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Old 03-28-2008, 05:47 AM
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April 2008 LET'S GET WET! Class — Tutorial

Hi

Its great to know that you are all looking forward to the tutorial. Unfortunately I am having problems uploading my tutorial, so I am enlisting the help of Sylvia and Ted to get the class started.

Unfortunately until I find out what my problem is I won't be able to post.

Please don't post in this tutorial, post comments, questions and homework in the Homework Thread

Doug

Here's a link to the Video of the Tutorial as well.

Sylvia
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Last edited by painterbear : 04-01-2008 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:19 AM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!

Lets Get Wet


Painting water and reflections


The sparkle of light on a single puddle or the wet pavement reflecting the world from above is enough to inspire any artist. The light of the sky casting its colour and mood upon the sea, river, canal or a simple puddle is surely one of the most beautiful elements one could wish to convey, capturing its colour, flow and rhythm can be a challenge, I find the transparency of watercolour the ideal medium for such a challenge.

I don’t propose to be a massive expert in this field but I do enjoy painting wet reflective scenes.

I am very flattered that I have been asked to hold this month’s classroom and only hope that I can deliver a lesson that is informative and motivating. I am usually in a classroom when I hold my painting workshops and know that teaching in this way will require a slightly different approach.

For those of you who are familiar with my work you will know that I like to keep it loose and simple with limited fuss if I can, I like to avoid all unnecessary detail and get straight to the point, simplicity is my aim. I have been known to sacrifice accuracy in my aim for impressionism. There are many wonderful artists who approach subject matter in their own unique and individual way and I am not for one minute underestimating the value of this work but my own personal aim is to ‘say it with less’ and I can say from experience that it can sometimes be harder to leave things out than to put them in, if you know what I mean. Even if my style doesn’t suit you I still hope that you will gain something from this. The suggestions I will make will be simple practical and achievable even basic at times because I feel that going back to basics and examining the fundamentals can be crucial for success.

I aim this lesson at all and hope that all levels of ability will enjoy it. I am often heard saying to students that if they manage to pick up at least one small bit of info during a lesson then perhaps it has been worth it.


Hello






Before we get started, thought I would say hello with this photo of myself standing under my fishing umbrella with my fellow artist and friend Jean. This was taken in July last summer on one of our painting days. The large brolly is very handy as we are still able to paint in the summer rain but it is heavy and turns have to be taken when we carry it from the car and to our desired painting destination. Living in Britain means that it is usually needed on most of our trips.





In general words are not my strong point, I prefer to communicate with colour, tone harmony, shape mood and atmosphere. With that in mind I do not plan to
base this lesson around one single image I hope to bombard you with lots of different thoughts, photo reference, painted examples and several demonstrations and photo reference for you to create your own individual paintings.. I will base the tutorial around a landscape theme in the hope that I can inspire and motivate you to paint water and reflections with confidence.

The tutorial will consist of

Sky and water washes
Creating mood and atmosphere
Isolating areas of water
Reflections
Still water
Moving Water
Painting puddles

There will also be a video posted in the learning zone that will link with this tutorial.
__________________
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My Website http://artbyboon.co.uk

Last edited by Yorky : 04-01-2008 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:44 AM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!

I would also at this point like to mention Maggie Latham’s excellent classroom last month on the subject of Easy wash techniques in watercolour, a very informative thread that links nicely with the first part of this lesson. These washes are invaluable to the watercolour painter and are the backbone of all great watercolour paintings. As Maggie suggests practice them and your confidence will grow. If you have the confidence to flood the paper with clean fresh washes from the start then half the battle is won. Many of my own paintings are started this way; I try to cover almost all of the paper with colour apart from any whites I may need, let this dry and then work up the details



Below are examples of sky and water washes, a small line divides the two. Notice that the same colours are used in the sky and water area. The two separate areas balance well in colour and harmony producing a mirror image and creating double the beauty. Think about the colours you will chose as they will determine the finished mood/atmosphere of the final painting as well as giving an overall unity to your work. Try to practice these types of washes on small scraps of paper to build your confidence before moving on to paint a larger version. I find it helps to wet the paper first before applying a wash, as this will give an even flow of paint especially in the water area.














Containing and Isolating Water.

