Sunday, September 10, 2006

help wanted


Up until now I've been trying to avoid posting school work as part of my "blog work." However, this time I feel my school work could really benefit from others feedback. This composition is part of a series of drawings I am working on to explore the colors and materials I am considering using in the space I am designing this semester. While I have dabbled a bit in watercolors, this is really the first time I have attempted to create an interior perspective with the medium. Most of my paintings before have consisted of one layer of paint; with this one I introduced two and three layers to get the correct colors. How much can I work the watercolors? How many layers are possible? How is the best way to capture light? Please give me any advice you can about these types of paintings. I want to get better!

4 comments:

heather lorin said...

I'm no expert on watercolors (ok, I've painted only some fruit and a couple of really BAD landscapes with them) but it looks like you're on the right track to me. Start light and then go darker is what I've always heard. Have you thought about layering the watercolor with colored pencil or pastel?

Jana Bouc said...

As a watercolor teacher, I can tell you that there are many different approaches, and none are "right" or wrong. Some people use many, many layers of paint with lovely glowing effects. Others paint very directly with rich juicy washes, trying to get the color as close to final on the first application. My way of working is closer to the latter, though I usually end up adding a couple more layers to get the darks dark enough and to add details. Watercolor dries lighter so it's easy to get fooled when you mix up the wash. I'd be happy to answer more questions, feel free to email me directly.

Anthony said...

Hi Suzanne,
I would agree with everything Jana has said, but add: 1. know where you light is coming from. A lot of what distiguishes an amateur painting from a pro-painting is being clear and consistent with the light. 2. get as much photo or real life reference as possible. The viewer's eye knows authenticity when it sees it, and frequently what light and color do in reality is different than you would expect, pleasantly. 3. it's easy to overwork watercolor, know when it's "done" and leave it alone; sometimes an accident can be your best friend. 4. have fun. This can't be said enough. Fun has an energy that's contageous. This is sort of what goes through my head with these kind of things. Hope that helps some...

suzanne said...

Heather, Jana and Anthony- Thanks to each of you for taking the time to give me the advice I asked for. Jana- It's good to know that layering isn't "required." For some reason I've always thought that since I was only painting with one layer, I wasn't really using watercolors the way I "should." Anthony- Light...this is the area I really want to focus on improving at. I think this is what really sets off a painting. I'm definitely going to take your advice and start collecting more photo references.