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Old 04-04-2011, 06:35 AM
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SVallee SVallee is offline
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Arrow Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

Welcome fellow artist and water color lovers to this Painting Without a Brush virtual class!
My name is Stéfanie Vallée, I am French Canadian and I teach indirect painting with water media since 2005 in Michigan, Quebec and now in China. This class on Wetcanvas is my second virtual experience: I did another one on a French discussion board before, it was great fun and I am sure it will be on Wetcanvas too. I am here to learn, just like you guys. Therefore, your feedback and comments about my teaching or technique are really welcome at any time.

Before I give you the class agenda and art supply list to get started for this class, let me please share with you guys few rules for this class (sounds pretty serious isn’t it?). These are guide lines that I go by with my students and encourage you to use them too:

1. PLAY! At any step of the process, to jump in and out of the process, to overcome a creative block, to face doubt or fear, just play! Carl Jung said once: ‘The creative mind plays with the object it loves’, just do the same!

2. BREAK THE RULES! Ok, the only rule you cannot break is rule number one and three! All the other things that I’ll tell you, like steps to follow, does and don’t…well, don’t take it too seriously ok?! I mean, this is where you and only you can know what feels right. I don’t old the truth and altogether, we know more than just one people do. Got it?

3. LISTEN. I know, it’s like if I was telling you guys ‘break the rules but then listen to me!’, it’s not what it is. ‘Listen’ means ‘be present’. Be present to yourself through the process, be present to embrace each and every opportunity that your painting will offer you to play. Fair enough?

Just to make sure my guidelines are clear, let me reframe them for you this way: there is no control that we will have on anything else but our feelings and drawing, no recipe to follow to make sure the result will be what it will be and no critique will be made, only positive feedback will be given, with suggestions sometimes that are taking in account the process. Does that make sense to you guys? J Then I would like to invite you to set your intention before to start drawing or painting with me. Mine is to connect with you and feel your excitement. I also want to learn something new about my teaching. What’s your intention? I invite you to share here. Any question? Please, feel free to share.
Let’s keep moving.

Class agenda
Week 1 – Image study, drawing and painting prep with masking fluid (part 1 on Monday, part 2 on Wednesday, April 6th)
Week 2 – Pouring and spraying colours (Monday April 11th)
Week 3 – Removing masking frisquet and using non-brush tools to get the painting at 80% completed (Monday April 18th)

Week 4—Filling with non-brush tools and maybe, we’ll see, with brush too (Monday April 25th)

Painting
We will do a street scene that is around my house in Shanghai, from a reference photo that I have taken (I will share this with you down below). One question for wich I don’t know the answer yet is ‘Will this demo painting be completed at 80% without a brush or more?’ It could be up to 95% without a brush, I did it in the past with some other paintings (I don't do twice the same painting, it's too booring). I am thrilled about making this percentage again with this new one, we'll see. I am going to challenge you in this direction too, and most of all to aim for not using the brush for 80% of the completion of your piece, how about that?


GET STARTED
Art Supply List
Very simple:


Cobalt blue
PB28
Winsor Red
PR254
Lemon Yellow
PY53

Put your colors separately into three white saucers. Or if you put them all in the same butcher plate, use two saucers for some yellow and some red separately.
  1. Arches Cold Press Ultra White 140# Paper BLOCK
  2. Masking Tape for watercolor paper (I prefer the white one, but 3M works as well)
  3. Water Jar
  4. Soft Tooth Brush
  5. Natural Sponge
  6. Table Salt for texturing
  7. Incredible Nib
  8. White candle wax
  9. Spray Bottle to spray mist (important) and straight spray line of water
  10. Small spray bottle to spray painting
  11. Paper towels one fold
  12. 2 Rags
  13. Mat knife
  14. Masking Fluid (I prefer Grey Mask from Pébéo)
  15. Rubber cement pick up
  16. 1/4 inch diameter Fresh Cedar Branch to use as a twig tool for masking fluid
  17. Jam lid to pour masking fluid in
Is there any question about the art supply list? Get all you need and I'll catch you up later with the reference photo and image study exercise. Stay tuned