Lets take this a stage further and create two sections of land in the lower half of the painting using Burnt Sienna. The sky wash is then echoed into the water area.
By painting the sand areas the water is now contained and provides a wet pathway into the picture






Here I have sectioned the water into smaller channels of water that take the viewer towards the horizon. The dark sand helps to make the water appear lighter











This study follows the same rules. The inclusion of the distant rocks help to give scale and distance to the study. The channel of water curves effectively out towards the sea.








The hint of a reflection from the edge of the sand into the water plays an important part when adding depth to the water. I do this by placing a line of the sand colour {Burnt Sienna} under the sand itself and into the water area, the first wash is dry, using clean water I then pull the colour down into the water glazing the burnt sienna over the ultramarine wash to create depth.





I now clean my brush and pull the wet paint down into the water




This now creates depth and a division between water and land.










In this example I placed the reflections of the distant headland while the water area was still wet producing a soft hazy effect. I used a sharp craft knife to scratch out a division between the headland and water. Both sky and water are well balanced and the colours chosen help to give the study a moody atmospheric feel.


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Old 04-01-2008, 11:08 AM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!





The sky as well as the distant blue rocks and the warm brown rocks are reflecting their colour and shape into the wet sand. Note how the edges of the reflections become broken as they come closer into the foreground, the lines become tighter and closer together as they recede into the distance. This is because they are following the rules of perspective. I have found that when I wet the paper and paint reflective areas using a wet into wet technique the reflections appear softer and the washes flow together nicely to suggest ‘wet’












Red Wharf Bay In this example I have used the methods we have discussed. The sky colour is reflected into the channels of water, the dark sand helps to contain them. The sand and tree colour also reflects into the water. I used a ‘lifting out’ technique to get back to the white paper for the cottage reflection a method we will discuss later.




DEMO


Why not try this quick exercise.









Take a look at this photo; note how the sky colour dominates the colour of the water. With this in mind lets place a wash of sky/water colour all over our paper. You can choose any colour you like but always remember that the colours you use will determine the overall mood/outcome of the painting.






The colors I have used are Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Blue and a little Yellow Ochre. These washes have been flooded all over the paper and then allowed to dry. I then paint in a distant headland using the Cobalt Blue.




In goes the middle distance using Cobalt Blue and a little Burnt Sienna. Don’t worry too much about detail this is after all a quick exercise and doesn’t have to be a finished painting although you may wish to produce a finished piece at a later date.






Using just Burnt Sienna paint in the foreground rocks. Now we have a painting that contains beautiful sky colour that reflects into the sea. Once you have tried this quick exercise and are confident you could decide to paint again using a change of palette to create a different mood or include more detail if you wish.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:59 AM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!






In this photo we have another opportunity to capture the light on the pool of water that recedes into the distance look how it conveniently creates a pathway into the painting. I have also decided to change the colour of the sky and its reflection into the water. Remember you dont always have to paint exactly what the photo has to offer you are the artist and are allowed to make changes such as this.
















Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber and a little Raw Sienna are flooded onto the wet paper to create the sky area. The same colours are placed into the area of water.









Now I paint in the distant hill and the middle distant hill leaving small gaps of white paper for the small cottages.






Using Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna loosely paint in the land around the water shape. Now the water shape is contained and surrounded by land.












Small details of the cottages are added and now we have a colourful impressionistic interpretation of the scene. The colour of the water links well with the sky area





Reflections



Because water is absorbent this will always have an effect on light and colour, reflections can appear darker and colour can becomes muted
The shapes reflected into it usually determine the appearance of the surface of water; these reflections can often be subdued, fused and soft edged. The general rule is that light objects reflect a darker reflection and dark objects reflect a lighter tone. I personally don’t always obey this rule because I know from observation that it is not always true and after all rules are meant to be broken, my advice would be to carefully observe reflections and make your own observations using pencil/charcoal or by producing a one colour study







The two bushes are reflected into the water. They are almost a mirror image.










If I turn the painting upside down so the reflection is on top you can clearly see how they reflect as a mirror image. Many students find that if they turn their painting upside down to paint in the reflections it takes the fear away and gives a more accurate result.












Still water











Here we are reflecting a small white house into the river. The reflection is not broken or distorted it sits in still water. It is also worth noting just how important the dark washes around the house, land and water are, and these dark tones help to emphasize the white shape. Without the dark we would have no light.








Moving water







This example shows us how the same refection would look if the water was not as still, perhaps broken by a gentle wind. The edges of the house are slightly distorted but still retain the mirror image. A flat brush is ideal when suggesting broken reflections such as this.


