Friday, November 19, 2010

One Scene - Two Approaches

"Arches - Focus on Light", 8.5" x 11.5" watercolor on cold press
This week, I played with the basic same scene but approached it from two different ways.  One way was to focus on the light in the scene.  Above you will see this scene where there's more light that shows on the stones and the wrought iron gate is perceived as white through out the darker colors of the shaded background of the arches.   The other way was to focus on color.  In this approach I chose to have the color and detail decide what is close to you.  You will find the color focused arches scene below.  Let me clarify that these are basically the same scene EXCEPT for being mirror images of one another.  I'll admit that I cut corners with the one above.  I did it in my watercolor painting class and in the interest of time... It was enlarged and then traced.  I know that was kind of BAD of me. 

The above was especially a fun water color painting class experience because it started off as a rose colored wash.  Colleen showed me various ways to remove color from a water color painting where the paint has all ready been applied.  I rather felt like a chemist as we mixed bleach 50/50 with water.  A piece of clear acetate with cut out areas for the lighter areas (like the top arches and the windows within the arches) was placed over the rose colored wash.  With the acetate taped down, an old brush was used to apply the bleach/water mix to the rose colored wash.  It was interesting to see how the rose color started to disappear.  Those areas were then masked off.  While the masking fluid was drying, Colleen then showed me the FUN of using wax.  Wax was applied to various areas of the painting to give the effect of bricks.  I would color wash an area, then apply more wash, and then apply a wash with another color.  Layer upon layer; it was almost like building brick by brick and added bits of various colors to each wash to create the end result. 

Next, it was on to the shaded areas of the arches.  The shade was built; working from greens, browns, and then finally the blues.  Then Colleen showed how to remove color from the shaded arch areas to create the feeling of the wrought iron gates.  A metal razor blade was randomly and lightly scratched over the dried water color paint.  Thus, bit by bit the gates were formed.

" Arches with a Color Focus" 9" x 12" watercolor on yupo
The other approach was a focus on color.  The closer the surface is the darker and closer it is.  Therefore, on this painting there seems to be more of a focus on the wrought iron gates.  The inside of the arches are further away and thus contain lighter colors.  The inner arch areas almost disappear away with this approach.

So which do YOU like better?  I would love to hear your input!

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