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Old 04-18-2010, 02:18 PM
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April Mini-Class III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

In this third installment of the April class we will be investigating the painting of light and shadow or rather creating the illusion of light and shadow.
Before we continue here a few resources that I used in preparing for this class.
Patricia Seligman; her book, Painting Light and Shadow

Judy Morris; her book, Watercolor Basics: Light though out of print, she offers an instructional cd on her website.

Jeanne Dobie; in particular her book, Making Color Sing

A Little NOTE: I must confess that I have been in a painter's slump---guess it happens to all of us, but I must say it hasn't happened to me very often...so I've been frustrated!!! Well the Proverbs say, "Iron sharpens iron" or for us "Artist inspires artist" so its been good for me to have this deadline looming (didn't see a bead of sweat icon). Let me encourage any of you who might also be in a rut...set a date for yourself to get something posted and paint, paint, paint until you've done it!!! I set my goal for last night and I just finished my latest wash (not sure its my last) at 7:30 this a.m.

I started out with a walk, I would encourage you to do the same. Pay attention to the quality of light and the direction of the sun. It is amazing to note the difference that time of day can make on your work. Click here to see Monet's cathedral series and the incredible attention he gives to light in this series.
I took some photos on my walk and intended to use them in my mini-lesson unfortunately (remember aforementioned "slump") the work did not come to fruition.

...so...


Although you can use any picture to reference (or plein air for that matter) to work through these ideas, it would probably be most helpful to work from the same reference picture. This stunning still-life comes from the RIL and is by Jade Fox. The obvious lush highlights and rich darks make this ideal for our search.



I recently moved my studio out of the living room (perhaps you heard my wife rejoicing ) and into the basement (if John Salminen can do it so can I). Here is a picture of my art table along with my assistant (you last saw him in a Christmas tree painting a couple years ago).




Once we were set up (and he had checked the water purity levels) I started with some light washes of Gamboge, Azo Yellow and Burnt Sienna.



...and gradually built up the color in thin glazes.





As you can see from the last two pictures, I began to add some reds into the mix (Quin. Red-Orange, Napthol Red, American Journey's Copper Kettle). I also added some Windsor Violet and Cobalt Blue to the pot or crock or whatever that thing is.

Lets start with this (considering it this is the third time I've started over I want to get this on-line and started !!!) and I'll be back...

Happy Painting!!!

Here is link to the homework page to post your efforts:

Homework Thread

Last edited by Steeleman : 04-18-2010 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:27 PM
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Re: April mini-lesson tutorial part III; painting light and shadow

BTW: I kinda blew this sketch---I was really frazzled after trying two other projects that flopped so I really sketched quickly (a bit too quick). The thing I most regret is making that handle too small...its such a huge part of the picture and with the shadow it is a major focal point. If its NOT TOO LATE make special note of the handle and scale it correctly.
Some things you may want to try that I didn't:
Perhaps mask out the stems and maybe splat a little on the cauldron (I haven't called it that yet ) for the sake of texture.
Maybe a bit o' salt on the container...

Anyway, we move on...

Here you see that I began to put some darker shadows in the pot. I have used a lot of glazing techniques to this point (thin washes of paint applied wet to dry), here I tried a little more of my usual wet-on-wet technique, letting the darks mix right on the page. I used the raw sienna for the local color of the pot and burnt umber, burnt sienna, cobalt blue, Windsor Violet, Old Sienna, and Quin RO to add hightlights and shadows. I even used a bit of Naples Yellow on the rim and in the highlit areas (be careful the stuff's like housepaint and VERY opaque).



Next I used a bit o' dry brush to create some of the lines on the apple. Still deeper tones on the pot...


Here's my favorite part; I love that cool ring handle (remeber I made mine too small, hope you fared better with your sketch!). I painted the ring and let it dry (that's really important). I lifted some of the highlights with a paper towel while it was still wet. Once the ring was dry I painted the shadow (purple, burnt umber and a tiny brush tap of quin. red orange) I let the colors blend wet-on-wet on the paper. Notice the little cresent of local color on the right of the ring---its critical that you preserve that to get the effect!



Then I painted the table top using a bit of quin gold, old sienna, and quin red orange.



Last of all, I painted the bg. Not sure how I feel about this so take a careful look and proceed with caution. If you like the way mine turned out here's how I did it. I will say it was fun!!!

Wet on wet with my big ole hurkin' squirrel quill brush (maybe I'll take a picture of it and put it in here somewhere), I laid down a wet-on-wet wash using windsor purple, cobalt blue, burnt sienna. After that dry I did two glazes (always waiting until the surface was dry). The first one was quin gold with a bit of quin ro and the second was quin red orange and copper kettle.





