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Old 08-04-2010, 04:29 PM
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Steven1 Steven1 is offline
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Loosening up ?

Hello everyone

In an effort to try and loosen up I painted the attached which is from a painting by Charles Reid in 1999 called the Straw Hat. The copy was in a book by Judi Whitton and named 'Loosen up your watercolours'. The painting (the one by Charles Reid of course) is beautiful and is really an exercise in balancing line, tone and colour. This was my second attempt and is not yet completely finished but is a great exercise:

The painting is approx. 9" x 9" on Bockingford 140lb NOT paper. Paints were a combination of Winsor and Newton, W & N Artists grade and Daler Rowney - incl. Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre,Cobalt Blue, Cad Red, Cerulean Blue, Rose Madder.

(Not the best scan I'm afraid)

Any and all critique / comments are most welcome.

Thank you for looking.

Kind Regards
Comments and critique always welcome
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Old 08-05-2010, 12:29 AM
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rue d'oak rue d'oak is offline
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Re: Loosening up ?

What is your next step, Steven? I see that you say that you are not done with this yet! A little more darkening in the eye (pupil), leaving some light for a highlight might just be what is needed to finish it off.

Jennifer Landau
Proud to be published in Art Quilting Studio magazine, Winter 2015, 2014 and 2013 and Summer 2014, 2013. Come visit in Fiber Art !
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:34 AM
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Steven1 Steven1 is offline
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Re: Loosening up ?

Hi Jen

Thank you so much for taking the time to look - it is much appreciated.

I have felt a bit constrained by the original - not part of a more loose style I know. I didn't post a copy of the original because I was concerned about copyright.

The next steps I was looking to change were to smooth the skin tones, make more of the values (particularly shadows), lighten the values in her left eye, change the values and shapes in the nostrils and highlights, lessen the colour saturation in the top lip and then stand back and look at the whole piece before making any more decisions.

In the original, the eyes (particularly her right eye) have given me real problems in that it didn't seem to make sense when compared with the left one. In the original, her left eye is quite flat with little colour and none of the normal things such as catchlights, dark value pupils, coloured irises etc. that I would expect to see in a painting of an eye. Her right eye seems a little out of focus and perhaps even partly closed.

As a newbie, I might have this all wrong, but to me, the beauty of the original painting lies in it's apparent simplicity of line, values and colour. Having said that, the word 'apparent' is all important - I have not found it simple at all but still a wonderful exercise and particularly so for someone who craves detail and is so tight in drawing and painting. The big challenge I suppose is to make all the changes without tightening the painting still further.

Sorry to go on, but your question was so good. I know that it is difficult without the original, but any advice/comment is really valuable. Thanks again.

Kind regards
Comments and critique always welcome
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:13 AM
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RogerPf RogerPf is offline
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Re: Loosening up ?

Hi Steven
Its not clear to me (is it clear to you?) where you are heading. Where do you want to get to?

If you are trying to paint loose like Charles Reid. I strongly suggest you get his latest book and a recent CR DVD and use either of them as your guide.

You are completely correct in that the beauty of Reids work comes from his simplicity of approach and that he almost NEVER corrects and rarely goes back to a painted area.

Learning to "one touch" watercolor painting is a great way to paint loose but a very hard decipline to get in to. The "oh I will just fix that and go over that" devil on your shoulder takes over.

The solution is simple, start again and later start again ...

I would also be tempeted to start with a easier CR original painting, hence my earlier advice to get his latest book.

All the best.
Roger - Painting Blog etc -> RogerPf.com
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