Quote:
Please post any questions, comments, and paintings for this class in the Homework thread. Thanks, Sylvia
__________________
Stéfanie Vallée
www.stefanievallee.com
Find me on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Last edited by painterbear : 04-05-2011 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:34 AM
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SVallee SVallee is offline
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Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

Quote:
Question: what a nib is, and what is it for?
A Nib is actually a sort of pen without ink in it, sold to apply masking fluid. It comes often with the rubber ciment to remove dry masking fluid from the paper. BUT, if you are using the nib (the name as written on the pen is 'Incredible Nib') to apply MF, then you are waisting it. It is a correction and special effet device instead, that I am using to softhen the edges left by MF. You will see exactly what I mean down the road... thanks to Sylvia who asked that question in one of our private exchanges. Thanks also to her for her support, she is fantastic at putting stuff together for you guys and very efficient at doing it, it's very helpful for me
Reference photo


I am sure you guys know that there is a story behind each paintings, don't you? I have picked that reference photo from my own collection and share it with you guys to experience it. But if it doesn't move you, I am totally fine with it and you can use any other image that excites you to go through this class, I will support you in your choice. But let me share the story behind it...I'll make it short.


Every morning I am walking my dog down the street on the Shanghai lanes where local people (and me too now) are doing their morning business: buying vegetables and alive duck or chicken to cook during the day (eh-I am not buying alive animal to cook...), having breakfast on the board walk eating tofu soup, onion bread and laimians (hand made noodle soup, this I love it!). I go buy my eggs at that place (the reference photo) and my dog love to have it mixed to her regular dog food. One day, I have found an abandoned kitten in that area that nobody really seem to care for. I have take it back home and since then, she is also part of our family. I believe this cat on the photo can be her mom, or relative *(if I may say) because they are pretty much alike. So for now, let's call that scene "the eggs and the cat." Any other idea?

Exercise
Did you noticed that I did not put the color image? It is intentionial. We don't need the 'true' colors. We will do our own, much more exciting trust me. What we need to see is the value pattern. There is also few adjustment required, according to my own taste and experience, to increase it's efficiency. I am inviting you to explore with me. This is the beginning of the creative process, where I start changing my perception of the reference photo, where I reframe it, where I make some choices and create balance.



It is four small thumbnails (2X2inches), each one of them takes from 2 seconds to 10 seconds to make. You can make as many as you like for each version (Number 1-2-3-4). You now start to PLAY with the image, moving things around without caring about making a 'beautiful sketch'. Rough version is enough at this stage. Also, I must tell you, before to make these thumbnails, I have inverted the image and crop it, because I preferred the feel of it.

Original Image:



Reversed Image:



I am inviting you to refer to the previous class with my fellow ' virtual instructor' about composition for any explanation about it. It was really great I think.

Your turn
  1. Save the reference image in your computer. I use Photofiltre to play with it, flip it, increase contrast, remove stuff I don't like and so on. I invite you to do the same. If you don't feel too comfortable with the computer software, then print it out and draw on it with a 4B pencil. You can draw the action line for instance, or identify the geometric shape that you see by outlining them. Remember, you are allow to break the rules, which mean in that case that it's opt to you to move things around and only keep what you like.
  2. Move on with your 4 step sketches. These are the back bone of your painting. Student who skip these steps won't be arrested by the police, they won't get a fine (;-). But, from my experience, we must move back to these steps soon or late down the road (mostly when facing a block). So it's okay if you skip it (rule number 2), just remember you might like to come back and do it later...
  3. Post your 4 step process in the Homework Thread if you feel for it. It's just a nice way to encourage people to do it!
I will answer questions and comment feedback at around 8pm (New York Time/Wet Canvas Time) tonight. Have fun guys!
__________________
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www.stefanievallee.com
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Last edited by painterbear : 04-05-2011 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:04 AM
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SVallee SVallee is offline
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Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

Drawing
After you are done with your thumbnails, you are almost ready to jump into your drawing. Keep your thumbnails nearby, they will help you to transpose their meaning on your water color sheet.

