Thursday 30 April 2020

Poppies and Daisies in watercolour for beginners PART 1

Its a wet overcast cool day here today, however, that is not going to stop us having fun with colour! Beginners will love this because its all about understanding how the paint moves, and indeed moving it, and for those of you who have painted a while, just let the paint go today!

The wet-in-wet qualities of watercolour (or inks) used on a wet surface create unique results, only achievable with these wet media.
Different paints, paper, and wetness of paper all contribute to the various effects created which mean that no painting can be replicated exactly the same way twice. It’s exciting, sometimes nerve racking but the most spontaneous way to paint, especially for those of you who don’t like to draw, because you don’t need to!
By experimenting with the paint consistency you will create sections that you are delighted with and indeed sections that don’t work. Don’t plan to paint a picture till you have done a number of experimental works and don’t worry, you wont waste any, we will trim the sections you like to make cards or small pictures from them.

Materials needed

Extremely smooth paper or card.
The paper I use is unbranded 120lb and needs to be stretched. You could equally use smooth thin card from packaging (like you get when you buy stockings, tights, or shirts, or A4 packs of smooth card)
Paints in various colours.
Half Rigger brush 
My Classic Round number 12
Natural haired brush for wetting the paper and lifting (I use the Golden Leaf brush)
Drawing board
Fine Spray bottle - spritzer
The end of a PX brush or a Palette Knife

Lets begin with the techniques we will need to paint something similar to this one.

Suggesting a poppy

Techniques – dropping in, moving paint, its all about 'suggesting' don't worry if yours looks wonky, nature is not always perfect.

Your paper or card should be securely taped to a board.

Using the Golden Leaf brush wet the paper thoroughly.

Using the Classic Round brush mix some strong Permanent Rose and begin touching the paper with the tip of the brush. Each time you touch the paper, paint is released from the end of the brush. Keeping the brush on the paper and moving it along releases very little paint from the brush thus controlling how much paint is applied in a controlled area on the paper.
The paint will move across the wet surface, the flow of the paint will depend on how wet the paint mix is and how wet the paper is.

Tip – The wetter the paper, the more the paint will flow and a lighter colour will result.
Avoid trying to manipulate the shape created too much; jut let the watercolour move, as it wants to, watch what happens and give it time. 

Whilst the paper is still wet, use Turquoise and Green to suggest foliage behind your shape.
You will be able to push the previous colour back by pressing the brush fully onto the paper and pushing the brush into the colour you wish to move. You can choose to keep a shape or allow the pigment to rush into a wet area.

Using the Half Rigger brush drop Shadow into the flower centre whilst it is all still wet.

Suggesting a daisy

Added Techniques – pushing paint, flicking paint.

Begin by wetting the paper thoroughly as we did previously, and then using the Classic Round brush; drop in blobs of Green. Using the Half Rigger brush, flick on some Shadow blobs of colour. 
Tip - To do this, hold the loaded brush above the wet paper and firmly tap the wood just above the ferrule so that the paint splashes off the tip and onto the paper.

Using your thumb, (or the end of a PX brush or a palette knife) push the paint firmly away. 
The paint will leave white paper and provided you press firmly, it will not run back into that section. (It’s like using a window squeegee)

This technique works best on very smooth paper.

Whilst it is still wet, add the yellow centre using the Half Rigger brush. Allow this to gently seep into the background.

Tip – If you work a little slowly and you want to re-wet your work, use the water spray to gently wet the sections that have begun to dry.
Its really exciting allowing the colours to run, don't panic, watch what the colour does before you take any action.

Look at the shapes created in the background, the patterns created will suggest other flowers or leaf shapes, you can emphasise these shapes by adding stalks.

Once you’ve got the hang of moving the paint about, letting it mix and seeing what it does, now comes the interesting bit, manoeuvring or changing what you get to create what you want.

Practice these techniques and my next post will be putting them all together to create a picture.