March 26, 2013

New subject for students...




A quick and sketchy start of execution for this weeks subject prepared for my students...

I didn't plan much here, and no previous drawing, as I lacked time yesterday. When painting the washes, I think of leaving the white out for the flowers. If I happen to crop those whites, by mistake, I try to react to that error to find a new solution. As long as this is possible it will give a nicer result than if trying to correct, clean or fuss with the pigments and paper. Too many corrections on one spot will be easily noticed, while you might not pay attention to a flower that isn't "accurate" compared to the reality.

I show the first washes on wet paper here, they're perfect to start with, as I would like a "loose feeling" during the execution and in the result. I start with wetting the paper and ad pigments to it, to get a diffuse first layer, while giving some shapes of the subject. After that it's easier to feel the subject already in place, and you ad layers of colors; mixing wet on wet and dry layers.
It's difficult to keep execution "easy" and loose if you lack experience, if you don't know the reactions of the paper or the pigments, and don't know how to judge the state of humidity of the paper and react to that. A lot of efforts and exercises are demanded, if you really want to understand how to use watercolor.
Understanding of what is going on when you paint and how to control what you do, while you are able to simplify what you see, takes time and a lot of studying and practicing.
I recommend my students to draw a lot! Because if you are wondering about what shapes you see at the same time that you concentrate on mixing colors, control pigments and water, while you above all; should interpret your emotions in front of your subject...  the task is too huge!
Drawing gives you a understanding of what you see, a more accurate view, and you become more creative. Without it you reduce your possibilities; it's a tool you should possess.
And later, after long time of practice, it's all about interpretation, expression, creation. The technical part should be a second nature!
I hope I'll get there one day. : )

March 24, 2013

Subject from last session with students...



Watercolor, 28 x 37 cm.  Sold 





Subject and "mini demo" for study of branches of "mint in glass of water"...

Watercolor in mixed technique. Painting first "wet on wet" + adding paint on the first dried layers of paint with some more wet on wet on smaller parts; to confirm shapes and contrast built up in the first washes.
Not forgetting to make a quick study, drawing the subject in values, first and painting as loosely as possible while avoiding repetition of shapes (we tend to repeat shapes and gestures when we lack experience), studying the mixing of greens and trying to add other colors into these mostly green subject at first sight...

... to be continued...

(sorry for the poor quality of these iphone pictures)

March 18, 2013

"Still life IV"...



(watercolor on BFK Rives paper, 33 x 29 cm)

Another study of water... 
I'll have to learn how to loosen things up and to reserve my reflections of white. 
It's difficult to make a whole painting look "easy" and spontaneous. Specially with a "rigid" still life like this one, it should look free and natural... or I don't know what. "Real" without looking too realistic, I guess. The objects have to live by their own, you shouldn't even think of the technics used or whom painted whatever is painted. 
I would like my subjects to live their life! 




March 13, 2013

My Moleskine today...




Went sketching and for lunch with Laurent (Rossi) today!
Weather was sunny, but very cold. Loads of snow and it felt a bit like a day in the mountains. We talked a lot, (or maybe I talked a lot), drew until we were ice cold and went for lunch grabbing each other so we wouldn't fall on the slippery pavements.
Very pleasant in all ways! Here is a sketch of him in action, while he did a beautiful drawing that I look forward seeing finished soon. : )
You can see Laurent's nice work on his blog http://l4draw.blogspot.fr/
I love what he did on this particular post, I invite you to have a look : http://l4draw.blogspot.fr/2013/02/morning-sun.html


March 11, 2013

Study of glass and water...




Study of "water through glass bottle" and testing paper... 
I'm terrible with names!! I don't remember the name of this paper right now, but I like when the finish gets matt like this for some kinds of watercolor sketches. I'll try it out for some longer, but I'm quite slow with panting lately. I'm thinking a lot about it though. I'm even starting to think I'm a slow painter. Like Edward Hopper who only did a painting a year for several decades. : ) 

Figure notes...





March 08, 2013

My "homework" done...




My son and I went to see an exposition today, and also for quick lunch at a "brasserie", where I got enough time to catch him sitting in front of me... 

March 04, 2013

"Still life III"...




This is a watercolor study of a piece of folded paper, no drawing on before hand, on Montval Canson paper (40x27cm). Having done a few before, the "not drawing" is no longer a problem, it rather clearly gives greater freedom.
How difficult it is to keep the colors light! I also have tendency to see a lot of tones everywhere, even though that is a good thing, when you can manage to control yourself.
I'll try to continue, the result is still a bit from what I have in mind...

March 01, 2013

Healthy resolution...




I realize it has been far too long without my Moleskin or any other sketchbook. Maybe this break made me good, I don't now yet, but I'll have to buy some new pens and get started. What I've been missing the most is really to draw without worrying or to many questionings. "Just draw mode" is a good name on what I should do and what I had lost, the main reason I started drawing. I lost the main reason without noticing.