Just before you start drawing, I invite you to put some masking tape around your paper, covering ½ inches all around the edge of your sheet (block of 140 lbs Arches Paper--mine has been stretched out and staple on a wood board).



So what you do basically, is transposing your action line, your geometric shapes and negative spaces on your canvas, outlining with a 2H pencil. Sketches number 1-2 and 4 are useful at this stage and what you do, is pushing a bit further your creation to feel complete with your drawing. You will notice that I did not draw too much. In fact, I made a lot of choices to emphasized on the foreplan. I also like to play with the reference image a bit more. I used a red wax pen to fill in all the white spots that I want to mask out, and I did some lines in the zone that I will uplift with a scrubber--or a toothbrush and a stencil.

Stencil
The painting preparation is getting more and more exciting as I realize that the stencil would be essential in this painting. In fact, the edges created by the stencil are more soft and the shades can vary, it all depend on how much painting I will lift. See the prep work here below:



Same with the eggs baskets except that I will use the stencil to create negative space, by spraying color in the holes. I am excited just to think about it.



These black spots will become holes after I will burn them using a wood burner. I did not mention it in the art supply list, as for the stencil, because I did not know I was going to make that decision. It came with the question: how can I create some white spots on the wall that are not too catchy for the eye? And how can I create an interesting pattern in the egg basket without having to paint it all?

Masking Fluid--the negative of my painting
I am happy with my choices, so I move forward. I like my MF patterns, it's simple and it stick together.


Masking Fluid--the positive
I used photofiltre to make the positive of my masking fluid. Look how this is a powerful way to see the light and the drawing of a painting to come:





Your turn
1. Was this preparation process demo useful for you? Can you follow it or do you have any other alternatives?
2. Are there any question that you have and prevent you from moving forward on your water color paper?
3. Feel free to share in the homework thread. I will answer all you questions. You are welcome to join in at any moment.
__________________
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www.stefanievallee.com
Find me on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Last edited by painterbear : 04-09-2011 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:30 PM
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SVallee SVallee is offline
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Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

BEFORE PAINTING
Before you start pouring, you can use some white wax to high light the top of the egg lines and the eggbasket grid pattern. This, unfortunately, you can't see with a picture, sorry it's white on white. Here is my set up prior to pour on. Two things are missing on the pitcture :they are essential tools for this step. It's the spray bottle and the natural sponge. Ready?


POURING YELLOW
I know, just like most of people you can't wait to jump into the pouring process. I can understand, it's so fun. But some people find it stressful too because they want to CONTROL the water. Rember what I told you: 'There is no control that we will have on the process from the moment we will be done with the drawing'. So, it's really time to loosen up and PLAY! How to make sure you will be in that play zone? Let me give you some tips I find useful :
1. Paper preparation. BEFORE pouring, you spray a mist of water on all the surface of your paper. You can overload it with water and if you do, remove the excess water. This is really important, otherweise, you will pour in a sort of pool and won't get to play as much...this is the best wet texture you can get to play, let's call it semi-gloss unless you have another expression to suggest here?



2.Pour freely. Forget about where color should be, what are the real color of things. This is atmosphere we are creating. ENJOY!



3. Your 3 value thumbnails is your guide. Which means that you should not worry about where color goes, but rather focus on getting 3 values for each color shade you will pour on: yellow, red and blue. So, at this step, you are looking for light yellow, medium yellow and dark yellow.

4. After you have pour your creamy mixture of yellow *(that is the consistency you are looking for, like 15% cream for cooking), YOU LISTEN I know, it's getting very exciting and you would like to 'dance with' your painting and yellow color. But you don't have to. water is doing the job for you. This is the most important part of the process. If you can get to let the water do the job for you, really let it go, you feel more balanced and relax. Breath! Observe water and pigment moving slowly and freely on the paper. How privilege you are to observe such thing, don't you think? Well, this is how I feel when I paint everytime. Then you can whipe out the excess water running toward the edge with your wet sponge.