Reflections don’t have to be complicated, take the reflection of the white boat for example; I have simplified its reflection using broken brushstrokes of one colour









This small rock reflecting into the wet sand is another example of making a simple statement to suggest the stones wet shape and form as it sits on the wet sand. Simple brushstrokes echo its shape.



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Last edited by Yorky : 04-01-2008 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:05 PM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!

Using a flat brush to suggest reflections and ripples on water.






A wash of Ultramarine Blue has been allowed to dry, by using a stronger wash of blue and a flat brush I am able to create horizontal strokes that suggest a rippled surface. This technique is worth practicing. Try using different brushes to achieve lively results let your brushstrokes be spontaneous, aim for a simple statement that will suggest ripples of darker colour over your dry wash. Practice this on scraps of paper and build your confidence before you start on the real thing.






















This example shows a wet into wet method of creating ripples. The raw sienna wash was still wet when I applied strokes of Cobolt blue into it. This method can be exiting and less predictable as happy accidents can occur




Lifting out paint.













In this example I have used the lifting out technique to suggest the reflection of the boat. I do this by re wetting the area with a stiff brush and lifting out the paint with tissue. As you can see I haven’t managed to get back to the white of the paper as the under wash of Prussian blue is a staining pigment so it is well worth knowing which of your paints are the staining variety if you want a true white when using this method. I know to my cost that Prussian blue is staining as most of my clothing is permanently stained with this colour!









Another example of lifting out with a stiff brush and tissue. Note that I have managed to get back the white of the paper, this is because Ultramarine does not stain and therefore leaves almost white paper.



clean water a stiff brush and tissue are needed to lift the dry paint from the paper















Monochromatic study using wax resist.


Before applying the washes I have used a piece of wax to highlight the white cottage, I have also placed some horizontal strokes of wax into the water area.






Darker tones have now been placed to sugest distant trees, a stronger wash has been placed into the water and around the cottage to sugest reflections.






I paint a weak shadow tone onto the side of the cottage and into its reflection. You can clearly see the wax now and although it is a little hit and miss it still retains the white of the paper






A darker wash is now applied around the cottage to suggest more trees.




Using my flat brush I place horizontal brushstrokes to suggest some movement into the water.







In the final version you can see that I have echoed the darker tree shapes into the water and around the cottage, a few suggestions of posts at the waters edge and a hint of detail in the reflection of the cottage itself. The waxed area allowed me to be bold when applying the water washes, as I knew that the white of the paper would be retained.







My thoughts on masking fluid/Frisket

I suppose I am jumping on my soapbox now but just want to share my thoughts about masking fluid. I personally try to avoid the stuff if I can, that is not to say I haven’t used it or will never use it again as it can be useful and does have its merits. I will only reach for it if I have an area that I need to preserve that could prove tricky to paint around. In the past I found that it became a crutch and I relied upon it unnecessarily. It made me a lazy painter and stopped me from ‘thinking on my feet’ I have also had occasions when I have ripped the paper when removing it and ruined a painting in the process. I also have also wrecked many a decent brush as I haven’t removed it fast enough and the hairs of the brush have become stuck together when the masking fluid had dried, so I now do my best to get along without it if I can. This of course is my own personal view and I will not inform the ‘Masking Fluid’ Police if I see you using the stuff.


Exercise to try.
[IMG]












Only two colours are needed to paint this simple little scene, Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna. Practice painting the reflections of the rocks, posts and boat, Keep your brushstrokes loose and free by making a simple statement with your brush to describe their shape and form as they are reflected into the water. When dry practice-placing suggestions of ripples and water movement in the waters foreground.


Another exercise to try.





Another simple exercise for you to try.

Three colours,
Ultramarine Blue,
Burt Sienna
Cadmium Yellow.

Three trees sit on the riverbank, notice that the foreground tree leans slightly to the left, as does its reflection. The two crops of distant trees only reflect their top half into the water because they are further away. Only objects that are at the waters edge are fully reflected, objects that are further away only reflect part of its shape into the water this is because you would only see what would be visible from the water level.
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Old 04-01-2008, 01:51 PM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!

Just lost a whole page of the tutorial, looks like the site is playing up again. There is more to come so I will try to post later.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:30 PM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!

This sketch illustrates the above point.




The riverside shrubs, posts and Trees reflect fully into the water, the distant hill and houses are partially obscured and only show a partial reflection.







