Monday, February 16, 2009

Watercolor Project - "Adirondack Vista"


I'm starting to schedule some watercolor classes again, as I've been getting quite a few requests for such lately. Most of my students strongly prefer the "forgiving" nature of Oils, so as a consequence, the Oil classes fill about 90% of my teaching schedule. Watercolors tend to scare many of them away, which is a shame, really. Watercolor is interesting and fun to work with in that it doesn't necessarily "stay put" and obey like Oils or Acrylics do. This aspect is also what most beginners find so intimidating. Every medium has it's own set of rules and that goes for W.C., as well. With practice, this seemingly uncontrollable monster can be made to respond to your commands, and though still inherently defiant, it will follow your direction.

Shown here is a simple project that I worked up for an upcoming beginner/intermediate class. I was shooting for a misty, overcast feel which Watercolor lends itself to so nicely.

It will require both wet-in-wet washes and wet-on-dry, so it will be a good lesson in gaining the upper hand with this sometimes unpredictable medium.

11 comments:

Queen*B Studio said...

You accomplished the misty look well! That's exactly what I see...so calming! I am one of those ppl who are afraid of watercolour painting...scary!

Dawn

Wilson said...

Well, come on down to NY and we'll work on taking that fear away! lol
Seriously, it just takes some practice to understand it's little quirks. It's really a nice medium once you get the hang of it. Most people find the big, wet-in-wet washes the most difficult. (skies, water areas, backgrounds) Once you get a handle on that, the rest is pretty much like any of the other mediums.

Queen*B Studio said...

All right! Road trip!! lol. Ya, that's where I have a hard time with watercolour...large area's. I usually end up with an uneven colour that overlaps and it looks horrible! Are you suppose to presoak your paper?

Dawn

Wilson said...

You want to wet the large areas ( sky & water ) with clear water, then lay the colors in and let them "mingle". Remember, Watercolor is a transparent medium, so you can't just cover a dark area with a lighter color. ( the "overlap" you mentioned ) You can however, cover a light area with a darker value. Think in terms of working from light to dark, as opposed to how we always do it with Oils and Acrylics. ( which is dark color laid down first, followed by a lighter highlight )

Queen*B Studio said...

Thanks for the tip, I was just painting on a dry surface before! :)

Wilson said...

Aha!!! You just saved yourself a "road trip". lol

Queen*B Studio said...

:D eureka!

Queen*B Studio said...

Hey Wilson!

How are ya keepin? Just wanted to pop by and say hello!

Dawn

Wilson said...

Hi Dawn,
Had a very busy week-end. Two band gigs and a huge art class yesterday. Plus, in the middle of it all, I turned the Big
5-0! Only halfway to 100! lol

Dogwood Flowers said...

Hi, you have beautiful paintings. I wish I could water paint. Have a wonderful day.

Wilson said...

It's just a matter of practice. And it's never too late to start.