Friday, April 20, 2018

Intermediate Watercolor 4/19/18 Deciding what's hard and what's soft

In class this week we worked on increasing awareness of what kind of edges best suit our purpose. Since it is easier to add hard edges than to soften them after they dry, let's begin with all soft edges and add hard ones as needed in the later stages of the painting, as Trevor Chamberlain did in the painting below.

Look closely at the big tree in the mid-ground. It began as a large gold shape applied to a wet sky. While it was still wet violet and darker gold were added. After that had dried Trevor made a few hard-edged strokes for branches and massed foliage, leaving most of the tree soft. To give emphasis to the glowing sunrise atmosphere he made the background extremely soft, so that we would see light rather than objects. In the foreground a range of edges fills the space with bushes and fence posts, just distinct enough to have substance.
On a piece of good paper, practice duplicating the array of edges maestro Chamberlain chose to use. Then make a copy of the painting. The original, by the way, is 7 1/2 x 10".

Here are a couple of photos that display a range of edge qualities. If you have time, try translating one into watercolor. Feel free to change the edges to better suit your interpretation.

What if the foreground figures and the awning were hard-edged, and the sunlit shops across the street were all soft? 

Will you make the coco palms hard, soft or both? Will you count how many there are?

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