Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Monday Night and Wednesday a.m. Class: Revealing the layers

Let's take advantage of having a full class by each bringing in an example of the sequence of layers that make up a simple watercolor. With a wall full of step-by-step demonstrations, we should strengthen our understanding of how a painting progresses from light to dark, and from general to specific. You can do this exercise in monochrome or in a broader palette, depending on whether the addition of color would distract you from seeing in layers.

After choosing or finding an image you'd like to paint, look "through" the darks and middle values to see what the first layer of just the lights would be. Paint 3 separate versions of that layer, all roughly the same.

Now put the second layer on two of the three, leaving one showing only the first layer.

Finally, put the third layer, the darks, on one of those that have two layers. You should end up with three sheets. One has just layer #1, one has #1 and #2, and one has #1, #2 and #3.

You can see a similar step-by-step process in this article from an old Daniel Smith catalog:

It's a lengthy piece, worth reading someday.
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