Saturday, August 11, 2018

Learn The Rules, Break The Rules

In my earliest watercolor lessons I learned the 'rules' of using watercolor. One of those was NO BLACK. Don't have it in your palette,  don't buy it, don't use it. Black kills watercolor's color. Of course, a few years in I needed a very dark background and decided just to use black. I reasoned it would be fine if it were a total blackout. Well, it didn't and I ruined a painting because I didn't understand the properties of black yet. 

You can see how the black looks dull and ruins any vibrancy the colors have achieved
Knowing the rules is an important part of learning to use your medium. They give structure and save one from disasters. However, once you know the rules and feel confident with your tools, you have the freedom of breaking those rules to suit your own purposes. That's valuable.

Putting color over the black changes everything

You can see from the photos I've attached that the black really did totally kill the colors of the flower shapes. However, knowing that I'd need to block the white of my paper to get the dark value I wanted, I decided to use black. The phthalo blue still shows on top of it, but now the light can't show through and lighten it. The black has become a tool in my painting kit instead of a mess-making no no. Know the rules,  learn to abide by them, then discard them on purpose to achieve what you want.  Cool, huh. 

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Orange Poppies, Complete

This baby is finished. Now I'm off to hunt down clean sheets of cardboard to ship it to its new home. I enjoyed it, may even paint more poppies one day.

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Orange Poppies
Watercolor on Arches cold pressed paper
22" × 30"

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Painting the Poppies, Again..

Today is poppy day at the Webb house. Here is the first poppy shape getting color. It's a full sheet of watercolor paper so that's one giant blossom, but it has been pretty fun to do so far. We shall see, though... if anyone can bungle this it would be me. To be continued-

Thanks for stopping by! Alice

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Poppies, Take 2 or Drawing Up

Recently I tried a poppy painting that flopped in a big, over-painted way. Since this is a commission, it's been weighing heavily on my mind for the past 2 or 3 weeks. It's time to try again.

To get what I wanted, I drew a small sketch of what I wanted it to look like, then traced the lines I wanted to keep. Then it was time to translate those lines onto the watercolor sheet. I divided both the tracing and the full sheet into quarters, then drew what was in each quarter of the tracing onto the paper. With organic shapes I find this to be the easiest method for me. Now it's ready for the fun part.

Hopefully I'll be more hesitant to paint this one to death!

Thanks for stopping by- Alice