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Old 01-01-2019, 10:13 AM
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tmwilliams tmwilliams is offline
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Another disaster

Worked for hours to get my sketch right, and in ten seconds I wasted all that effort with a wash that was too dark.

I had tested the wash on another sheet, but in the concentrated area of the ship, it pooled dark. A paper towel just made it worse.

What would you have done differently?

Apologies for the shadows on the paper.

Thomas


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Old 01-01-2019, 11:47 AM
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Re: Another disaster

Dark is a relative property, add some contrast and all will be well.

Doug
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Old 01-01-2019, 11:59 AM
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painterbear painterbear is offline
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Re: Another disaster

When something like that happens, you can blot the wet paint gently with a paper towel to lift it. Or, you can let it dry slightly, moisten with a wet brush, then lift with a paper towel until it gets as light as you like.

As Doug said, you were judging the tone against a very pale sky and water. Adjust the colors around it and it will fit in nicely.

Sylvia
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:26 PM
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tmwilliams tmwilliams is offline
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Re: Another disaster

Sylvia - easier said than done! That's what I was trying. I need to work on "gently". Ha!

Doug - I'm trying to make hay from this mess.

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Old 01-01-2019, 12:42 PM
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Re: Another disaster

Looking OK to me.

Doug
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:17 PM
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painterbear painterbear is offline
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Re: Another disaster

The "mess" is only in your eyes, it looks pretty good to me too.

Sylvia
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Old 01-01-2019, 01:53 PM
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Re: Another disaster

I think you are too hard on yourself! It looks to be a great start. I took the liberty of sketching on it a bit with an Apple pencil. Just added a bit. There is a lot of detail you can put on. Keep in mind to vary the type and size of any lines and watch values. My sketching is pretty rough but hopefully you get the idea. I like that cobalt teal or whatever the blue is. I put a dab of it in a couple other places on the boat. On the spot in the sky you might try gently dabbing with a damp Q-tip.


My problem is I get too impatient and half way through a painting I HATE it! Its a matter of going in and fleshing out the details. Slowly but surely it all starts to come together. Be patient. Let things dry totally when you are going to be doing details like you have on your boat. Maybe that will help????


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Old 01-01-2019, 02:34 PM
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tmwilliams tmwilliams is offline
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Re: Another disaster

Jene,

I do get impatient, but I did let it try at each stage. New to WC, I must learn to control the amount of water on my brush. Because I wanted transparency, I had too much and it ran all over. My "gentle" dabbing of a paper towel made it quite bad and muddled for a time.

I'm not happy with some of the details, but it looks like what I did add mirrors your iPad rendering. I'm stopping to leave well enough alone.

She's the USS Texas - a 1914 era battleship that also served in WW II. Here she's refueling in Iceland in 1942. (She's still afloat as a museum ship near Houston, TX, although she's in bad shape and in great need of $$ work.)

Thomas

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Old 01-01-2019, 03:08 PM
oldey oldey is offline
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Re: Another disaster

I think it looks awesome! I see you added red too. Sometimes I just add red somewhere because I like red!
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:22 PM
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Re: Another disaster

Great finish! All paintings go through an "ugly" stage, you just have to soldier on.

Doug
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Old 01-01-2019, 03:30 PM
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Re: Another disaster

Well done! Very nice finish.

Remember the 3 Ps of watercolor painting: Practice, Patience, and more Practice!

You can put your finished work in The Gallery with a link to this thread if you like now.

Sylvia
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:46 PM
janinep7 janinep7 is offline
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Re: Another disaster

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmwilliams
Jene,

I do get impatient, but I did let it try at each stage. New to WC, I must learn to control the amount of water on my brush. Because I wanted transparency, I had too much and it ran all over. My "gentle" dabbing of a paper towel made it quite bad and muddled for a time.

I'm not happy with some of the details, but it looks like what I did add mirrors your iPad rendering. I'm stopping to leave well enough alone.

