Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Three

We worked from the same still-life that I set up for the Saturday class with a few changes. The value/glazing approach we’ve followed this term started as a review but we used it again today. I wanted to discuss it’s usefulness with certain subjects.

Bottles are always a challenge. In my first study (above left), I use values in grey to develop the bottle and the area around it. The second step is the glazing; gently applied colour washes. Sometimes, I’ll strengthen the darks after the glazing is done and I did so here.

The next study (right) illustrates an interesting challenge. I painted this bottle using the same process as shown above and I thought it looked pretty good. However, another hard look at the subject made we realize that I needed to darken most of the bottle to make the transparency more convincing.

Studies are very useful learning tools and I recommend the practice to my students. It should be noted that a study of a single object on white paper has some limitations. There is no context or environment for the object. My first study shows the bottle in a simplified space but all of the relationships have been clarified. A successful painting depicts the relationships between things and not just isolated objects.

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