windowtoart: "PAINTING": Watercolor Skill 2 Skill 3 Skill 1 Painting Choices
SKILL PRACTICE 3: TAMING BEAUTIFUL BLACK
Black watercolor is strong and a little goes a long way. This exercise will explore gray values and wax resist. By itself, black watercolor is alive and forceful in a monocromatic painting. However, in a painting of color, black often seems dead and is enriched with others. The drawing to be used is a vase with an "in and out" shape so more brush movement can be involved. Ready?
First, a note about drawing an ellipse. Really, it's a circle in perspective. Take a can of soup and hold it eye level with the circle top facing you. Now, slowly tip the can backwards and the ellipse in different depths will be seen. The left sketch shows the ellipse with its midline in unequal halves. The bottom one is deeper in the middle than the top to suggest perspective.
The vase is a symmetrical form with ellipse forms at the top, middle bottom and base. The ellipse lines will all be parallel to each other--that is, all curved to the same depth.
The form is sketched. Then white crayon or paraffin wax is rubbed in the background (#1.) along outside edges, in the center, base and top. The raised design along the top of the vase is drawn with the wax. The wax is used in a sketching manner, not as a solid fill. Think of light reflections as these areas are drawn.
Next, 3 values of light grays are mixed up. The lightest one is painted as a base (much of the area covered) color, leaving some areas in the top and bottom halves of the vase bare. The next value is allowed to mix with this one and is painted along the vase's inside, neck, bottom and base. The 3rd value will blend in also as it is placed along the outside edges, base and bottom inside of the neck. Let all dry a bit while you mix the next values.
Surprise! Only 2 values are mixed here--but they are used more than once, allowing a longer drying time in-between. The first dark value (#1.)partially overlays some of the neck, body and base along the sides. To see the transparency of watercolors at its best layers are hardly ever totally covered. Each underlayer should peek through in some way.
The next value, dark gray (#2) begins to define the darkest shadow areas and can be painted into the preceeding one for more blending or painted in a bit later for sharper edges.
Why not try both in different places to see how that looks?
Now comes the final icing.
If the painting is still damp, black can be painted in and allowed to flow and mix at will. This example was allowed to totally dry. Then the black color was painted along the left edge, for example, and then water was used to pull it from the edge and move it where it was wanted.
This process was repeated along the right neck side, bottom half, inside neck and base.
A few points to note. First, did you notice that the darker the values the clearer the white wax could be seen? Two, not all "white" or very light areas are crayon resist. This is accomplished by NOT painting the paper during the first layer applications which allows the paper whiteness to show through. Lightness can also occur by not painting over some areas of the lightest values. And 3rd--the values you mix for each layering can always be used in the same layer again, or in the layers to follow. The more the merrier!
|Like trees? Try color layers and thick and thin line control with Skill 3.|
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