Beginning a Watercolor Painting with Nancy Couick - Part 4 of 5





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Published on Aug 17, 2010

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The stem scares people - your darkest dark and your lightest light all in one area. If they're right next to each other it will grab people's attention and it'll stay put.

I'm just going to paint this in with really wet new gamboge. The first time you do this you'll say "sure looked easy when she did it," but that's only because I do it a lot. The first one you do will be challenging but it will get easier.

Often it's a good thing to prop up your paper. I'm going to run this down the side with blue, and I'm going to hold it sideways and let the color run over. It creates a feathered effects which reads as texture in the stem. If it's still blue when it dries it's not a big deal.

I can come back - put another layer of yellow across.

If I painted that a solid color it wouldn't be very interesting and wouldn't have volume. In this case you always want to think of your light source. The light just glances off this edge because this is so dense it prevents the light from hitting the rest.

This two-sided petal is almost it's own painting. In this case I'm doing yellow, and just a touch of green I want it to be very pastel.

I don't know if you can see the triangle of light here, and if you put them in it makes things even more interesting. But it's up to you.

This needs to dry and when it does we'll put a very pale layer of pink over it. How do you know it's dry, hold it up -- if it's still shiny it's wet, or if it's raised it's still wet. When it dries it goes back to totally flat.

I want to make this underlying section darker. This petal here looks bumpy in the photo. So we're going to dry brush again to create texture. Lay your brush down and drag it across. The texture of your paper is bumpy so as you do this you want paint to sit on the high spots of the paper and not go into the valleys as it would if it were very wet. That gives it some texture. If you have too much, come back in with a cry brush and just soften.

You see where I'm holding the brush? When you hold it at the end it makes you bend over close to the paper. Back off, put your paper almost at an arm's length and hold your brush at the balance point.

It will free you up to be a better painter and give you a greater range of motion.

When you want to deepen, start with the darkest color when mixing. Work from puddles and add a little bit at a time.


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