Friday, October 29, 2010

Intermediate Watercolor Homework 10/29/10

Four Layer Translation

From the Bridge      Bill Teitsworth
The array of paintings on the wall for this week’s critique was most impressive. Then we went and dove headfirst into the plein air puddle….

I think we should follow that with another translation of a complicated image into 4 layers: Lights, Mid-values, darks and super darks. 

Practice, practice…

If you get the chance, try a plein air subject, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate, look for something that seems daunting at first, but resolves nicely into layers. Be prepared to describe how you saw the scene in terms of layers.

Have fun

Beginning Watercolor Homework 10/29/10

More Shadows
After the Storm        Bill Teitsworth
Look for, or set up a shadow source with a little more complexity to the object that casts the shadow-- A straw hat, for example, or a station wagon. The object should require a bit of interpretation to get it to settle into a series of layers.
In the Shadow of Giants        Sterling Edwards

The main task, however, is the shadow. Take care to get the edges true this time. Keep doing it until you are completely satisfied. Clarity, efficiency and boldness!

Have fun

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Intermediate Watercolor Homework 10/21/10


Oaxaca A.M.
Here's an exercise for applying the info we began exploring regarding warm/cool.

Limit your palette to just 2 colors, one distinctly warm (yellow, ochre, gold, rich green gold, cadmium red light, pyrol orange, quin burnt orange...), the other very cool (any blue, violet, perylene green, hunter green, pthalo green...).

Make a version of a picture in which for every shape you decide how warm or cool it should be. The pure form of your warm color would be reserved for the very warmest part of the scene, and the purest form of the cool would only be used for the coolest part. Everything else would involve mixtures of the warm and cool colors. The second warmest shape, for example, would have a little bit of the cool mixed in. got it?

How you choose to make something warm or cool is a big category. At first it may seem arbitrary, but the more practice you have paying attention to it, the more your choices will be informed by patterns you've observed. To get started, look at the image you've chosen, to see if there is any content that you automatically think of as either cool or warm. The sky, for example, should be pretty obvious, as would the ocean, or a bare light bulb or fire. You might ask, "What would be the warmest (or coolest) part of this scene"? Then you have something to compare everything else to. If you decided, for example, that a brick wall in sunlight was going to be very warm, then the shadow on the wall would be somewhat cooler. The shadow on a clump of foliage would be even cooler, since the foliage in sunlight is cooler than the brick in sunlight. It's all relative, just like value. When you are deciding where on the temperature scale to place a particular subject, try looking for something a little cooler and something a little warmer than the part you are about to paint. Just as with value, when you notice that this new part should be lighter than THAT, but darker than THIS. So, too, with temperature, it helps to locate your new bit between two parts you're already committed to.
These photos would work for this assignment, but it’s always good to use one of your own, or work from life.

Please post your discoveries by leaving a comment.
Have fun

Beginning Watercolor 10/21/10

Shadow Color

Alley in the New World
Your work in the arboretum revealed a solid understanding of relative values of sunlit and shaded surfaces. Now let’s explore the effects of color for shadows.

We’ve observed that, as a rule, shadows are darker, cooler, and more neutral than the surface they fall on. This is usually true in nature, but in a painting, of course, you can do whatever you want. Depending on the feeling you are creating in the picture, you may want to make all the shadows ultramarine, for example, or let all the component colors of a neutral show in the shadow, leaving it for the viewer to mix them together.

Experiment with a simple scene, trying out different colors to see how the changes affect the overall feeling. Be subtle. Be outrageous.

Please share your discoveries here on the blog by posting a comment.

Have fun.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Winter Watercolor Workshop

Attention Beginning and Intermediate Watercolor students:

During the seven weeks between fall and winter sessions you can stay in practice and continue to make progress through Tom’s Winter Break Studio Workshop Class. 

We will meet once a week for three hours on Wednesdays 9:30 – 12:30, December 1, 8, and 15, at Christie House in the Madrona Neighborhood.

The focus of the workshop will be translating high contrast photographs into light-filled watercolors.  

Homework will be assigned weekly.

Tuition is 120.00. 
Enrollment is limited. 
To reserve a space contact Tom
and mail your payment to Tom Hoffmann 
308 32nd Ave., Seattle, WA 98122.
Soledad, Oaxaca Mexico

Intermediate Watercolor Homework 10/14/10

Shape before texture
Blue Wall, Methow Valley
Get outside, if you can, and find a scene that can be understood in terms of three or four layers (light, middle, dark, super dark). Working from a photo is fine, too.

Identify the major shapes. These are the ones that need to appear separated in space to promote the illusion of depth.

Paying close attention to relative value, block in the shapes, layer by layer, keeping texture to a minimum.

When the darks have been applied, decide where you want more specific information, and put in texture a little at a time. 

Stop before you think you’ve got enough, and go for a walk.

Have fun


Beginning Watercolor - Shadows

Quick! Here’s the homework, so you can go out in this sunshine and look at shadows.
Find a sunlit surface, like a tree trunk, or a dog house, with shadow on part of it,  and which casts a shadow on another surface (the ground, a sleeping dog).
How much darker is the shadow area?
How does the color change?
What kind of edge does the shadow have?
When you have the answers to all the questions, you should be able to apply the paint very confidently and efficiently. To practice getting it  “right” on the first try, resolve not to correct any of your attempts. Instead, take note of what needs to be changed and paint another version. Please bring in all the flops.

Have fun