy to see the form of their branches. It is worth studying the different tree types as the form of their branches varies between the species. Experts can even tell the species of trees from their silhouette.

Bare trees are usually painted in the direction of growth starting with the trunk and branches and finally painting the twigs with a rigger brush. Check the angle of the branches to the trunk as this is often what gives the tree its distinctive shape. Some branches occur in pairs, others alternately, and some curve upwards, others downwards. Remember that branches also come toward the viewer, not just either side of the trunk.

It is important to remember the direction of the light and apply shadows to the shaded side of the trunk and foliage. Foliage is best painted using three shades with a warmer green on the sunlit side, mid green for the main mass of the tree and a darker green for the shaded areas. Paint can be applied with the side of a brush (dry brush technique) and this is best done on rough paper, or even applied with a sponge to get a lighter effect.

Don’t paint trees as a solid mass, leave “holes for the birds to fly through” and a few loose leaves around the edge of the tree will fool the eye into seeing the whole tree as composed of separate leaves.

Finally, remember to ground the tree or bush with a shadow or it will appear to float.

Some Handbook Articles

Trees and Foliage by Marvin Chew
Painting Trees by Rod Webb

Useful External links:
Painting Trees
Blotted Trees by Suzie Short

Last edited by Yorky : 10-15-2007 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:40 PM
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Re: The Top Twenty FAQs

16. HOW DO I GET A GOOD CRITIQUE FOR MY PAINTINGS?

To grow as painters, we need feedback from others about our work. Although it is nice to receive laudatory comments when we post our paintings, sometimes we want to hear more about what we can do to move them to a higher level. The first step is to do a self-critique before showing the painting to others. Mike McAloon has put together an excellent “checklist” of questions for self-critiquing that he compiled from several sources that you can see here. It is helpful not only for looking at your own work but also when you give a critique of someone else’s painting.

The easiest way to get a good critique is to ASK for one. Just say something like "Comments and critiques are invited," or even more simply, "C & C welcome."… The person doing the critique should take into consideration your level of experience and point out the strengths in the work as well as any problem areas. He or she should also suggest possible solutions for you to consider. If someone makes a suggestion that isn’t specific enough, ask for a clarification. For example, if the person says something like “Needs more darks,” but you don’t know where you should add them — ask! Remember that critiques are subjective and one person’s point of view; it is up to you to decide whether to make the changes suggested. Trust your instincts about this; only you know what you were trying to say in your painting. It’s a good idea to wait and get several opinions before acting on any of them. Here are some tips on how to get the most from a critique from noted art teacher and author Nita Leland:Surviving Workshop Critiques.

We all benefit from good critiques: the artist, the person doing the critique, and those who follow the thread. As artist Nancy Geyer said in an article in The Artists’ Magazine, “As much as we experience art in a nonverbal way, we are also very influenced — not to say energized — by the conversations we have about it.”

Here are some interesting threads about critiques you might enjoy reading:
Six Techniques for Handling Criticism; A How-to Checklist for Giving a Critique; and To Critique or Not to Critique?

Last edited by painterbear : 11-28-2008 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:40 PM
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Re: The Top Twenty FAQs

17. MOUNTING AND FRAMING - HOW IS IT DONE?

Watercolors are traditionally mounted under glass and in a frame of some type. This is done primarily to protect the watercolor and then to display it. As with everything else there are a lot of methods used, and materials to use, each artist has their favorite "right" way to do it. Essentially the process requires layers of materials to be placed in front of and then behind the watercolor similar to a sandwich. This sandwich is then placed in a frame.

The sandwich goes from front to back in this order:
  1. The Glass, in many cases this is UV protective glass,
  2. In a double mat framing the outer mat with an opening cut a little wider then the inner mat’s opening to display some of that mat (usually ¼ - ½ inch of the inner mat on each side).
  3. The inner mat with an opening cut just smaller than the size of the painting (approximately 1/8-1/4 inch smaller on each side depending on the size of the painting.)
  4. The watercolor painting.
  5. The back matting, here is where the painting is actually mounted. In museum mounting the artwork is attached to the back of the innermost mat.
  6. Acid free shouldbe mentioned here since so many decide filler doesn't have to be acid free, especially framers! Foam core fill if required for the frame.

This sandwich of materials is then placed in the frame and a dust cover of paper is place on the back and sealed to the frame with framing tape.

The above is accomplished with a variety of materials and quality of materials. As with most things, the better the materials, the better the framing, the more the cost. It is vital that all materials be acid free and of archival quality. The traditional “museum mount” with all linen hinges etc. can be quiet expensive but is in my opinion the best.

