Jan 27, 2012

Week One in Watercolor

My class this past Tuesday was great! 
Wonderful company (Candace Camling of course), Melinda Kabel is a pleasure to learn from, and the other students are just some of the sweetest people. Tho, it was challenging for me, the watercolor fantasy artist.

The class in a nutshell is this: she gives a project to work on, tho you don't have to do it. If you have your own it can also be like an open studio.

I decided to work out of my comfort zone and do the project....which was landscape. -_- *sigh* I do not like landscape OR still life. Find them boring. But like in college and in growing as an artist they are just as important as imagination. So kudos to me for not painting a fairy or mermaid! :P

We chose a black and white photocopy of a landscape and then did a neutral value study of it. This wasn't too difficult, but required me to stay loose in my approach and thinking. I decided to use my watercolor moleskine thats been sitting around for years unused.

After that you find a color magazine tear out of a different painting, but applying the colors from that piece to your black and white study. Make sense? So in the end you would have two paintings.

I found this to be frustrating and difficult. I chatted with Melinda about how I can see the colors for what they are, but to start mixing them.......

let's just say that I felt like I was brand new to the medium and felt what every beginning watercolor student felt..the worry that I was going to mess it up.

I think over time of building up the painting it would have turned out fine. I felt like all eyes were on me tho because I was the only one doing a landscape on hot press watercolor paper. I understand where it can create a problem, but it's what I own and like most, I can't purchase more paper at the moment.

The Ah Ha Moment
During the class I also talked to the instructor about what I was hoping to discover in the course of 13 weeks. I want to learn how to get a great sense of light and shadow without muddying up my paint. I feel I tend to do that in my work. I have noticed that for some reason the colors just don't "go" with each other.

"Love Floats" Giveaway

We talked, and she asked me to make some color palettes for skin. I needed to choose a red, yellow, and blue for each one....making several palettes from different primaries. HOURS later as I was doing this it clicked!!

The reason my shadows don't work with my lights is because I keep changing my reds, yellows, and blues throughout the painting. There is no consistency! Duh! I couldn't believe it took this long to figure out.

I finished "Love Floats" with this concept. I think she turned out vibrant and cohesive. She's muddy in places because of the work I did on her before the class. But her tail, hair, and skin all flow together.

This does not set aside my fears. I did the palettes and still feel a bit lost. I think this will definitely be a growing period in my painting. So look forward to inconsistent works full of exploration. I think. :P

Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll have a skin palette that will be "my" palette!

Here's a study I'm doing with a palette similar to artist Paul McCormack 's palette (more links below). Testing it out trying to figure out how to apply the colors, where, and when. I think this is going to take lots of practice. o.O

Rose Doré, Yellow Ochre mixed with Cad. Yellow, Phthalo Blue
McCormack did a free art lesson with Jerry's Artarama that I watched this morning. It's fascinating to watch an artist you admire work. Currently sitting and soaking like a sponge. ^_^

Here's the link: How to Set Up a Watercolor Palette: Part I
It took about 5mins to load each video (and couldn't do anything else in Safari while it loaded), so be forewarned. But I personally felt it was worth the wait.

How to Set Up a Watercolor Palette: Part II

There are other videos by him, gonna watch those next! His website is full of stuff too. Wee!


Anonymous said...

You're so funny. I love your work and ''muddy'' is that last word I would use to describe it. I don't see what you see. Although,being an artist myself; I've learned that we are our own worst critics.Keep learning and evolving my dear. Your latest piece looks awesome!

Julia said...

Beautiful work. I have never seen such good watercolor paintings.

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