Friday, November 13, 2015

second beginning watercolor course: fourth session

we are now well into the second iteration of the beginning watercolor course, having finished the fourth class yesterday. it is also the time of year that the various and sundry upper respiratory virus are starting to make their rounds. as such, there were some unexpected absences from the class due to family members that either needed care or rides to the clinic to be checked out.

therefore i will go over the lessons that we tackled yesterday for the benefit of those who couldn't be there for the entirely. yeh, that's you,  lori and joan.

first wash of cobalt blue: graded dark to light at top
 and then light to dark at the bottom. preserving
 the white of the bird and its  reflection

we started out by going over the larger area washes: flat, graded, variegated (both horizontal and vertical). hard to say much more about this without a demonstration.the basics were to use as large a brush as possible, mix up enough paint to cover the area without having to remix another  (and probably mismatched) puddle half way through the wash, and keep the whole thing flowing down the sheet, which is held at approximately a 45 degree angle, by keeping a manageable bead of paint at the bottom of the wash. joseph vbukvic feels this later is of such importance that he has given it the moniker, "mr. bead." when he's gone, the wash is dead.

second step: medium value flat variegated wash
 down to the tops of thestream-side rocks. tops of
rocks and twigs/stems scraped in when wash
had lost its sheen when viewed from the side.

having mastered these techniques we went on to start a "real" painting of a white egret wading in a forest stream with a rocky shoreline. it incorporated virtually everything tht we hav covered to date in the course: direct painting of and object, negative painting around and object , maintaining the whites, a flat wash, several graded washes and variegated washes. new techniques were scraping paint away to get back to a lighter value area. this was used to define some light-struck area on the rocks and put in some stems and small trunks of stream-side vegetation. in order to do this properly one must wait until the sheen has just gone off the wash and "squee-gee" the paint aside rather than actually scrape it.  either a finger nail or the flat side of a palette knife work well for this.
third wash: darker value flat variegated wash from the
 "bottom" of the rock reflection to about 3/5 of the way
 to the bottom which represents the reflections of the woods.
some lighter streaks were lifted out with a thirsty brush
and also some horizontal "ripples"

here are the steps as i demo'd them in class.  we are about half finished with this painting and it will be finished at the next class on monday.


  1. We can all benefit from your lesson, makes me want to try out watercolor again !

  2. we will gladly welcome you back from the dark side with open arms, jane!