Today was a day of “firsts.” I decided to paint a big painting for me – 16×20 inches. I also chose to use a more professional paper than I have been; here, 140# cold press Arches.
I wanted to test out how Arches handles water – lots of water. Hannema is the master of the wash and wet paper approach. His current paper is Saunders Waterford, which is different, of course, from Arches. I think the Arches handled the water really well. I, on the other hand, still need to master my washes. Blooms are visible here and there, and I need to learn how to control those or eliminate them if I find them later on.
The palette of colors I used was initially what Hannema used: ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, and raw sienna. Because I did not like greens I was getting, I threw in some sap green. If I had used yellow ochre, perhaps my greens would have been more satisfactory – something to make a mental note of to try next time around.
I always learn from a video. As I have mentioned, water is one thing I am working on, along with buildings. Today, I wanted to just work with a new paper and a lot of water. The study was successful altogether methinks.
Below is Edo Hannema’s painting tutorial:
Once more, Rick Surowicz has produced a video for study, and I did it. This time it was more successful than the one on negative painting, probably because I used better paper and was not too fussed about things. I had been to a workshop earlier in the day, and though I didn’t produce anything noteworthy in the workshop, I was warmed up and ready to go!
I watched it three times! First to just see it, second to take notes, third time to follow along. The biggest point to it, for me, was the cool greens used in the beginning were nicely complemented by the warm green glazes at the end. I used a 300# paper, which is the first time I have ever used a paper that weight. I was pleased with the end result.
The color differences are notable. Surowicz used colors I don’t have, such as royal blue and peacock blue. I’m not sure what the colors in my palette were as my color reference wheel is packed up some place. I do know that I used cobalt teal in place of turquoise and a lot of Hooker’s Green, while he stuck with sap green, which is more yellow, and a lovely color. I also mixed some greens differently, such as using cobalt teal and quinacridone gold. The colors, while important, were not the main focus – the focus was to follow the steps and get an idea what to do! The photo Surowicz used is for compositional suggestions only – the execution is very individual.
Much more pleased with the second rendering of this painting, based on Rick Surowicz’s video. The black branches don’t work, but the negative space does. This time, rather than using painter’s tape, I used Pebeo masking fluid for white areas, and then later to create branches on already-painted areas.
Meanwhile, the counters on the vanities are in – but it may be the plumber will be in later.
I did another study, using a video produced by Nil Rocha. As you can see, he has a style similar to Peter Sheeler – and a lot of other urban sketchers: ink and watercolor. Although it looks easy, it is deceptive. It is far more difficult to achieve a good contrast study, meaning, a good light-dark balance. I found that out with yesterday’s study with Peter Sheeler, and especially with this one. I think I need to work out the values before I begin inking in lines. Blah is far too easy to achieve!
Above, in color. Below, converted to black and white in Lightroom to check out contrast. Sadly lacking!
I’ve had a cold for the past week and it’s really hard to get creative with sniffles and a fever! Following videos is a good way to learn, but more importantly they have helped me realize that I must push, push, push to show good contrast. Middle tones are easy to create, as are lighter ones, but getting the truly dark ones is far more challenging for me than seems logical. Something to think about . . .
Peter Sheeler does it again – another video to learn from. This is from Hawaii, and as Peter notes in his video, he has never in his life drawn a palm tree. I actually think this might be a banana tree – we use them as decorations in my neighborhood. This doesn’t matter, though; Peter’s mastery is what I wanted to learn from. My take below.
My contrast is nowhere as attractive as Peter’s. I am a bit more muddied. Part of it is because I am not using either Sap or Hooker’s Green, both which I prefer to Viridian, which is part of the palette I pulled out to use. My own preference is Hooker’s, as it is a wonderful green to add yellow or blue, for brightening or darkening.
Another comment, this is some of the Bee 6×9 paper I bought. A bit of a sizing issue seemed to be “felt” in a couple of spots on the paper. Still, for quick studies, I am not faulting the paper at all – I have been enjoying using it.