Wednesday, September 23, 2015

intermediate Homework 9/23/15 The Value Range and the Illusion of Light

In the real world, does light have a brightness limit? I'd sincerely like to know, if anyone has the answer ( I know I could look it up on my tie-clip computer, but I have to get this homework posted).
 In the watercolor world the brightest light is the white paper, of course, but there are a few steps you can take to enhance the effect a little.

Contrasting a light area with a relatively strong dark makes the pale "sunlit" streak in this scene look extra bright.

When you surround a white space with a soft-edged, intense warm, like Quinacridone Gold, It glows even without a contrasting dark nearby.

If the lightest area in a painting is not pure white, it is a good idea to consider tinting it with a powerful transparent hue so you can make it very pale and still have a significant amount of color.

Here are a few photos that involve powerful brightness. Have some fun with them, and try to get your darks dark enough on the first try.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Intermediate Watercolor Homework 9/17/15 E Pluribus Unum

Here are some scary pictures for you.

The photo of the tree and the photo of the ruined castle are similar in several ways. In both, the main subject is close to the viewer, dense in places and open in others, with a complex profile. Both comprise too many components to count. The painter's challenge is to interpret the relationship between the shape, which dominates the scene, and the elements that combine to create the shape without having to paint so many leaves or individual stones.
What you see when you squint - a middle value shape on a light ground - is a good place to start. First paint the shape, then suggest the leaves or the stones. When you've made enough marks to tell the viewer that they together are what add up to the big shape, you can stop. Or, you can keep making leaves or stones all day, if you want to. Whatever your style, you can start the same way; Shape first, then texture, if necessary.

You could combine all the buildings into a single shape here, or you might choose to have two groups, those to the right of the red sign and those to the left, which would give greater emphasis to the space.

How might you separate the figures in the foreground from those in back?


Go ahead, paint all the individual houses in the background, Or not.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beginning Watercolor Homework 9/17/15 Watch the Edges!

Hard or soft?
Three choices, not too many.
From now on, you're always in charge of edge quality.
I'll remind you.