Thursday, April 17, 2014

Monday Night Class: How wet is my brush compared to the paper?

Double homework?
In class we were working on sections of images that were best represented by a wet into wet treatment. I'd like you to continue practicing those passages until you feel ready to paint a version of the whole scene.
Wet on wet, or wet into wet painting most often could really be called "damp into wet". After the initial wash is applied, the secondary strokes must be drier than what's on the paper, or they will bloom into the wash. Usually, as the soft-edged layers proceed form light to dark, each successive application is drier than than previous one, until the brush could hardly be called wet.
In order to keep track of how wet the brush is compared to the paper, it's wise to stay out of the water bucket and any puddles on your palette. If you absolutely must wash your brush, then you also have to dry it.
If you make your initial wash wet enough, that is your water supply for the rest of the job. You don't need any more. By the time you get to the most specific (but still soft-edged) darks, the paint on your brush can be quite thick. A stroke made on dry paper will be rough, just grazing the ridges of the paper, but a stroke on the wet area will flow on in a smooth path.

After you finish this work, please take a look at the discussion of a five value monochrome study in the post below. We will be working on these next week. Have fun.

The darks make up most of this scene, and could be effectively painted wet on wet. Imagine laying down an overall wash for everything except the sunlit areas, and then applying color variations and eventual strong darks while that first wash is still wet. The only hard edges might be the profiles of the sunny shapes. Even the relatively light blue figure in the foreground is in shadow. Any takers?

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