Thursday, August 19, 2021

Watercolor Homework 9/2/21 How Did You Color in Your Coloring Books


This photo has been desaturated. Since we're not at the scene, you are encouraged to color it in using any colors you please. What if you wanted to make a serene version? How about a lively palette? 

How do the colors you choose affect the mood you create? Try deliberately using colors that produce the feeling you want to display, rather than being hap hazard in your selections. See if you can think in color, mentally "coloring in" selections that give you Peacefulness, for example, or Anger. What color do you think the little building really is?
Make more than one version. Can you control the color/mood relationships?
Have fun!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

6/10/21 Everyone's Final Homework Exercise of the Term ; As You Like It


Traditionally, the final homework of a term is your choice, but a few folks have requested some particular images for inspiration. Maybe you would like to start with this photo, 

Or this close-up. I think I'd leave out the dead tree behind the madrona

 Here are a few studies of similar scenes painted in plein air. 
Perhaps you can put the photo and one of them together.

have fun


Thursday, June 3, 2021

Intermediate Homework 6/3/21 Neutrals Warm and Cool


Here are some images that feature neutral colored shapes. Comparing the shapes in terms of color temperature will reveal how warm or cool they are.

The deck, for example, is much warmer than the shingled wall, but cooler than the yellow bumper. 
Feel free to move things around.

This hay shed may not seem to involve neutrals at first, but if you tried copying it
you would see that with the exception of the tarp, everything in the picture involves all three primaries.

Subtle, i'd say. Watch out for texture. It wants to take over.

Beginning Homework 6/3/21 Do You Have a Plan?

 Here's an image that could progress very simply from light to dark and from general to specific. 

What should you do first? Then what? Is there anything you should do while the first layer is still wet? Is there anything that you should reserve? These are the kinds of questions you might need to answer in advance. 
Having at least a rough idea of the sequence of washes and strokes can make the painting process much simpler. For example, seeing this image for the first time you might be most attracted to the beautiful trees.
It could seem natural to paint them first, until you discover how tricky it is to paint what's in between them. 

Planning ahead needn't always be a complicated process. It can reveal a way to simplify a painting that at first seems very  complicated. Here's a scene that invites just a little planning. You might benefit greatly from a very simple road map:
Light, middle, dark. 

Have some fun with these. Maybe try painting one without a plan. Just dive in and see what happens.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

All Levels Homework 5/27/2021 Compared to What?

Is this barn warm or cool? Neither? Both?

It depends what we compare it to. When we see it juxtaposed against the grass it looks cool, but when it's next to the mountain it looks relatively warm. 

When you ask how light or dark a shape is the answer is always, "Compared to what?" The same goes for color temperature. How warm is this barn? Compared to what? It's warmer than the mountain, but cooler than the grass.

And yet, even though this old gray barn can change its temperature, it is still  a bit dull. It can be livened up by taking advantage of its complexity.

Since it has both warm and cool tendencies in this scene, why not mix a warm and a cool? Would you agree the barn has a dominant color? Blue, right? So start with blue, then add its compliment to neutralize it. You can allow the component colors to mix on the paper, leaving evidence of your process.

Notice how the barn boards leave the warm and cool components of  their neutral tones unmixed. This is an invitation to the viewer to mentally finish the job.

For homework, copy the painting or interpret the photo 

Friday, May 21, 2021

Beginning Watercolor Homework 5/21/21 Simplify!

If you have to choose between too much information and too little, go for too little. 

Here's a painting that uses no more than 3 layers in any given area to tell its story: Light, middle, dark.

And here's a photo that has the potential to do the same.


Leave out the detail. Please copy the painting or interpret the photo. Keep it simple.

Intermediate Homework, 5/21/21 Full Tilt

 Here are a few images that feature deep, heavily saturated paint. Many painters find them challenging, taking several layers to get the saturation rich enough. This exercise is an opportunity to practice getting it right on the first try.

Given that the paint will dry lighter than it appeared at first, it is logical to assume that you have to make it too  dark. Go ahead! Take the risk.

 If you can't see anything but black in large areas of one of these, feel free to invent the shapes and strokes that could be there. Maybe you can make them soft edged.

Don't be shy, now.