5. You want to push it a bit further? Ok, fair enough. Use your spray bottle gently and spray clean water to help the pigment run further (just like on the pict down here) or to remove some paint and get a light value of yellow


6. Need some adrenaline? I know, I also love to get there once in a while (in fact, quite often to be honnest). Then slightly tilt the board (or paper block) to give some direction on your paper. Water and pigment will run toward the lower side of your paper.

__________________
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www.stefanievallee.com
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Last edited by SVallee : 04-11-2011 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:06 AM
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SVallee SVallee is offline
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Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

POURING RED
First rule that I break is pouring more than one type of red... I had to use some Raw Umber, because my yellow was so strong and warm, it felt correct to do it this way. Nonetheless, I have started with Winsor Red.


Then, with the help of my cat Xiaomin, I have analysed this...


And I jumped into some Raw Umber

So much fun! Then, I have let it dry and I poured again some Winsor Red, from the left side. Here what I think is the final result for this pouring red.



This took me the whole day (ok, in between I went for some guided tour at Yuyuan Garden with my brother who's visiting me at the moment). So, take your time and enjoy the process! I'll answer your questions in the learning zone.

YOUR TURN
1. Same steps than pouring yellow which means: 1) wet the paper; 2) pour on a creamy texture of red; 3) PLAY 4) dry; 5) decide if you go back to another pour or not
2. Let it go! Do not plan where the red should go. Mine is mostly on the top right of the painting but I did not planned it. It just happened this way. Be creative and trust yourself! Close your eyes when you pour!!
3. Follow your value pattern but be also ready to change your mind at any moment!

You can do it!


Secret tip:
lPssst! Let me share this with you before I leave you for your homework...ok, not my best profile, but try it, you will like it too!

__________________
Stéfanie Vallée
www.stefanievallee.com
Find me on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Last edited by SVallee : 04-12-2011 at 07:13 AM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:58 PM
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SVallee SVallee is offline
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Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

POURING BLUE
You follow exactly the same step as you did for Yellow and Red. I used cobalt blue mixed with Antwerp, and cobalt mixed with Cerulean. I poured two different times...You know how we are, us, artists...got distracted and forgot to save my pictures of the blue pour...you guys will do the demo with your own picts, how about that? And I am catching up with some well details pictures of paint lifting with various tools here below, fair enough?
Only remember that blue is meant to bring some shadow into your scene. You are the one to decide how much calmness you want to bring into your streetscape. In proportion, it is better to avoid an equal amount of yellow, red and blue (covering respectively 33% of the surface). In other word, keep focusing on color value, knowing that there is one color dominant at this stage of the painting.

PAINT LIFTING
You can now start removing some of the masking tape. BTW, you know that you cannot leave it more than 3 months on your paper, at room temperature? If you do, you get in trouble believe me! I got my tricks to overcome that, if you are interested, there is a thread about it in Wetcanvas where I have shared my tips. Lert me know if you need more info. Now let's take a look at how you can create light effect in your painting.


1-Stencil
2-Incredible Nib
3-Scrubber/toothbrush

1-Stencil
This picture has been taken after I lift some paint on the left hand side, where the three shadow is. I simply have used that stencil I have made and modified from the reference photo. Look how smooth the texture is as opposed to the egg shapes in the basket next to the cat. The advantage of the stencil is to create soft edges pattern. Always use clean water, soft toothbrush and go gently.


2-Incredible Nib
Here I am softening the edge left by masking fluid, by gently tapping onto it with clean water. I bloth with a dry and clean tissue as often as possible, to see the result evolving. The advantage of the Nib is to work on a small area with precision for a bluring effect.

3-Scrubber/toothbrush
There, I create some random white light spots on the post that is fixed ont the egg basket. I can also use it to soften the edges left by the masking fluid. Same as with the Nib, I am working with clean water and blot as often as possible, working very gently to lift paint. A soft toothbrush can also be used, it will be less precise but will do the same effect in terms of paint lifting.

SPRAY PAINTING ON

I always keep the excitement on and on along the process. When time comes to spray, I always ask myself: what color can be increased to boost the painting? I use any hue I have in my palet, making a mix into a small spray bottle and get ready to spray on the space I have choosen. I use pieces of stencil to create patterns or to prevent spray to cover some other area that doesn't need any extra color. Tip: don't over spray or water will run under your stencil and ruin the effect you want. Work either on a wet or dry paper, depending on what you are looking for, a mist or sand texture, and go back several times if needed.

