April 29, 2013

Still life exercise for class...







I'm having like a "break", from my usual obsession about drawing and painting! I hope this will give me energy and lust later on. But here I had a great pleasure preparing this watercolor for my students this afternoon. I see that as a good sign... 


April 23, 2013

Task for my students...




Last session of learning to use watercolor with my students, was focused on applying layers, "glaces", of primary colors as a back ground and on top of it paint the subject (this time a painting of Henry Rivière). I used more colors than the primary colors on top coats (+burnt sienna and raw umber) on which I stil used layers of glaces (dry on each other) but also wet on wet to get a little more texture.
The whole technic is a bit long to explain here, but the main issue for my students was to get the right notion of applying color on the paper without going back messing with the different brushstrokes,  and without adding too much water every time they make a brushstroke, ending up with a soaking wet paper. They have to try to get the confidence to "apply and let dry".
Many times it dries nicely even though we don't see it right the way, we have to give the pigment a chance to react on it's own, without touching what we just did every time.
Don't forget that the more we practice the more we get it "right", the less we need to modify what we just did.
I didn't reserve any whites on this one, but I used the light parts of the paper as if they could have been the white paper itself...

April 18, 2013

Another "water and transparencies" study...



                                                                 sold 

April 16, 2013

Figure drawing session...





After struggling for a few month with my old pencil, and ending up with a feeling of frustration about the static position I've put myself all that time. Not knowing how to take a step forward, not even being able to concentrate any more. I'm now ready to try some new stuff without any expectations in particular, apart from to force myself to move on.
These are done with graphite used with water. The only problem today was that I had not a very good paper for this and I also found the graphite turning too light when dried. It was difficult to get nice darks. I might search for something else.... indian ink maybe... or why not watercolor?(!) Not a "new" medium, but it could be a new way of using it. Bigger sizes and like these without drawing, my idea is to use more monochrome colors than a usually do. :D

April 09, 2013

Watercolor sketch during lesson...



Sketch from yesterday's watercolor session with students...




... and giving it another try with more color, less whites.


My first advices are; not to draw too small and not to forget to use the negative space (surrounding spaces of subject and surrounding the details like the flowers and leaves) just as much as you use the subject itself.  The negativ space should be interesting before you start to paint. When you have composed the subject on the paper; watch out so that it is not situated in the middle with an equally looking space around it. Also let the subject go "out of the page" so that we don't get the impression that you cut of some of it, to avoid the borders of the paper.
Specially for flowers look at the "outside contour" instead of the flower itself. Leave whites out, start with light and mid colors, but put in some dark quickly to get the contrasts fast so that you know your range of values and colors. It's easier to continue this way; as you don't have to "cover it all up" with light colors as we could tend to do, when the theory say we "should start light and bild up with darker".
You can let the brush do the shapes, just press it against the paper and the shape o fa leave will show up, let the pigments react leaving the shape alone, (don't go back and fuss, unless you are really not happy with what you just did). You can use round brushes, but also square ones for the vase here I liked using a square brush for the geometrical shapes. I also use synthetical brushes, they contain less water which avoids drowning the surface in water like we can do in the beginning.
Hoping this can be of a help... but of course, also draw first, to understand the shapes.
Then, eventually, we can paint loosely and freely...

Good luck!