Beginning a Watercolor Painting with Nancy Couick - Part 1 of 5
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Uploaded on Aug 16, 2010
http://www.cheapjoes.com -- Welcome to Artist Palette Productions at Cheap Joe's Art Stuff
I paint from photographs for the most part. I find it works well for students and also I tend towards realism. It's something that beginners can understand. They can tell whether it's right or wrong.
I think that there are a lot of techniques to learn and you need to learn the rules before you know how to break them. I think it is difficult to paint loosely in watercolors when you first start.
I use a color photo and a black and white photo. The black and white is your instant value study. I believe that we have a lot of technology tools and we should use them so before I start painting I make a photograph.
This particular one was a rose bud and that was one of several hours of shooting of probably 50 different roses and 50 different combinations with different light sources.
I shot for hours in my kitchen. I went out and bought tungsten bulbs and everything else that you think you need for true color.
I was getting ready to pack up and all of a sudden the sun came really low through the side window and hit this rose bud and I went "that's it!"
So I can tell when I see something if I want to paint it or not. This rose bud actually it this color everywhere but the way the light hits it it bleaches out the color but gives it great shape, great dimension, great texture and that's what we want to learn how to do.
So we'll paint this rose bud today. Many artists will start and they tell you to paint or to draw a value study.
I really just want to paint so I make a black and white copy. I have my darkest darks, my lightest lights and I can see the values. It's hard for a lot ofbeginners to see values with the color, it gets in the way.
I took a week long workshop from Susanna Span in Florida years ago. The one thing I have always used that I learned in her workshop is the value scale.
I think that value often is even more important than color. That's what gives it the wow factor.
You can make these on your own. Just a strip of water color paper, take a quarter, make ten circles, number them and put your name on the back because people do steal these. Then get Paynes gray which is almost a non-color, very dull.
You want ten to be your darkest dark and you're going to add a little bit of water to your mixture as you come down this value scale till one is white. This is excellent for looking at this and seeing if the values in your painting are where they should be.
You can put this right here, let's say you think that's kind of a mid-tone when actually four is not enough, or five, it's actually a ten. This is also a great tool to turn over and use the back.
It helps you isolate colors. You might look at this and think these greens are all the same shade but you've got a yellow green. By removing all the confusing factors and all the other color it allows you to see what you're looking at on it's own.
I think you should work with a limited palette as well. Before you start to paint, or even to get your iamge on the paper, if you can draw, have at it.
If you can't draw, take your black and white copy and then just trace it, transfer your pattern onto the paper. It's hard to paint when you don't have a good basis to paint.
Before you start to paint you need to wet your paints, especially if you've already put them in the wells and they are dry. In this case we're going to use permanent alizarin crimson, cobalt blue in the very end and new gamboge.
For now, just the permanent alizarin crimson. You need to pay attention to the names of colors, they can vary quite a bit. Alizarin crimson and permanent alizarin crimson are different paints, they're actually different colors as well.
A lot of people start and they come over here and they get a little bit on the tip of their brush and they rub it on the palette and then they have this nice faded out looking little blob.
Well that didn't do so they add a little more and by the time they get through they've rubbed a hole in their paper. You need good rich puddles.
Unlike a lot of people I use two brushes. I find it's easier to control.
If you spill some on paint on your paper don't worry about it, the best thing you can do to begin with is very gently touch it with a paper towel.
I often turn it around and paint upside down. I think that it let's you see things for what they are, the shapes and the values.
The size of the brush really isn't that important, it's the brush itself and whether it has a good point on it.
I've got colored water just so you can see where I am. I'm laying down this field of moisture and I'm putting this brush on the paper and I don't pick it up very often.
So I go up and catch that edge and then pull it back out. Your strokes should follow the form so in this case I'm trying to follow that shape.
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