She's the USS Texas - a 1914 era battleship that also served in WW II. Here she's refueling in Iceland in 1942. (She's still afloat as a museum ship near Houston, TX, although she's in bad shape and in great need of $$ work.)

Thomas


I also think you did great with this one. You should feel proud of it. I think you are off to an amazing start with watercolor and your past painting experience is very obvious. Congrats!

A few tips from someone who's wrecked a bunch of paintings due to impatience, too much water on the brush, freaking out when I made a mistake, etc..... When it feels like things are going off the rails, or feel like they just did, in fact, go off the rails, put down the paintbrush immediately and STEP AWAY FROM THE PAINTING.

While it's drying, go make a cup of tea, do a load of laundry, have a snack or take a walk. You can't fix anything when it's wet. You can only ruin it more when it's wet or damp. To try to make a fix, it must be dry. (Repeat this until it becomes your mantra)

If you want to speed up the drying process, a hair dryer helps, but careful b/c if you have it on high it may blow the pigment particles around depending on how dilute the wash is. I use one from time to time, but have had mixed results with it.

A key skill for watercolorists to have is restraint, but that can only develop over time from messing up a lot. Restraint comes in handy when you can stop yourself in time to let something dry, give yourself some time away so you can see with fresh eyes, and also stopping BEFORE you've overdone it with the details. (A small brush can be a dangerous thing!)

Re: too much water in the brush - There is water in 4 places - the water pot, the paint mix in your palette, the paper and the brush. It's easy to forget about the water in the brush. I learned a cool trick from the workshop I took last year. I call it "zero-ing out" the water in the brush and you want to do it every time. First, mix up your puddle of paint to the right consistency. Then, rinse out your brush in the waterpot. Blot your clean brush on a paper towel or dish cloth or sponge to suck all the water out of it before you dip it in the puddle of paint. Don't go back to the water until you're ready to rinse out the color your working with and start over with a new color.

The brush never goes directly from the water pot to the paint puddle. That is how you control the amount of water in your brush. If you forget to blot the extra water out of your brush before you dip into the paint puddle, you will be diluting your wash every time and it will dry very "washed out."

Also, make sure to use plenty of paint when you mix up your wash. A good rule of thumb is that it should be the consistency of heavy cream. It should look way brighter than you think is right when it's wet if you want it to still be vibrant when it dries. If it looks right when it's wet, it's not. You'll hear that a lot too.

Whatever you're doing, keep doing it. You're off to a fabulous start. :0)
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:47 PM
janinep7 janinep7 is offline
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Re: Another disaster

Oops... you can also try lifting out an area you're trying to fix with a small piece of damp natural sponge. It's a little gentler on the paper surface than paper towel. Whoever said q-tip, that is a good idea too.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:58 PM
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tmwilliams tmwilliams is offline
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Re: Another disaster

Excellent advice, all. It's much appreciated.
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Old 01-01-2019, 10:39 PM
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Re: Another disaster

Thomas, the finished result is great and proves a few lessons that I have learned over the years from this very site:

1. All paintings go through an “ugly” stage.
2. Never give up on a painting just because things aren’t going well. Use the painting as a tool to learn how to fix errors and correct issues. Remember, it isn’t finished until it is finished.
3. As someone pointed out above, walk away and come back when you are ready (in the right frame of mind).
4. Every painting you ever do is just practice for the next one.

I once painted a scene that I thought was ruined within 15 minutes of starting but I decided that I had nothing to lose and pushed on. I still wasn’t happy with the vibrancy of the completed painting so I glazed a wash of Hansa Yellow over the sky (I had never had the courage to do this before but hey, this painting was already ruined in my mind and I was simply using it for practice). My “failed” painting ended up winning first prize for works on paper:
http://aaronsart.com.au/2017/05/26/s...r-morpeth-iii/

Good luck to all and keep painting.
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