Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Three

Thanks for all of your best wishes for a successful exhibition. I’m glad the postcard got to Erin in Australia. It’s seen more of the world than I have.

Every time I set up a still-life of stuffed animals I set myself up for the same question. “Are they all yours?” Our refresher on ‘soft-edge’ techniques and a sound process was well received last week and the stuffed animals are the perfect subject for practicing these ideas.

In the demonstration above, I have deliberately left paper-white spaces between the painted shapes. This was done to illustrate my analysis of the component shapes of the subject. Step one involves painting each shape with a light value of the local colour and, then, touching in a darker value while the first wash is still wet. Simplification is a key element of this exercise. I’m striving to find the essential visual information about the subject. The second step adds smaller and darker shapes. Imagine the bear without the ‘white lines’ between the shapes. It would look more like the monkey below.

This rather mischievous-looking monkey was done in two steps. I left some areas unpainted and strengthened the pencil drawing so you could see the simplification at the drawing stage of the process.

The shapes are lighter on top and darker below, in general. I deliberately utilized an imaginary  light source above and slightly to the left of the subject in both of the demonstrations. This eliminated any confusion caused by the multiple light sources in the studio and helped maintain a consistent play of light over all of the component forms.

The watercolour painting on the left may rank as one of the silliest images I’ve ever created. I painted it a year or so ago after giving the lesson described above. The separation of shapes with paper-white gives the piece a stylish quality and creates a bit of tension between the flat, white paper and the illusion of form in the painted areas. It has a collage-like quality.

It was fun and generated a few notions that may or may not find their way into future works.

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3 Responses to “Tuesday Watercolour Class – Week Three”

  1. Tony Cook Says:

    Oh – that brings back memories of a very interesting class with you, Barry. I’m glad to say that a picture of one of the bears ended up with a grand-daughter, who was very pleased with it.

  2. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    I really appreciate your comments and look for them every week. Both studies are so much FUN! and the painting is one of the most enjoyable I’ve seen…not silly at all…just pure fun. Is it too late to send my address so I can get one of your colorful invites? I am ashamed I did not do this earlier! Anyway congratulations and I hope the exhibit is successful.

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