KNIFE TEXTURE
You can either create dark lines with a knife, when the paper is very wet and your color is fresh. Let's call it 'knife painting'... or you can also...


remove paint, once the paper is humid but not damp and the color is fresh. Let's call it 'knife lifting'.

YOUR TURN
Play with tools, be creative, have fun. Share with us what you think and how it feels. I want to hear from you!
__________________
Stéfanie Vallée
www.stefanievallee.com
Find me on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Last edited by SVallee : 04-17-2011 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:29 PM
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Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

FINGER PAINTING

Believe it or not, there is not a brush stroke involved yet on the paper at this stage of the painting. Rather, I am using my nails and fingers to apply dark value here on the cat. I have learned that from Chinese artist, they are amazing at creating painting with their fingers. I could write a whole chapter about it, with various textures... For now, I am inviting you to just give it a try and trust it works. It's freeing and fun to paint this way!
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Last edited by SVallee : 04-18-2011 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:02 PM
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Re: APRIL 2011 Monthly Class — Indirect Painting: paint a streetscape at 80% without

Artwork Completion

Laoban (the Boss), Watercolor 7.5X10.5 inches on Arches paper 140 lbs, completed at 97% without a brush

How to finish your painting?
So you had fun pouring, scrubbing off, spraying on and explore all sort of creative ways to paint without using a brush? Well done. Here are some tips I use to move from a painting that is let's say 80% done to its completion.

Shift perspective
When you are block, you can take a picture of your painting and turn it into a black and white.

By doing so, you can compare your sketch value and your painting value and make adjustments consequently. Either you can print this out and adjust it with a pencil, or do it on the computer as a simulation, just like this:

Let's oppose this simulation to what was the initial intention regarding every aspect of a good painting composition:

Can you see how the intention from the beginning is reflecting in the process, almost at the end now?

But how to take action?
Easy! You just keep doing what you have been doing from the beginning (pouring, spraying, scrubbing off) except that now, you do it following:
1. Your action line to make sure you are dragging the eye on it, in your painting. Do do so, you create sharpen edges, contrast, lines toward the subject, etc. All this around the action line. Look how I have darken the background behind the egg basket and the tree branch shadow that is leaning toward it.
2. Your main geometric shapes. Did you lost them in the pouring process? Well, it's time to use your stencil to either make them bright, with your scrubber or darker, with your spray paint.
3. Your 3 value pattern. The color pattern on your painting is not the same than your value pattern. This is why I recommand to turn your painting into a black and white digital version, so you can really see where your values are. Then, to make some area darker, you will pour or spray for instance blue over blue for instance. You need to increase the thickness of your mix and keep working on a wet surface. This is how I have darken my background and the foreground. Usually, your pouring puts you in the middle value zone. You need to move in a direction or another to create more of dark and more of white value.
4. Your white pattern. Once you remove the masking fluid, there you see bright white appearing in the middle of a colorful painting. Ask yourself if these white spot should remain white or if you must shut them down by filling them with some color. On my cat, I have use the brush to create some middle value. I thought there was too much white on it. On the other hand, I have created more texture on the egg basket on the left with the stencil because I tought it would create more rythm than only the dark holes that I had sprayed on.

Brush work, if necessary
My brush work is only to add some dark or medium value in very thiny spots. Around the poster on the egg basket next to the cat, to create some texture on that basket too and add some medium value on the cat...and yes, the chinese characters had some brush work too because I made a mistake. By scrubbing off too much the poster (I was not happy with the color on it), I have break the paper a bit so the spray with stencil was not to concluant. Every painting has its learning...

As a matter of fact, here is a great learning that I made. I share with you something I have created on the spot, a new tool to paint without using a brush!



Do you feel geared up to finish your piece now? Let's go, you can do it!
__________________
Stéfanie Vallée
www.stefanievallee.com
Find me on Facebook and LinkedIn!

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