Monday 5 October 2020

A couple of quirky chickens for you!

This year seems to have just slipped by unnoticed. It’s as if we’ve been spectators rather than participators. Any courses I had planned were eventually all postponed and had I known back in March that this was how the year would progress it would’ve seemed so much worse than it actually turned out to be.  
I enjoyed my garden this summer probably more than any other year, I actually had time to sit and look at it, and I have read books too. (usually I only manage to do this on holiday)

It has been my intention to make some little video clips for you, however technology is not my strong point. If you had been able to see me trying to paint around my iPad which was perched on four paperback books you would be amazed I managed anything! So this little film I’ve done for you is of two quirky chickens. I have used the minimum of materials and the film is only five minutes long so if you do watch this, think of me precariously balanced hoping that the laptop will stay upright!

Materials used 
Three colours - Burnt Sienna, Raw Sienna, and Shadow.
Brush - my Pyramid brush but if you don't have one, use a round brush that has a good point.

The photo reference is on the video and this is the actual finished picture.... enjoy!

Monday 4 May 2020

Poppies and Daisies in watercolour for beginners - FIXING PROBLEMS

I am hoping that you have had a few goes at this, perhaps using different papers to discover which works best for you. Yupo is a great surface to use too, although you need to be careful about any natural oils marking it from your fingers as you touch the surface.

Using this technique means that things don’t always go to plan, indeed sometimes its better not to have a plan but just 'go with the flow' as it were.

If you press too hard and scrape or damage the paper a dark scratched line will appear instead of a nice white section of paper (as shown here).

There is no solution to fix this; the line will now always be dark. To avoid this happening, use the tool at an angle, less upright and don’t press too hard. (This takes a bit of practice)

If you have added colour, even a very dark colour and want to remove it, you can do so by using the Golden Leaf brush. (yes, this is an old one, probably a good 10 years old, so its one with a perspex handle, not the wooden one) or a Summer Foliage brush (if you want to use something smaller)
Wet the brush with clean water, squeeze it out then agitate the section of your painting that you would like to remove and providing the painting is still wet you will be able to remove all the colour, it will soak into the brush. If the painting has dried, you may need to agitate it a little longer, but depending on the paper you use, most of the pigment may still by removed.

Providing you keep the paper wet, you will still be able to adjust the colour. Even replacing with green where pink had previously been. (as shown here)
The pink section can then be adjusted to your chosen shape.

Watercolour has a reputation for being difficult to alter, a reputation I believe is unfounded. Even when dry, watercolour can still be removed.
Acrylics on the other hand, once dry cannot, so use the water spray to keep the Acrylic inks wet while you work on them.

Finished painting 27cms x 38 cms

This painting was done in one go, keeping the paper wet at all times and working with whatever happened on the paper.

Below are a couple of tips taken from mid stages of this painting which you may find helpful.

Using the tip of the Classic Round brush you can always add more pigment, or indeed lift excess colour.

You can spray an area to re-wet it and drop in more colour, tilt and move colour.

Once you have pushed the white sections away, paint will continue to flow between the areas. 

Thin stalks pushed away with the Perspex brush handle, or a palette knife act as barriers so that colour will remain at either side of the line created, this means that once you have created a barrier you can add more pigment as it wont cross that line.

I thin this must surely be one of the most fun ways to play with watercolour as you lean about it.
I hope in the future when we are no longer in lock down, that I may be able to offer a workshop using these techniques, unless of course, you have mastered them in the meantime!
Have fun, stay at home and of course, stay safe.