My Example

In this example I have used all of the techniques I have discussed. The water echoes the soft colours of the sky; this sets the whole mood of the painting. Soft vertical strokes with a flat brush reflect the shape and colours of the shrubs and trees. The small post reflection has been lifted out with a small brush, clean water and tissue. I have also lifted out horizontal lines with my flat brush through the water area when
Dry as this helps to break up the reflections, create more movement and get back to white paper. Finally I used a sharp craft knife to scratch back some light areas on the edge of the riverbank.
















Have a go….

Take a look at this photograph. Notice how the reflections are slightly broken suggesting gentle movement in the water. The sky also reflects its colour into the water giving a unity and mood to the scene. Note how the reflections are almost a mirror image of the objects they are reflecting. The water is not perfectly still, we know this because the reflection is broken and slightly distorted suggesting a ripple from a gentle breeze. This is a lovely example and is a suitable subject for you to try. Why not try painting a one colour monochromatic study first to build your confidences and plan your tonal values.













Here is my version of the scene working from the above reference. By using various tones of Payne’s gray I have produced a monochromatic study. I am a BIG fan of preparation work and believe it has an essential role to play before starting a painting. In my opinion planning is so important no matter what subject we are to paint, if painting water and reflections is not your strong point them it makes sense to plan and explore before you start on your finished painting. Your preparation need not be a masterpiece that is not the aim; it is your shorthand and plan for your finished painting. It allows you to explore tone and make decisions on the darkest values within your painting, the lightest values and those in-between. It also allows an opportunity to make changes to the composition. I very rarely start a painting that I am serious about without doing this type of study be it in Watercolour, Pencil or charcoal.













Working from the above photograph I have painted a monochromatic preparation study in order to make sense of the scene and plan the tonal values needed. Notice I have made a few small changes in order to give a better composition. I have even moved the puddles around and placed one directly under the foreground post in order to catch its reflection.


More to come.......
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:48 PM
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Re: April 2008 Class - Let's Get Wet!

Get your Wellington boots on and let’s splash around in some puddles.





Ted’s puddle photo.


I rather like this photograph of the wet path and the reflections of the posts in the puddles. This is the photograph that I would like to base the final demonstration on.

Thanks to Ted {1973} for the Reference.







Colours used.
Payne’s Grey
Cadmium Yellow
Burnt Sienna
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue.





Raw Sienna and Payne’s Grey was used to paint the sky area and puddle water.




I used Payne’s Grey and cadmium Yellow to suggest the distant tree shapes making sure that I miss the light areas of the posts.









The same mixture but using less Payne’s gray is used to create the fields.

The pathway creates a perfect opportunity to create the light puddles. Using Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna sweep your brush around the puddle shapes. As my brush sweeps over the paper it misses and creates small areas of white paper, they will later become wet stones on the road.



Using Burnt Sienna I paint in the posts remembering to leave a white highlight. I also brush this colour into the foreground grass area and along the edge of the grass as it meets the path.






The reflections of the tall posts are treated very economically using simple brushstrokes to suggest their shape using burnt Sienna and a little Ultramarine Blue. The dark reflections help to highlight the light water. I have also included more reflections than the photo shows for more impact.










Using Ultramarine Blue and crimson I mix a shadow purple and a separate wash of Burnt Sienna. I then glaze horizontal strokes over the initial wash of the path, I allow the two washes to mix on the paper and try to keep some of the lighter highlights. This can be a rather hit and miss affair, by allowing the washes to run together and do their own thing you have less control. Try not to fiddle with them and let them do their own thing; it’s usually worth it.





In this final version you can see that I have used the light highlights on the path to create stones by placing a darker wash of Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna under them, I also put another wash of the same mix under this and let it soften into the wet pathway to suggest a slight reflection. Ensuring that the stones follow the rules of perspective and become smaller as they recede into the distance. Their shiny light tops help to suggest the wet day.
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:03 PM
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Re: April 2008 Class - LET'S GET WET!

LINKS TO SOME ARTICLES ON PAINTING WATER AND REFLECTIONS

Painting a Boat Scene by Rodd Webb

Water Reflections by Rodd Webb

How to Paint Reflections in Water by Andy Walker
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Old 04-01-2008, 05:32 PM
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Re: April 2008 Class - LET'S GET WET!

Here's a link to Ted's video thread of Joanne's demo.

And here's Joanne's completed painting:



Doug

Last edited by Yorky : 04-17-2008 at 04:40 AM.

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