Last edited by Steeleman : 04-18-2010 at 03:31 PM. Reason: forgot a picture ; *
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Old 04-18-2010, 06:59 PM
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Re: April mini-lesson tutorial part III; painting light and shadow

Jack:

Although you and I would approach this subject in different ways, I love what you've achieved. Very much an old master approach with colour and lighting. I too, wish you had made that handle bigger. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

You indicated a wish to link to my apple demo (fine with me), and it must be said my approach was to break this down for beginners and not have a background wash as such washes can cause real problems. Yours was great. I wish I could join in the fun but I'm fully committed to other projects. My apple demo was created with a high-key photograph to avoid backgrounds.


John


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Last edited by Watercolour lover : 04-18-2010 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:39 PM
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Re: April mini-lesson tutorial part III; painting light and shadow

Here's a couple things:
First, John agreed to let me link his thread to this one. Here is a great tutorial to help you get started on the apples; click here

Here is a picture of my quill brushes (the big 'un for washes and my workhorse smaller version for most everything else), a Blick sable (in my hand almost as much as the aforementioned quill), and an Escoda blend. I love my round brushes and I only use a flat when I'm forced to (like on those last three glazes I used a 1" flat).



Hope all is going well...
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:15 AM
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Re: April mini-lesson tutorial part III; painting light and shadow

Hi Jack, Great tutorial, thanks. Love the Isabey squirrel quill brushes. I'm drooling over them! Your largest is a 10, what number is the smaller one? Do you use the smaller one for a lot of your watercolor details rather than a sable?
Thanks again,
Carolyn
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:34 AM
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Re: April mini-lesson tutorial part III; painting light and shadow

Thanks Carolyn; the smaller quill is my workhorse; I use it in washes, glazes and some detail for sure but I do pull out the sable for my finishing touches. The quill is a "0" and came in a sennilier set of half-pans from Blick's. I also bought some Harmony Squirrel Quills from Jerry's artatama and there are six different sizes in the set---not quite an Isabey, but they get the job done.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:13 PM
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Re: April mini-class part III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

Jack,
This is wonderful! I can't wait to try it! You are a master of color, light and shadow! Thanks for doing this for us!! Those quills are Isabey? What sizes? How do you like your Escoda mix? I have 4 of their sables and love them! I loved my rounds too but do use some flats. I use a 1 1/2" Cheap Joe's Golden Fleece wash but have lately been using a Black Gold #24, i got form DS. It is inexpensive and really has a nice point. My instructor uses them in class so I thought I'd try it.

Reggie
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Last edited by ReggieS : 04-20-2010 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:15 AM
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Re: April Mini-Class III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

Jack - Great job on the painting and your step-by-step tutorial. I'll have to come back and look at this again when I have a bit more time...gotta run. Thanks for sharing this!!
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:29 AM
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Re: April Mini-Class III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

Reggie; Sorry it took so long to get back to you. Some applications simple demand flats so I have a 1' flat and a hake 2" that I pull out on occasion. As to the quills, the Isabey brushes are wonderful but pricey so only the big on is an Isabey. The other quills are harmony here's a link to where I got them (Harmony brushes) They are nice as well, I don't know yet how they are going to hold up. I also have a size "o" sennelier brush and a small arches quill. I don't understand the sizing of the brushes because my huge Isabey is labeled as a size 10 and my harmony that is just a bit smaller is called a 16, hmmmm....
Thanks for your compliments too BTW, I appreciate it...like I had mentioned in my posting I had hit some bumps lately so this was nice to get under my belt!
Joan; Thanks! Believe me I understand that its tough to get around to everything...barely got it finished myself!!! I would love to see your post if you do get around to it. I loved you WDE images BTW, I saved a couple hoping to get them at some point.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:17 AM
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Re: April Mini-Class III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

A final version of the piece; I tried to tie up a few loose ends and clean up a few edges; some worked well and of course, like always when I keep fiddlin' with a painting I fouled a few things up ! I had trouble photographing this one; every picture brings something a bit different. I used "auto-levels" from photo shop on this one and it brought it a bit closer to how it looks IRL.
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:30 AM
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Re: April Mini-Class III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

Jack,
I've drawn out the reference on a quarter sheet of Arches and will take it to my art class to work on this afternoon. I've read through your tutorial and made note of your colors and technique. Hope I can do OK trying to emulate it.

I love the sense of light and dark in your painting — a bit of chiaroscuro working there.

Thanks for all the photos in your tutorial. They help us see the light at the end of the tunnel when we are working on ours.

Sylvia
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Old 05-05-2010, 03:58 PM
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Re: April Mini-Class III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

Jack, this was a great demo with plenty of drama and the texture was superb!
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:21 AM
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Re: April Mini-Class III Tutorial; painting light and shadow

Great demo... thanks for sharing your expertise.
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