Sunday, February 27, 2011

Watercolor Techniques and Tips - Masking Fluid Tools & Saving Time

© L Watry
I have added a new page with watercolor Techniques and Tips. The first two entries are on masking fluid tools and saving time when transferring your drawing. I will continue to add to this page every now and then and post it when there are new entries.
Watercolor Techniques and Tips (Click Here or go to the page tab at the top)

Doesn't my pallet look cool as a mosaic? I photographed it and changed it in my photo-paint software.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Painting Silver Adventure

Shows Over ©L Watry
Here is the full image of "Shows Over". I still have more to paint on the main tuba and some of the background instruments and clothing. When I am not painting I often carry my painting around with me while I do other things. I set it across the room from me and it gives me a chance to view it from a distance.  I will also set it up to look at the painting in a mirror so that I see it reversed.  HINT: it is easier to see mistakes or values that need to be adjusted when you look at your painting in the reverse or even upside down.

Painting Silver Adventure - Home Stretch

Shows Over - close up ©L Watry
   I am in the final hours of painting my band painting which will be titled "Shows Over" (courtesy of my son). I thought I would take a few minutes to talk about painting metal and reflective objects. Painting reflective objects are like painting with puzzle shapes. Or another words, you have to look past what the object is and paint was is being reflected into the object. For instance, in my painting of the band instruments, I had reflections from:  the sky, light posts, band uniforms, other instruments, metal benches, people and the football field to help define the shapes of the metal instruments.
   As you can see in these close ups, they become little individual scenes of mostly abstract shapes and colors. It is also important to look for and leave highlights. The highlights will help make the metal look shiny. I decided, for this painting, to concentrate on small sections at a time and bring them to completion. It was a lot less confusing this way.  I have gone back into some of the sections every now and then to adjust values or add a touch of color to a section after viewing the whole painting.

Shows Over - close up ©L Watry
Making Gray in Watercolor:
Working with silver has also forced me to look more closing at mixing grays. I have mixed every gray used in this piece. There are several ways to make luminous grays in watercolor.
1. mix complementary colors, ex. red & green, blue & orange, or purple & yellow
2. mix a red, a blue, and a yellow, ex. cobalt blue, permanent rose, and aureolin yellow
3. mix a blue and an earth color, ex. ultramarine blue with burnt sienna or quinacridone burnt orange
    By mixing your own grays, you can weight them toward a cool gray, a warm gray, a blue gray, a purple gray, etc.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Adventure Continues - Painting Silver

Shows Over ©L Watry
I have not painted on my band painting for a few days due to preparing and teaching classes. But, that is ok because it gives me time to see it with fresh eyes when I get back to it. Below is a more recent photo of the paintings progress.

 I have added a warm redish-brown to the background and I have started working on the main tuba. There are so many reflections in the tuba that I am working on small sections at a time. I also continue to add color and shadows to the clothing.  The darker values help me judge all of my other values. Even though the foreground helmet looks done at this point, I still found some things that needed to be added when I looked again.

Friday, February 18, 2011

My Newest Adventure - Painting Silver

Shows Over ©L Watry
My son joined the marching band at his high school this year.  It is our first experience with marching band and as a parent and volunteer, I really enjoyed it.  Not only was their program exciting but getting to see the bands improvement over the season was thrilling. As an artist the marching band opened up a whole new subject matter for me. I have always loved painting reflections and have painted a lot of reflections on water. Now I have a whole new source for reflections in all the musical instruments. I am still working on my first painting from this future series. Here are some of the early stages.

Shows Over ©L Watry
I don't usually start a painting in the foreground like this. But, since this helmet was to be one of my centers of attention, I decided to start with it. I also usually wait to paint detail until the end, however, painting reflections on metal can be very detailed and confusing.  So, I decided to treat each reflection area as a small painting in and of itself.  This method helped me to find all the minute details to depict this subject realistically.

I have started adding the color to the marching band jackets that were laying around the instruments. Not only do they add color to the otherwise very gray/silver color scheme, but they contribute to the reflections seen in the instruments and helmets.  At this point I was starting to work on the main tuba, as well.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sharing the Passion

A Lot of Lilies ©L Watry
I am excited by this opportunity to share my passion for the watercolor medium. It seems just like yesterday and I have picked up a watercolor brush for the first time. And yet when I look around me on my crowded studio walls, I know time has passed. Sometimes I feel like a newbie as the watercolor and water continue to amaze and surprise me with their inconsistencies and happy accidents! There is always something new to learn or try. I hope to pass on the excitement of exploring the watercolor medium to all those that share a like minded passion.