Saturday, 31 March 2018

Butterfly Step by Step

First I painted the flower and then lost most of the edges into the background. However as you can see I keep some edges...if you lose all the edges all you would get is a yellow wash...losing some of the edges keep some of the form of the flower and also lets me see where I am going.

Next I have painted the butterfly..I haven’t drawn any of this (I draw with the brush) and I worked on the body first then moving on to the wings. When you are painting like this you aren’t looking for a photographic representation of the actual subject, you are looking for a feel of it and I don’t mind if you cannot tell what species of butterfly it is I am more concerned that you simply see it is a butterfly. I have painted the butterfly in exactly the same way as the flower though I haven’t lost any edges on the body. 
I have added a bit more detail to the flower and butterfly, added a touch more colour top left above the flower and done a bit of splattering around the bottom edge of the butterfly.... Colours used, W&N cad yellow, quin gold, burnt sienna and purple, DS transparent pyrrol orange, 15x11 Arches 140lb rough.
There will always be a debate as to whether or not it is finished and my view is that I don't want to work on this any more as too  much fiddling will result in loss of spontaneity.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Wet in Wet fun

So a little while since I updated my and stuff getting in the way but hoping to get back to it in the future.

I have been playing with wet in wet and decided that although it isn't a technique I often use, that doesn't mean I shouldn't share it with my group so this is the painting we did last week which I have finished today. 

I tend to create washes on the paper so although I don't usually go into wet paper I do end up using a lot of water. Wet in wet is an extension of that really in that the paper is wet to start with and the idea is you drop paint in letting it mix and mingle on the paper and I know many of you may use this technique for skies and backgrounds etc. However when doing skies, the paper isn't usually as wet as it was in the following painting and with others I have done using this technique.

This photo was one from a very talented wildlife photographer...Gary Jones

I decided swans lent themselves very well to this technique as the subject matter to me seems to call for smooth lines and transitions which again isn't my usual style as I love texture but wet in wet does create lovely smooth washes which is what I was looking for here.

The idea is to wet the paper thoroughly, letting the water soak in for 5 minutes or want the paper wet but not dripping when you work like this and any areas where you want to reserve the white of the paper can be done either by not wetting that area (bearing in mind this will give you a hard edge) or by lifting the paint with a thirsty brush,, which is what I did with this painting.

As the paper starts to dry you can then begin to add can only add hard edges when the paper is completely dry but working when it is still damp will allow you to get some soft edges where paint will bleed slightly into the surrounding areas.

Good painting is a mix of soft lost and found edges so this way of working does allow you to get a good mix of edges.

In this painting you can see soft edges to the right behind the neck...both lost and soft edges around the feathers and hard edges around the neck and head where I want the focus to be.

This was a very limited palette,Daniel Smith Ultramarine Turquoise, Winsor Lemon and Winsor Violet. I am adding some DS colours to my palette and this is a gorgeous colour, a bit greener than W&N Pthalo Turquoise and though I don't prefer it, it adds a different colour to anything else I already have so I will have fun trying to find combinations of colours I like using this new one.
Limited palettes work well for wet in wet... as the colour is mixing on the paper, there is a rainbow of colour you can achieve with all sorts of variations and I would urge anyone reading this to give it a go. 

The group seemed to really enjoy working like this so we may well do more in future, it can be tricky as understanding when to go in with what concentration of paint, is key and as always too much working with the brush can cause a muddy a challenge but we did get some very nice results.