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Old 07-22-2009, 10:41 AM
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Yellow Tulip Yellow Tulip is offline
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Loose watercolor painting

Loosely and juicy is a style I love most so far. But unless I can see someone's work and try to paint something similar, I have no clue how to paint a watercolor from a photograph loosely. Guess I am lack of imagination.

Any advice please?
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:10 AM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

Be quick.

stand up, grab the end of your brush and have at it.

I draw a light drawing on my paper. Then I mix my paint and set the timer. I make a point to touch the brush to the paper only once on any given spot.

I set a time of say five minutes and go to town. Often I work on more then one piece so I can let one dry while I paint another, quickly.

a few glasses of wine never hurts either...
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:09 PM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

http://www.btinternet.com/~rupertyar...hn_yardley.htm
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:38 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

Unless you have Gradations of Color ,(Color running from dark to almost paper color ) which requires a Lot of water and often color running from one into the other, you will not achieve the loose look .
It often , but not necessarily ,begins with paper Wet on both sides and placing of initial washes, before you go in to refine the Details .Some people Do Wet small areas and still achieve the Wet look.
But the gradations will always be there .
Do some more looking at Pictures and asking yourself "Is this a Loose painting? " ,ask yourself, 'Why " The opposite of "Loose " is " Tight ".Some paintings use both ,tight and loose, in the same work .Gradations and enormous Detail .As you look more , you will see this .
June
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:54 PM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

Loose is a huge subject, that June begins to explain.

Loose is not sloppy.
Loose is a contradiction because it is highly controlled work.

Tonal Thumbnails 5x7
Color thumbnails 5x7
Controlled washes and wet on dry, using the three wash method.
A couple of 1/4 sheet paintings in their own right (to work out the kinks)

Then...
Standing at an easel
Vertical paper
Using clear composition principles
A good fast sketch
Knowing your color palette
Wet tube paint
Wet on wet
Mixing on the paper
Drying times
Good brushes
Big brushes
Good brush marks
Simple brush marks
Total concentration
Know when to stop


Oh did I say PRACTICE?
Sheets and sheets of play on practice paper with Cotman or Van Gogh paints?
Then and only then Artist paints with good paper?

I use a #16 round or a 1" flat on a 1/4 sheet

Be brave......

Last edited by Neeman : 07-22-2009 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:19 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Neeman
Then and only then Artist paints with good paper?


I disagree to a point. The best paints are better to work with. Life is short, enjoy the best you can afford and enjoy as much as you can.
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:30 PM
Neeman Neeman is offline
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnj
I disagree to a point. The best paints are better to work with. Life is short, enjoy the best you can afford and enjoy as much as you can.

Sheets and sheets of play
Just as children learn thru unbridled play and experiment

I can burn thru 8 1/4 sheets in a sitting
so...
I am very happy for you that you can afford to use Artist grade paints and good paper
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:32 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

I didn't say I can afford the best, I was encouraging others to....
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Old 07-22-2009, 03:36 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

If you can borrow them (try interlibrary loan) Don Andrews has a great set of videos showing how he does his very loose style paintings. He is rather fond of bright colours and watching him paint at first looks like watching an impending train wreck, then suddenly it all snaps together.

Not a style I would recomend to the timid painter. Be assertive, be quick, and practice, practice, practice. I have gotten very good at turning white paper into rainbow sherbert mixed with mud.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:57 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

hmmm, if I were to give you some key points:
1. Do your sketch of the photo with either a brush or with a watercolor pencil, avoid a pencil or graphite, as those lead you to detail.
2. Draw as much as possible with a continuous line without lifting the brush or pencil from the paper, which will help you connect shapes.
3. Identify shapes in your photo that are of similar value and draw them as a single shape, and when you paint them allow the separate colors to merge. In other words, work your darks continuously.
4. Work with a larger brush than you think possible to paint with. I'm thinking size 24 round here.
5. Use pigment in thicker consistency and darker tone than you usually do, less diluted than you think it needs to be. Usually the difference between loose and sloppy is that sloppy has too much water in it.
6. Leave as much of the lighter areas as white paper as you can.
Try these tactics out, I hope they will help.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:20 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

I think it has a lot to do with learning to see. A trick that I've used is blurring a photo with photo software, and comparing it to the original. I don't paint from the blurred image, but I've been using this to help me learn to "see".
For me it's been about losing the details and truly seeing the shapes and values.
It take's time and practice, but it can be learned.
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:27 AM
Ray72113 Ray72113 is offline
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

Loose painting style, Ahhh, As they say, does not mean sloppy.
Plan your painting carefully, make each brush stroke sure and without hesitation, no second thoughts.

Tips on painting from a photo. Do not try to reproduce the photo. Do a value sketch of the photo image and paint from it. Photos are mostly a single mid value and the perspective of photos are lies. Use a photo only as inspiration. Photos are seldom correct compositions, so use your power as an artist to make your own compositions. You are in control of your vision, not the camera that took the picture.
Take the opportunity to draw and sketch from real life. Only then will you see the real shapes in real space and understand how the world looks to the eye and not the camera.
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:51 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

One more tip on painting loose....DON'T go back in to tweak if you can help it. The more tempted you are to tweak, the more detail you will add and the look will be lost. There's also a danger of making mud.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:18 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

May I share a few comments from my personal experience?

Beginning painters hear it all time...."relax, loosen up, or paint with a bigger brush." (the small brush is the ultimate brush of a control artist)

But, from my experience, when I began painting, I was terrified of making a mistake. I painted slowly and cautiously, and deliberately - to avoid ruining my pictures. I was more goal then process orientated. The painting at the end of the job was the be all and end all of my journey.

Looseness is a luxry which comes with experience and confidence.

Paint every day, paint 'till your fingers ache, paint, paint, paint.

I often paint the same scene several times. The second time around is better then the first. And, the third is more liberating then the second.

Somewhere along the way, my confidence began to grow and my nervousness and anxiety decreased. And, it wasn't long before people began to tell me, "I love your loose style.......I wish I could paint like that."

One artist walked across a gallery to me and pointed out her work and said....."I cannot, escape from control."

The strange thing is, I have absolutely no memory of making the transition from painting with a controlled fist to a relaxed loose brush.

But, the more I paint, the more comfortable I become and the more I slap dash the water on the page and the more I become a tour guide. The process becomes more fun then the results. And get this.......the results get better.

When this happens, magic happens and your style becomes loose and confident and comfortable.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book, "The Outliers" quoted experts as saying that it takes a brain, 10,000 hours to master a skill, be it playing a violin, or singing, programming a computer, (or possibly even painting).

Long time artists will tell you that it takes an artist a couple of hundred paintings to make the journey. I wonder if it doesn't take a couple of thousand.

Paint with joy and paint a lot, and it will come. And above, all - don't worry about messing up a picture, for there is always the next one........and you know what, after a year or two or three you will look back and say....."I have come a long way."


Good luck.

Win
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Old 07-24-2009, 12:51 PM
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Re: Loose watercolor painting

Thanks for all the replies I will have to print this thread out and read carefully.

Yes I am so scare to make mistake becuz almost all paintings I've done so far took me hours for each, so afraid of ruining my paintings in the end. I do have to try to paint more freely.
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