Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tone-it-Up Or Tone-it-Down: Wet-to-Dry Painting

At last night’s water color painting class, the focus was color tone with a wet-to-dry style of water color painting exercise. Tone implies color where value is the “grays” scale. Something just “clicked” and I finally actually understood the concept after this class. That’s amazing considering I’ve been taking art lessons off and on for years!

Colleen first showed us a tonal chart which had the gray scale on one end. Then, she spoke about the tint of a color is to lighten the color. In water color to tint, or lighten, the color you use more water. Next we learned about the shade of a color is to darken the color. In water color to shade the color you use the color’s complimentary color. So get out your color wheels and check to see what’s opposite. I happen to have almost gotten the color wheel beaten into my head enough over the years that I’ve absorbed it through osmosis! Some things just seem to sink in over time.

So for our exercise this week was our last of the wet-to-dry style of water color painting. We got to choose between two photos; one with evergreen trees covered in snow, or one with what I called a winter barn scene. Everyone chose the winter barn scene. This is what mine ended up looking like after I did a bit of finishing touches when I got home.

"Winter Barn"- wet-to-dry style water color on 9"x12" cold press paper.

For homework this week, we are supposed to do one more wet-to-dry watercolor with a good example of color tone, and then, do a tonal chart like the one Colleen showed us in class—which looks like this…

Color Tonal Chart-- my homework, YUCK!
Admittedly, I’m not too excited about doing the tonal color chart.   Hmmmm… maybe the “dog ate it” excuse?  Can you tell I'm not really a good student?

Oh, and P.S.--The wet-to-dry style?  Well, up until last night I've been referring to it as wet-on-wet.  We've only been doing it four weeks and I'm just catching on to that!  Yeah, I'm not the smartest pupil in the class!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Three Point Perspective...

I'm a little slow in posting this.  I will admit that part of it was because I wanted to finish an example that I started in last week's water color painting class.  It's always easier to give an actual example of something than to explain it.

Skyscrapers in water color and ink- 9"x12" on yupo

We started off the class by drawing a three point perspective city-scape on type writer paper.  I admit part of the reason for type writer paper was because I didn't feel confident about what would turn out of my drawing it.  Also, our teacher, Colleen suggested to do a smaller version of the city scene so that we could put all three points of perspective on the sheet of paper.  We placed a horizon line very near the bottom of the paper.  Then, we place two points of perspective on that horizon.  Then, Colleen told us to draw an off center vertical line up to the top point of perspective.  Having all three points on the same paper certainly did make it more manageable and ultimately allow us to get an idea of the relationship of the three different points to one another. 

After we drew a three point perspective on the type writer paper then we were ready to do some painting.  Colleen gave us several different pictures to use.  I chose one photo and because of the limited time left in the class I very quickly drew a three point perspective but not as detailed as it probably needed to be done.  I decided to do a puddle style on  yupo.  I have since finished it off with ink after the water color has dried. 

The above painting is what I ended up with.  Not too bad for a first attempt at three point perspective painting, but there's certainly room for improvement.  Also, I managed to finish another puddle style water color on yupo that I started in the make up class that took place last Monday.  This one I also played with adding a little ink.  What do you think?
Looking into the Fountain- puddle style water color with ink on yupo- 9"x12"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Points of Perspectives in Water Color Painting Class

The word for water color painting this week was "Perspective".  Right away we were at Colleen's computer station looking at examples of perspectives.  There's 1, 2, and 3 point perspectives.  We first talked about one point perspective.  Which I will be frank I have never thought of one point before.  I know it boggles the mind that at times I can be a bit obtuse!  I remember doing two point perspective in high school mostly city scenes with buildings wrapping around corners (that looked really horrible) but one point?  I never considered it or really tried to use it before.  And well, 3 point perspective... Forgit-a-boud it! But now I can see that it would be helpful to make a building see taller.  Not that I'm planning on bounding any sky scrapers on any canvas in the short future. 

Colleen showed us several examples of one point perspective (with a bit of 2 point) via paintings from Kathy Weber.  What amazing paintings this artist has!  I love her use of color-- her use of shading!  It's just wonderful!  Please check out her blog if you get the chance.

After all those wonderful examples, we were off to do a pencil drawing first of a one point perspective of a building disappearing into the one point on the horizon.  Got out those rulers and we drew lines according to Colleen's directions.  I ended up doing two different building (right next to each other-- one kind of in front of the other) working on the same one point of perspective.  Nothing too elaborate but enough to get a feel for the concept.  Next, we chose a photo that had a one point perspective to work on.  I chose a black & white photo of a horse out at pasture.  Here it is....

"Horse at Pasture"-Wet-on-wet style on cold press paper- 9"x12"

 So what do you think?  I think I did pretty well on the fence's perspective. 

Oh, and here's some other paintings that I finished this week...

"Red Fall Leaves"- wet-on-wet style on cold press-9"x12"

"Confetti'd White Stallion"- wet-on-wet style on cold press- 9"x12"
I even broke out the oils and finished this painting...

"Cycling Cache Valley's Little Red"- Oil on canvas- 16"x20"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Water Color Painting Class-- Saturation!

This week in class there seemed to be a theme—Saturation! First, Colleen discussed about how saturation of a color is relative to the vibrancy or brilliance of that color. Those colors that are lighter; like the yellows/oranges, naturally appear larger and carry more visual weight to that area of a painting. Also, those colors that are higher in intensity, i.e. pure pigments, tend to draw the eye to that area in a painting too. Colleen went on to show us several examples from Monet, Matisse, and other well known artists where they used the concept of color saturation in their composition.

Next we worked on Wet-on-Wet style of water color painting. In this we continued the concept of saturation as we literally were soaking cold press paper until it could no longer take any more water. This is the same method that we used in the prior class when we did the strawberry painting. Here again, we started by lightly drawing with pencil the outline of the painting. Colleen had us focus on the shading area of the painting. Concentrating on the darker and lighter areas of the painting would allow us also to think about the use of color saturation; as well as the values of color. I chose to do a painting based on a photo I taken up at a Sunday Silly Market in Park City. I call this painting—“Is This Hat Me or What?"
Is This Hat Me or What? - Wet-on-wet style on cold press paper

 And here are a few more of the puddle paintings that I worked on this last week...
Girls Checking Out Art - water color on yupo paper
Not too bad, huh? I might be improving just a wee bit?
Spur Exhange - water color on yupo paper

Sisters on a Sunny Sunday Afternoon - Water color on yupo paper