Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Two

Today’s still-life may look a bit familiar. I carried it over from Saturday’s class with a few changes. We looked at the blue objects in particular and discussed problem-solving with a sound process.

Our process involves three basic ideas; light to dark, big to small and soft to crisp. These are guidelines and not rigid rules. The process also relies on simplification. The pitcher on the upper left was simplified into two shapes, interior and exterior, and the lip between was left as paper white. This study was completed in one step and you’ll see that wet has touched wet to create the soft edges. I also lifted the highlight with a Q-tip. The jar to it’s right was done in three steps. There is another version of it below that will give you a better understanding of the steps.

In general, the biggest and lightest shapes are painted first. Most of the soft edge work is done at this stage. The subsequent steps introduce darker and smaller shapes. All of these studies, with the exception of the first pitcher, were done in three steps. The images show only two steps. The third step involves the smallest and darkest marks.

The first step of the cookie jar above uses paper white again to separate the component shapes of the object.

Here’s a look at another version of the jar shown above. Note the use of paper white here. My studio is lit with fluorescent lights and north light windows. The still-life has a single spotlight above it. These multiple light sources create a multitude of highlights and I try to be very selective about which ones I employ. The highlights can help us understand the direction of the light and also assist with defining form.

The studies I have done are fairly ‘realistic’ but the same basic process produced very different results in the morning class.

Tuesday AM Critique


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