There is currently a trend in watercolors to spray the paintings with a clear fixative and then use clear acrylic sealer and/or varnish on the paintings. In this case no glass is needed and the painting can be mounted essentially like an Oil or Acrylic painting. However, this may not be acceptable in some juried shows, competitions and galleries. It's advisable to check your prospectus.

From the handbook these links:

Matting Advice - Boston Museum of Fine Art (follow link How to Care for Works of Art on Paper -- Museum of Fine Arts Boston)

Online Matting site
Online Matting and Framing
Matting and Framing by Daniel Smith
Matting your Work by Daniel Smith

Some links on Varnishing Watercolors.

Fixative and Varnish – revisited
After you are done? FIxative?
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:41 PM
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Re: The Top Twenty FAQs

TOOLS:

18. BRUSHES - WHAT ARE THE TYPES AND WHAT SHOULD I BUY?

Watercolor brushes can be categorized in three basic ways; materials, shape, and size. These categories determine what they are design to be used for.

The materials used to make a brush, or the hairs, can be natural, synthetic, or a blend of both. The natural hairs are usually sable, or squirrel. In the sable area are the Kolinsky Sable brushes. A true Kolinsky brush is made from a mink that lives in Siberia and north eastern China.

The basic shapes are rounds and flats, with some additional variations such as the cat’s tongue. Within each basic shape there are many variations and purposes.

The size of round brushes is identified by a number with the larger number being the larger brush. With flats they are identified by their width. The size brush you need will be determined by the size paintings you usually paint and your style of painting.

Here are links that will take you to the handbook section, articles, and threads that deal with your question in more detail

Handbook Resources
An excellent section by Deb Leger Selecting and Maintaining Your Watercolor Brushes

Associated Threads on Brushes
Brush Suggestions
Help with Brushes
Flat Wash Brushes
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:42 PM
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Re: The Top Twenty FAQs

19. PALETTES - WHICH SHOULD I BUY?

Palettes are another tool where there are as many variations as there are artists and as many “right” ones. Fortunately most are not very expensive. Essentially anything that can hold paint and water could be a palette. Most think of a palette as the place to hold paint, mix paint with water for value changes, or mix paint with paint for color changes. The basics are a flat white surface for mixing that doesn’t let water run off. Some will have wells to hold the paint right out of the tubes. Some will have a variety of mixing areas. Finally some will have all that plus a cover. Initially get something inexpensive. As you grow your needs will change and so will your choice of palette?

Associated Threads
what does your WC palette look like?
Palette Advice
Stay Wet Palette
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:43 PM
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Re: The Top Twenty FAQs

20. MASKING FLUID - WHAT IS IT AN HOW IS IT USED?

Masking fluid (sometimes called liquid frisket) is a resist material comprised of latex rubber in a water/ammonia mix. It is used to protect the dry surface to prevent further washes from reaching the paper and can be used to protect white areas or previous washes. Popular makes are Winsor & Newton (yellow) and Pebeo (blue), and in the US Incredible White Mask and there is a range of special applicators called Masque Pens which comprise a bottle of masking fluid with a fine metal applicator tube affixed to the cap, allowing direct application to the paper.

When exposed to air masking fluid dries to an impermeable rubber film which lies on the surface of the paper. When you have completed work in the area it is advisable to remove the masking as soon as possible.

On no account should masking fluid be applied to wet paper as it will soak in and be impossible to remove.

Masking fluid is best removed with a special rubber pick-up, but it can simply be rubbed off with your finger.
Due to the rubber content, it is advisable not to use a good brush to apply masking fluid, as it is almost impossible to remove dried masking fluid from the bristles. Any cheap brush or pointed implement can be used and it is best to protect the bristles by rubbing on a bar of soap before dipping into the fluid. Some people use a metal ruling pen as it can be used to draw fine lines or cover larger areas and is easy to clean.

Make sure you replace the cap immediately to prevent drying up in the bottle. masking fluid should be stirred and not shaken a bubbles are difficult to remove. For masking fine lines it can be diluted slightly with water. Masking fluid has a definite shelf life and should be replaced once it becomes thick by evaporation.

Alternative methods of masking larger areas include the use of adhesive frisket or masking film, often used by air brush artists or simply masking the edges the protecting larger areas with paper or Saran wrap. If there is no intention of painting over the masked areas, some people even use clear candle wax or white crayon as a resist for small areas or to apply texture.

Useful Threads:
Using Masking Fluid by juneto
Masking Fine Lines

Last edited by Yorky : 06-14-2009 at 05:19 PM.

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