Thursday, October 4, 2018

Beginning Watercolor 10/4/18 Seeing in Layers

In class we practiced making monochrome value studies. Those who were there were just about ready to begin making a color version of their scene. Jump right ahead to that step if you like, or use one of the photos here to start over, doing another monochrome study, then proceed to the color version.
The monochrome studies should have only hard edges, but the color version can have whatever sort of edges you please.
If you haven't already done so, please take the time to make a 10 step value scale. Each successive layer involves more pigment, not just an additional layer of the lightest color.

Understanding a scene as a series of layers is mostly about assigning relative values to the major shapes.

Vecinos, Oaxaca
I would remove the scooter from the scene, and make the lamp post taller, so it doesn't get lost against the rooftop shapes. Maybe move that wire, too, so it doesn't go right into the corner of the frame.

With only a little rounding up or down, the scene above resolves very nicely into just 3 values. Make a monochrome study of the image where every shape is either light, middle or dark in value. You can indulge, if you like, in more than one middle value. The red tile roof, for example, is lighter than the wall shadow, but both are lighter than the dark openings. One is middle value, the other is dark middle.
Use a single color, straight from the tube, not a mixture of colors. Choose one that gets dark enough to look truly dark, like the doorways in the photo. Carbazole violet would work, or pthalo, or use black, if you have it.
Here's another possibility. This one may require more than one degree of middle value, too.

Check the value of the "white" barn.

Using your monochrome study as a road map, make a color version using an expanded palette. 

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